The secret of efficient time management is time boxing. This is when you literally need to think inside the box (NOT outside!). Arranging your time in systematic boxes helps you to crank through your work and boost productivity.
If you are struggling to keep being productive this guide will be a real lifesaver. Keep reading our blog post and find out:
- What is time boxing?
- How to get your time boxed?
- How to create an effective calendar?
Are you ready to make result-driven changes in your routine?
What Is Time Boxing?
Time boxing is a time management technique that implies allocating fixed blocks of time for tasks in advance. Using this tactic, you break your schedule into so-called time boxes and complete each activity within the allotted time frame. When applied correctly, a time boxing approach allows you to walk hand-in-hand with the time you have.
The main idea behind a time boxing technique is that a timer infuses the feeling of urgency. Rather than wasting precious work hours on distractions, you know you have a defined period of time to make as much progress as possible.
Time boxing is all about prioritizing important assignments and increasing productivity. Such well-planned sessions let you estimate how much time you exactly spend on each task and get rid of mental fatigue.
Benefits of The Time Boxing Technique
When arranging our upcoming tasks, people often become victims of the planning fallacy. We are being overoptimistic about the duration of future projects and tend to underestimate the time needed to complete a specific task. Time boxing is a powerful weapon against inaccurate predictions. And this is not its mere advantage.
As an efficient time management technique, time boxing offers multiple benefits:
- Easy to get started: Psychological research governed by Dr. Pychyl has shown that procrastination has nothing to do with self-discipline. Rather, we postpone critical things to eliminate negative emotions associated with huge projects. Time boxing allows you to avoid unnecessary overwhelm and keeps you focused on manageable chunks of work.
- Increases awareness of where the time goes: You can easily track how much time you spend to finish each task. The time box keeps you within fixed limits and helps you remain organized.
- Boosts productivity: You concentrate on the most significant responsibilities and bring your attention to what needs to be done in the first place.
- Allows to avoid distractions: Neverending notifications, team chats, and updates require a great deal of attention. And while checking an email indeed takes several seconds, such disruptions keep constantly growing. This is where a time boxing technique comes into play.
- Prevents overworking: Strict boundaries are instrumental in providing a clear vision of the deadlines of each task. You eventually block your calendar from unwanted processes, and thus, decrease overtime.
With time boxing techniques you will be in control of every valuable minute and make sure that important processes aren’t interrupted with disturbances.
How to Time Box Effectively?
If your to-do list is long as an arm, you can easily get stressed out. Don’t fall into this trap – use time boxing. With the help of this simple, yet, effective method, you will be able to take the most of your working schedule and maximize your output. Follow the following five steps to time box calendar management and increase productivity.
Step 1. Find Tasks for Time Boxing
Overall, you can choose any task for your timebox calendar. However, it would be best if you have assigned timeboxes for undertakings demanding enormous effort and dedication (e.g., writing a book or developing a website). By setting achievable milestones, you will essentially enjoy the whole process rather than being discouraged by a colossal amount of work.
Step 2. Assign a Timebox for Each Task
Once your tasks are selected, decide when and how long you want to work on each particular project. Let’s say you are writing a 200-page book. You’ve got 2 months to finish it. Now that you know your ultimate objective and target deadline, let’s do some Math. To achieve the final goal, you need to write around 4 pages a day. This means that you will finish writing your book in 50 days, and spend the remaining 10 days revising and making improvements.
Step 3. Estimate and Allot Time
Now let’s move on to the crucial stage – time-boxing chosen tasks. With the final goal in mind, you need to assign daily start and end points for every upcoming project. Think when is the most suitable time for each specific task. For example, you might not get along with writing in the morning. In this case, consider shuffling some responsibilities. Assign morning hours to physical activities like cleaning or exercising, and allot daytime hours to writing.
With the great assortment of online tools, creating a time-boxed agenda has never been easier. Try free instruments to build an assignment schedule and plan every vitality wisely.
Step 4. Leave Room for Breaks Between Time Boxes
Don’t forget to give yourself a break. Providing some space for short breaks in your timebox planner will ultimately reward you with increased attention on critical projects. Make sure you recharge your batteries before feeling drained up. Sometimes you might want to step away for a while to get your creative juices flowing.
Your time boxing template may look something like this.
Step 5. Review Results After Each Time Box
With a clear plan it will be much easier to organize your day. But make sure that you are constantly reviewing the progress. We recommend using a timer on your phone to monitor your activities. Yet, there is one rule: once the time tracker starts, it must go off. Once you complete each task, take some time to assess your achievements. Did everything go as it was planned? Did you have enough time for task completion? Were there any distractions? Note down everything and update your time boxing calendar.
Work out your concentration muscle by putting your time in organized boxes. This approach will allow you to make progress much faster and enjoy better results. Challenge yourself to hit milestones, and take some time to reflect upon your improvements.
Using Time Boxing to Increase Productivity
- Find Tasks for Time boxing
It would be best if you have assigned timeboxes for undertakings demanding enormous effort and dedication. By setting achievable milestones, you will essentially enjoy the whole process rather than being discouraged by a colossal amount of work.
- Assign a Timebox for Each Task
Once your tasks are selected, decide when and how long you want to work on each particular project.
- Estimate and Allot Time
With the final goal in mind, you need to assign daily start and end points for every upcoming project. Think when is the most suitable time for each specific task.
- Leave Room for Breaks Between Time Boxes
Don’t forget to give yourself a break. Providing some space for short breaks in your timebox planner will ultimately reward you with increased attention on critical projects.
- Review Results After Each Time Box
With a clear plan, it will be much easier to organize your day. But make sure that you are constantly reviewing the progress. Once you complete each task, take some time to assess your achievements.