Advantages Of Using Time Boxing

By Begm Schievink

I want to share with you a scheduling technique that is new to me but has been around for many years: nowadays it's referred to as "Time Boxing". I was recently made aware of the concept through a virtual assistant (VA) forum I belong to and in more detail through two business associates of mine, and now that I've implemented and utilized it for the past several weeks - I want to tell you, it's great!Those of you that are familiar with me or my previous articles know that I am a huge fan of To Do Lists and Checklists. However, I admit that it never occurred to me to merge my lists with my daily calendar - which essentially is what Time Boxing is.
Find Out More About [Task Management Software] Here.

The concept is simple: block (or box) time on your calendar to complete projects and tasks. This will help you reach deadlines in a more organized fashion plus it helps you set aside time for other essential tasks. The key is to block time for everything you do including menial everyday tasks to reoccurring projects to family or "me" time. Block your entire day (if at all possible) so you get an honest feel for the time you truly have available. The results may surprise you!Time Boxing eliminates procrastination (for the most part) because it tells you when to begin working on an item on your To Do List. And it will help curb your perfectionist tendencies because when you find that you are locked on a project (a problem I battle with), it will tell you when it's time to stop and move on to something else.

As a virtual assistant, I have projects come in throughout the day. Some may take as little as five minutes to complete, others may take several hours to days to complete. In the past I have found that tasks which take just a few minutes to do seemed to get put off, waiting for something else for that client so it would take longer. Now, by using the time boxing, I may schedule 30 minutes from 9:00am to 9:30am to update Client A's contact manager with address changes and new people, post Client B's blog, and schedule Client C's ezine. Each task may take only a few minutes, but it's in my 30-minute block of time.

The next advantage is often listed as an end result or the product of time boxing: Productivity. Once you learn the basics on how it can help you reset and attain focus and discipline, productivity often follows. But remember to keep you work up to par, too. You need to be both productive AND produce the best quality.

Be strict with yourself. If you blocked off one hour starting at 10:30 to work on the $3 million proposal or research for your next article, start at 10:30, set a timer and stick to it. (You can use a kitchen timer or you can download a free online timer.) You may be on a roll, and you may not want to quit, but stop and go on to the next time box. If you continually find that an hour isn't enough time, then adjust your time to 1-1/2 hours to work on the $3 million proposal. There will be days that unexpected things happen -- interruptions, emergencies, etc. -- don't stress those! Just move your time boxes to the next'll be better tomorrow.By using time boxing, you may also find there are areas in your life that are lacking. Start blocking off time during the day to devote to those areas, whether it be social, spiritual, or physical.Now...take those gloves off, get serious and kick some butt -- uh, I mean time!!

About the Author:


Post a Comment