Buffer Time

Our goal was to finish cleaning the old apartment today.  Then tomorrow we could just show up, hand over the keys, and go find brunch.

Of course that didn’t happen.  There’s still one more load of stuff to bring over and a couple floors to mop.  It’s not much, but it’s the difference between ‘incomplete’ and ‘done’.  Luckily, by which I mean intentionally, we set a deadline before the real deadline.  It forced us to make better plans, and more importantly, it lets us have a bit of buffer for when plans inevitably fall through.

I’ve worked on lots of things that came in on schedule.  I don’t think I’ve ever worked on a project that didn’t use buffer time.  Work expand to fill the time available – plus a bit longer while you put the finishing touches down.  I think it’s critical to include some extra time in every project.