Timeboxing: a tool for time management
Time is one of the most valuable assets we have, which everyone knows about it! But how in just 24 hours can we be more productive than others?
Although there is no universal answer to this question, we can say that it largely depends on the choices we make every day. Meaning, how each individual decides to invest every minute of their day.
In this sense, the word “time management” has gained more and more popularity within the business vocabulary. At the end of the day, it is through this type of methodologies that the time and quality of the activities are optimized. Thus, it is even easier to maintain a balance between family, leisure and health.
Timeboxing is within the best techniques of time management. This is an ideal methodology for you if:
- You are not going out with friends and family on account of work;
- You cannot deliver a task until everything is perfect;
- You have tried various techniques and they have not worked for you.
Thinking about this profile, we made this article so that you can learn a little more about time management through timeboxing. Check it out!
What is timeboxing?
Very similar to the Pomodoro technique, this time management tool called timeboxing allocates a number of minutes or hours for the execution of a task, which could be thought as “boxing time”. Now, with this technique of time management it is possible to separate or allocate a certain amount of time to the execution of a task or group of tasks throughout the day.
The idea is to use only the “scheduled” hours to start and finish the jobs. Note that this methodology proposes an investment of time to a specific task. Usually, we work on a task until we complete it, regardless of the time spent. With timeboxing, it is you who will determine the work time.
In this methodology, the important point is the time you will devote to the completion of a task, and not the task itself.
Now that you know what this time management tool is, we’ll show you how to implement it. Continue reading this article.
How to use timeboxing?
To begin with, it is necessary to break with a belief: managing time is complicated. And the truth is that it is not true! It’s just the opposite, and we’re going to show you:
- Make a list of activities of the day or of the week;
- It stipulates how much time can be invested in each activity, or group of activities (do not forget to stipulate the time for breaks and consider interruptions that may eventually occur).
- After starting a task, put the timer on to let you know when the timebox for that activity is over. After that, start with another activity or have an active pause and go for a coffee.
At the end of the day, it is important that you make a feedback: Was it possible to complete the tasks? Was the forecasted execution time ideal? Only by doing this will it be possible to stipulate more realistic amounts of time in the future.
Making use of a time management tool such as timeboxing, has a series of benefits such as:
- Organization: through the timebox, it is possible to have a micro vision in relation to the time invested in the execution of activities, but also a macro view, to understand when you can perform new activities. In this way, you can plan your free time better;
- Focus: when you determine a time limit, it means that you cannot waste a single second in distractions. This can be a way to increase productivity and attention at work;
- Indecision: the timebox does not leave space for indecision, because due to the time limit that you have, it is necessary that you invest all your efforts to carry out this activity. This is ideal for those who have difficulty making decisions;
- Fast delivery: with timeboxing, it is possible to organize to deliver large tasks more quickly. You can spend a longer period of time to devote only to those activities. This guarantees a greater precision in the delivery of results;
- Motivation: probably, you should have already had the feeling of opening a to-do list at noon and not having done any of them. This demotivates anyone, is it not? With timeboxing, every hour you have completed a new task, and this motivates you even more the rest of the day.
- Creativity: limiting the time for the realization of activities can also mean a limit in creativity, since you will have to streamline the execution of activities to meet the stipulated time. In this case, this technique of time management can be negative in terms of the quality of work;
- Silence: despite doing the time management taking into account any interruptions, if your work environment is not quiet, fighting against time is definitely not an option. After all, interruptions can hinder work;
- Low productivity: at times we are so focused that we reach a high level of productivity in a certain task. This can happen when the time limit established from the beginning is about to conclude. In this case, stopping and moving on to the next activity may be counterproductive.
- Need for organization: the timebox requires organization and autonomy to accompany the evolution of the time invested in each activity. Therefore, if you fail in this aspect, this technique of time management may not be the best option for you.
Since timeboxing does not work for everyone in the same way, you can opt for other tools for time management, such as Pomodoro.
This technique of time management proposes that the work to be divided into blocks of time. According to its creator, Francesco Cirillo, that is a way of stimulating the brain to stay focused during the performance of each activity. The work period stipulated by the author as an ideal is 25 minutes. It works in a similar way to timeboxing:
- Make a list of tasks;
- Set your timer for a time of 25 minutes;
- Start working on one of your activities;
- When the timer warns you, instead of going on to the next task, you must pause for 5 minutes;
- Bonus: Every 4 blocks of 25 minutes, it is ideal to pause for 30 minutes before returning to work.
Now that you know some time management techniques, how about applying these methodologies? Tell us how it goes!