Don’t Underestimate Time Required for Big Jobs

A lot of entrepreneurs, myself included, often suffer from “blind optimism” when it comes to implementing ideas. Basically what this means is that we underestimate the real work load of a big task. This can happen for a number of reasons but it is usually triggered by the rush of excitement that a fresh, new idea tends to brew up.

In this video, I talk about times where blind optimism has hurt me, how I have learned to catch myself from getting sucked into the trap and how I am using this knowledge to my advantage today.

I would love your thoughts on this in the comments below? Do you overestimate or underestimate the amount of work required for projects?

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11 Responses to Don’t Underestimate Time Required for Big Jobs

  1. Bob June 23, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    I never try to estimate anything on any new projects (something I have learned in the past). I might ask for other people’s opinion who have had some exposure to what I’m doing. I also don’t plan a full day with any new projects.

    • Justin Popovic June 23, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

      Thanks for the feedback Bob. Good idea about asking the opinion of people who already know what it takes to accomplish what you are trying out. That way you leave little room for under or over estimating!

  2. Zengirl @ Heart and Mind June 23, 2010 at 3:57 pm #


    I found from Hulbert’s blog and came out here to say hello. Congratulations on leaving corporate world to pursue you dream job. You have a beautiful family.

    I underestimate some big tasks often, what works for me is to break it down in smaller tasks and take a break when it gets overwhelming. Good tips.

    • Justin Popovic June 23, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

      Thanks Zengirl! Appreciate you stopping by and I hope you come back again!

  3. Joshua Billings June 25, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Great video! All your videos are so clear and concise. What kind of prep work do you do beforehand to ensure that you get such great flow and clarity through in such a short period of time?

    • Justin Popovic June 25, 2010 at 11:14 am #

      Hey Josh. Thanks for the kind words.
      My prep work is usually just a few minutes to sit quietly and think about the lesson from the perspective in which I learned it. Then I turn on the camera and talk as though I’m having a one on one coffee/lunch meeting with someone of a like mind. I usually get the video done on the first take because I don’t worry about sounding perfect or being a polished speaker. I just try to be real and let it flow. Some vids are more powerful than others but its great to hear your feedback! Let’s me know I’m on the right track 🙂

      • Joshua Billings June 25, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

        Thanks, those are some great tips! I’ll try some of them out and let you know how it goes.

  4. Stan Young June 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    Another interesting subject
    I think when you are self employed as an Entrepreneur there must be more preasure to think in project time frames, and what cash will this particular project generate and how long before I see some benefit.
    When working for a traditional employer there maybe other additional preasures to achieve dead lines but normally you still get paid so you can at least feed your family and pay the rent.
    I also tend to underestimate the time required to complete a project, but as long as I keep my boss appraised of the progress he’s usually fine with this.

    • Justin Popovic June 29, 2010 at 10:51 am #

      Yes that was definitely the biggest difference I noticed moving form corporate employee to self employed. The onus is on me and only me to deliver now. It is a small price to pay for the feeling of freedom and doing something in line with my passions and purpose. I am constantly looking for ways to better improve my ability to estimate work requirements so I can be as efficient as possible.

  5. Matthew Needham July 28, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    My wife ‘moans’ at me all the time about this, which is often why I’m late. The internet is one of the biggest time expanders and you have to be mindful not to get distracted.
    Matthew Needham recently posted..Wednesday Wisdom

  6. Justin Popovic July 28, 2010 at 2:48 pm #

    I’m the same way. You could literally spend 24 hours a day on the Internet going down different learning tracks or even just wasting time watching viral videos. Focus is so key.

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