Things take more time than you imagine

Do you ever get the feeling of working a lot and not making enough progress?

I get this feeling all the time.

It always feels that I don’t make enough progress, no matter how much I work.

This feeling is heartbreaking. Especially when I know, I’m working hard and doing the best I can.

But I concluded that I demand a lot from myself and don’t celebrate the small signs of progress.

How did I come to that conclusion?

I tracked the amount of time I worked every day on my side projects.

And it was surprising at many levels.

Things take a lot more time than I think they were taking.

Yes, I have space to work better and faster. But, at least now I know what I’m doing and how much time it takes.

Let me give you an example.

I imagined that I could research, write and publish an article in less than 5 hours.

But in reality, it takes more than 10 hours.

For the research part, it can take almost 5 hours.

Especially when I:

  • Explore the usability;
  • Progress through the confusion/ novelty;
  • Go to competitors and see what they do better and worse;
  • Reflect if features are missing.

I consider spending 3 hours on research justified if the thing I’m reviewing has some complexity to it. Or if I don’t do it all in one take.

But the point of this note isn’t talking about doing reviews. Instead, it’s about realizing that things will take more time to complete and build than anticipated.

And it’s okay. It’s normal!

Just don’t be hard on yourself like I was with myself.

Things will take time when you’re doing them for the first time.

Things will take time to complete. So, don’t celebrate the completion while ignoring the steps that lead to that.

The motto of this note is to celebrate progress.

Celebrate doing and moving towards your target.

But, realize that things will take time, probably more than you think they will. And it’s okay. It’s normal!

Just celebrate that you are doing them.

This note is a continuation of Giving some slack to myself.

Originally written: 2022-01-02.

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