If you’ve ever struggled to be on time, prioritize your day, or manage your to-do’s, timeboxing may soon become your greatest ally. While there are various methods of time management, the advantages of timeboxing may win you over if you need a new solution.
First, let’s define timeboxing.
According to Scrum, Inc, timeboxing is “allotting a fixed, maximum unit of time for an activity. That unit of time is called a time box. The goal of timeboxing is to define and limit the amount of time dedicated to an activity.”
Think of this like a school day. When you were (or are) a student, you have predefined blocks of time for certain activities. You move from one subject or class to the next for a set period of time, whether your task is finished or not. During that time you are focused on the single subject, project, or topic, with fewer distractions. In an educational setting, this method of learning helps direct our attention toward the task at hand.
This is one of the primary advantages of timeboxing.
The familiar rhythm of your days in school mimic the days you spend in the workplace. In contrast to your school years, however, you choose your schedule. You prioritize your tasks and block dedicated periods of time to accomplish your to-do’s with more focus and greater efficiency. In the case of work, timeboxing is any dedicated period of time set aside to accomplish a task. It may last a minute, hour, day, or week
Here are some of the other advantages of timeboxing.
In general, deadlines are motivational. They create an intense focus on the project at hand in order to complete what’s necessary. By harnessing temporal motivation theory, “our focus increases relative to our expected value of it in relation to the time table during which it is available to us.” In other words, you hustle! Even procrastination can lead to greater efficiency in the end.
Moves teams forward
With timeboxing, your team has a dedicated period of time to start and finish projects. For project management, this is an efficient way to create a deliverable and iterate quickly. In the case of teams and project management, timeboxing will likely extend weeks instead of hours or days.
If you’re constantly late to meetings and appointments, one of the advantages of timeboxing is limiting the distractions that prevent you from showing up on time. When your day is driven by this time management technique you are more likely to abide by your timeline. It keeps your day on track and keeps you less distractible.
Dedicating time to the things that matter most will help boost your confidence and efficiency. Use timeblocking to dedicate time to your top priorities. Each day’s “boxes” can look different or they can be the same, depending on your work and preferences. Either way, you spend time getting your most important to-do’s checked off each day, which is one of the many advantages of timeboxing.
So, how do you know if timeboxing is right for you? Try it! Dedicate a week or a month to this practice to experience the advantages of timeboxing first-hand. Let us know how it goes!