Leeway …

File:Leeway Angle.jpg

Do you plan some leeway into your actions?

Me too …


I often allow for a “skoosh”more room in my clothes.

The bank account may have a few extra dollars in it  … at least on good months.

I overestimate the time needed to complete something, by a few minutes, a few hours, a few days, a few something …

I give a student some leeway on an assignment turned in a little late.



We tend to use the term “leeway” in two ways:

1) Some amount of extra time or space for what we do.

2)  Giving someone the benefit of the doubt


We rarely use this term in the spirit of the original definition:

“ … the amount of drift motion to leeward of an object floating in the water caused by the component of the wind vector that is perpendicular to the object’s forward motion.[   (Wikipedia)


If you asked me how I determined the amount of leeway for the activity, I would smile and say “I just add a little” and try to change the subject.   The reality is that I am guessing at how much extra I may need.

We tend to think of leeway as some nebulous amount of extra space that we plug into our planning …

However, leeway is a calculated and measurable as defined and illustrated above is a little more exact than this.  Figuring it requires that you measure and quantify the situation, the effects, and the desired outcome.


“A few” becomes  “six” or “until point B is reached” or some other easily identifiable marker.


How would your actions and planning change if you adopted a more intentional approach to figuring your leeway?


Maybe a little more specific and measurable leeway, based on something more than a guess?


Maybe the parameters of expected actions and behaviors would be clearer?


Just asking …


Trying to figure out exactly how much leeway these pants need before I buy the next biggest size in the Heartland ….