One of the important ‘skills’ which is associated with effective time management is the ability to accurately estimate the probable duration of a to-be-scheduled event or task. The present study explored the effect that presenting a highly salient, similar to-be-estimated task had on a subsequent task estimate. Participants in this experiment tended to allocate significantly less time to the completion of a task if they had previously estimated the expected duration of a similar, shorter task. Conversely, they tended to allocate significantly more time to the completion of a task if they had previously estimated the expected duration of a similar but longer task. The results are discussed in relation to future developments in scheduling/time management software.
Forsyth, D. (2006). Determiners of accuracy when making an expected duration estimation: The role of ‘past’ event/task saliency. (Department of Management and International Business Research Working Paper Series 2006, no. 7). Auckland, NZ: Massey University. Department of Management and International Business