inability to efficiently manage time often lands us in hot water, with hordes
of delayed assignments and fast-approaching deadlines. Keeping up with the
daily activities then becomes a Sisyphean task where you do not actually get
anything done but are always in the grind with no way out.
While most of us are eager to start and end
our daily tasks on time, very few of us are actually able to do that because of poor time management. Even with a set to-do list or proper
planning, staying on track is a difficult feat. Fortunately, we have the gift
of different time management tools and techniques that
aid in improving our time efficiency.
People use different methods and tools to
make the most of their time. On average, a person uses around 13 different methods for time management. Among these
different methods, one that has proved its efficiency time and again is
Timeboxing is hailed as one of the best
methods for time management. The method targets gaps in time management to help
you improve your work productivity. Additionally, the technique can help you
fight procrastination and narrow your focus for better working.
This article will answer your questions as to
what is time boxing and how to use time boxing.
What Is Time Boxing?
mentioned earlier, timeboxing is a time management technique.
The unique method offers a different approach to time management wherein
you allot a specific time to a task.
This method of management can help you focus
your attention on the task at hand without any distractions or lapses in the
focus. Your goal is to accomplish the task within the specified time limit.
There is no flexibility in terms of increasing your time.
Scheduling your tasks into timeboxes
significantly improves the time spent on tasks. When you start your timebox,
you have to rid yourself of disturbances to make sure you optimize your working
during this time and accomplish your goal.
Hard Timeboxes Vs. Soft Timeboxes:
There are two types of timeboxes that you can
schedule your work in:
- Hard timeboxes: Hard timeboxes have a rigid limitation where adding a few minutes or
even seconds is out of question. It implies the complete cessation of whatever
activity you are performing and moving on to the next task. Hard timeboxes can
prove beneficial especially when you aim to improve your efficiency over time.
It might take a little getting-used-to to come to terms with the method, but
gradually you will learn to time your work accordingly.
- Soft timeboxes: In contrast, soft timeboxes are flexible in which you are notified
whenever the specified time is up. You can then, make adjustments in your work
accordingly. Soft timeboxes can help bring back your focus to the task so that
you can speed up your work and complete the task as soon as possible.
Choosing between the two is completely up to
How To Use Time Boxing?
How to timebox your tasks? Managing your time
through timeboxes is as easy as it seems. Follow the following steps and you
will realize how easy and quick it is to manage your time with timeboxing
1. Create A Timebox for The
Items in Your To-Do List
The first step of the technique involves
determining the complexity of each task on your to-do list and allocating a
timebox to it. You have to determine the approximate time that will be required
to complete the task and create a timebox accordingly.
Make sure to leave some time for breaks and unexpected disturbances that may hinder the smooth
working. You should have sufficient time to complete the task within the
2. Set A Timer on Mobile or
you have figured out the time you will spend on each task, you can set a timer
that will alert you whenever you have to move on from one task to another. The
time will help you stay focused so that you can optimize your work performance during
that time and accomplish your goal within the specified time.
You can use your phone or desktop for this
3. Hard Timebox or Soft Timebox
Before starting the timer, you can also
decide whether you will go with a hard timebox or a soft one. A hard timebox
will work better if you are looking for perfection and are certain that you
will be able to complete the task without any delays.
If you are not sure about the time limits or
are afraid that it might take more time to complete the task, you can go for
soft timeboxes that offer more flexibility. A soft timebox will give you the
freedom to adjust your time and keep yourself focused on the
4. Start The Timer
Now that you decided everything, the only
thing left is to start the timer for the timebox and start working. The end of
the time limit does not only indicate the end of the allotted but also notifies
you of the impending task that needs your attention. So, make sure to follow
5. Evaluate And Revise
Once you have completed your tasks, evaluate
your performance and revise your schedule to improve your work efficiency. Take
a look at your performance during the day and analyze whether you completed all
the tasks on time? Is there any room for improvement? How can you optimize your
With each evaluation, you can identify the
gaps in the process and develop strategies to enhance your productivity.
All in all, timeboxing is a simple and easy
technique. You can easily use the method to make significant improvements in
Benefits Of Timeboxing Your Daily Tasks
has several benefits to offer, some of which include the following:
- Better focus: With specific time allotted to each task, timeboxing can help you focus
your attention on the task underway. In such a way, you can also train your
mind to stay attentive during the specified time period.
- Better organization: Timeboxing will help you become more organized. Since you have specified
a time limit for your work, you’ll learn to organize your tasks in such a way
so that they get completed within that time limit.
productivity: The technique can
significantly improve your productivity levels by helping you stay on track and
accomplish your tasks within the time allotted.
- Helps deal with procrastination: Timeboxing can be especially helpful if you are dealing with
procrastination. The method can help you focus better and invest your time in
the task at the right time.
- Prioritizing: With timeboxing, you can learn to prioritize your tasks. The most
important tasks go first and are allotted time accordingly while the less
important ones go next and vice versa.
- One task at a time: With laser focus and a specific time limit, you can invest your
attention in one task at a time. This way you will be able to complete the task
within time and then move on to the next one without any hurdles.
- Goal-oriented: Timeboxing is a goal-oriented method, you are not just limiting the time
you spend on a task but setting a goal for
yourself; your goal is to accomplish the task within time.
- Prediction: With a time limit allotted to each task, you can predict the amount of
time you will save yourself or the time you can invest in other tasks.
- Time-saving: Probably the most obvious of all benefits is time-saving. Timeboxing can
prove to be especially helpful in managing your time the most efficiently and
getting your tasks done in the shortest time.
With all these benefits, timeboxing can help
you ace all your tasks within the deadline.
Tips To Make Timeboxing Work for You:
Before we conclude this article, we would
like to add a few tips to make sure that the technique works for you:
- Pre-plan your tasks: Before you start with the process, make sure you have planned everything
out. For example, which task will you complete first? How much time will each
task need? How can you utilize your time most efficiently? etc. Planning is a
great way to kickstart your progress and make the most out of your time.
- Keep Your Timer in Front of You: To keep yourself focused and avoid distractions, keep your time in
front of you at all times. The timer will help you analyze how much time you
are left with and how you have to make your way around it to make sure your
task gets completed within that time.
- Take regular breaks: By taking regular breaks you are not wasting your time but rebooting
your system to maintain the same level of energy you had at the start of your
day. So, take breaks within each task and between different tasks.
- Avoid distractions: Since you have set a goal for yourself, you ought to make sure that
there are no distractions in your way. Set aside a space for yourself where you
can work, turn off all notifications, and make sure that there are no other
distractors in the way of your work. By doing so, you can increase your
- Set similar tasks together: Moving from one task to another can be difficult especially when
both tasks are poles apart. To minimize the time spent on refocusing your
attention, you can set similar tasks together so that you can quickly get on
with the work without missing a minute of your time.
- Use a management tool: If you find it difficult to create a list and create timeboxes manually,
you can take help from an efficient time management tool.
The tool will help you create tasks with specific time limits. Time tracking
features of such a tool will help you keep up with the task.
You can take help from these tips and create
efficient timeboxes for your work. These tips will surely come in handy when
you are working with timeboxing.
We hope that this article has answered all
your answers related to timeboxing or how does it work. What do you think of
this technique? Is there any other technique that you use to manage your time?