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How to stop stretching yourself too thin

Today’s tip: Cancel 20% of your plans.

Whatever you think you can get done in an hour, a day, or a week, it’s probably an overly optimistic assessment. “Lots of us fall prey to the ‘planning fallacy,’ a cognitive bias in which we fail to accurately predict how much time we need to complete a task,” Lydia Smith explains. “In one study, students working on a project estimated they would finish it 30 days earlier than they actually did.”

Counteract that cognitive bias by signing up for less than what you think you can realistically handle — or moving a few things off your plate. That goes for your social plans, work projects, and anything on your personal to-do list. For anything you do stick with, you can slow down and give it your full attention.

📚 More from Forge on taking on only what you can handle:

How to Bail Without Being a Jerk

A 3-Step Plan to Manage Your Energy All Day

A 5-Step Road Map for Saying ‘No’

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