Everything that we do has some level of time that is needed to make it happen. Whether it is the time that it takes to make a cup of coffee or the time to fly from one destination to another. But all too often there is no opportunity to allow for extra time beyond the expected.
A Cup Of Coffee
Have you ever had an experience where you asked yourself the question “Do I have time for a cup of coffee?” You think I have ten minutes, it takes two minutes to make the coffee, one minute to serve it and five minutes to drink it. Ten minutes later you are still waiting for the coffee to be served to you.
Even something as simple as a cup of coffee has extra time associated with it that we do not consider. In a cafe, unfortunately, you are not the only customer most of the time. There could be any number of other orders placed before yours, still to getting served. Maybe there is another customer behind you that needs serving before the barista makes your coffee.
There is also the consideration that your calculation did not take into account other steps you needed to perform. Finding a car parking spot, walking to the coffee shop or considering the menu to decide what you want. All of this to say that we need to consider all of the factors when estimating the time that something will take.
Catching A Plane
Just like a cup of coffee, catching a plan is never as easy as just the flight. Consider the last time you took a short flight, maybe two or three hours. But somehow the better part of the day seemed to disappear. Between leaving your starting point to arriving at your destination the time seemed just entirely to disappear.
It is again all the little steps associated with catching a plane that all add onto the experience. You get your bags together and walk to the train station, 15 minutes. Another 10 minutes waiting for the train. A 20-minute train journey to the airport. The wait in the line and time to check in for your flight, 20-minutes. Another wait in the line for security, 15-minutes. Finally, 45-minutes waiting to board the plane.
Before you know it, it has taken over 2-hours to get to the 3-hour flight. But it does not end here. After landing, you have a 10-minute walk to baggage claim. Another 15-minute wait for the bags at baggage claim. Five minutes to find the way to the airport shuttle. With another 15-minute wait for the next service. A 40-minute ride on the airport shuttle to reach the city. Finally with a 15-minute walk to your hotel from the central drop off point.
Another hour and a half added to the end of the trip. So now to take that three-hour flight it has taken between 6.5 and 7 hours. Which is why you can find yourself arriving at a hotel and wondering why it is mid-afternoon and you still have not had lunch.
What About The Unexpected?
There are always going to be times that unexpected things are going to come up. A delayed plane, the coffee machine breaks down, or the traffic is bad. Of course, these are things that are difficult to predict. But just go with the flow and do what you can do.
It has happened to me, an unexpected delay on a flight changed everything for me that day. I was flying from London to Frankfurt, and just as the plane is moving back from the gate, there was a bang. It turns out the connection to push the aircraft back had broken.
They got it fixed quickly, only taking around 40 minutes to put another part in place. No problem ordinarily, except for the short 55-minute stopover I had in Frankfurt. It turned out I missed the connecting flight. But everything turned out being booked onto another flight just two hours later.
The moral of the story is that delays happen. It does take extra time for things to happen. But in most cases, everything works out in the end.
How Much Time Do You Need?
Whether getting a cup or coffee or travelling somewhere or any number of other things. Just consider how much time you are likely to need and make better estimates. Of course, you don’t need to determine the time that it will take if some problem changes things entirely. But at least try to determine the right amount of time for the aspects that you can control or know exist.