Kevin Tran

Writing Code and Grinding Coffee.

About me

Under estimation

Jan 25, 2019

Under estimation is one of the most common mistake of humanity.

I have all motivation of doing 100 pushups before laying down to the ground. Then I will know that it is harder that it look like, and it is the time that I don’t need more motivation, but persevervance to finish 100 pushups.

To do that, I need to divide 100 pushups to smaller chunks, like 10x10 sets.

After 5 sets, I take a rest for 2 mins, between each set there is 20s break. With this technique, I believe everyone can finish 100 pushups easily.

Keep doing 100 pushups everyday for one month is another and more difficult challenge. However, I just want to put all of my efforts to 100 pushups today, I don’t try to think about another 100 pushups tomorow or next week, 100 pushups to finish today is all I care about.

Sometimes we are over-excited to do 100 pushups. It’s fine, we just layout and doing 100 pushups without rest. We may be able to do the first 30 pushups, and we are done after that. We can’t do a single more because our muscles already reach its limit.

In a different way, we are over estimate our capacity and under estimate the problem.

We need to understand the work better before working on it. To understand the work, we have to break it down to multiple smaller tasks that seems to be unbreakable.

To do that, we can ask ourselves some questions before doing anything. The purpose of asking ourselves questions is to use have a better picture of something we are going to do.

There are some sample questions I have started to use recently:

  • What do I think it is about
  • What I already know about it
  • What I want to know about it
  • How this resource can help me understand this completely

Then go and do it. After finish, answer these questions

  • Before this, I thought …
  • But now I think…
  • What is still unclear
  • What I need to figure out more
  • And what do I still need to learn later on

By asking these questions, we can find out what the task is about, the reason we have do it (sometimes we know we need to do it but we don’t remember why it is important, just because it is in the todo list). Answering these questions, we remind ourselves why we need to do it, hence we are more focusing in get it done. However, sometimes we find out some items are no longer necessary, then we can cross them out of the todo list.

I feel better after writing this post, it is a task in my todo list for this weekend. I usually have a big todo list for the weekend. Most of them have never get finished. I think I can make this weekend a bit different, and hope the same for you.