Timeboxing. What it is and why it makes you super-efficient

Written by  //  April 18, 2013  //  Daily Juice  //  No comments

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Continuing my quest to fit a little more into my day (more on the quest here and here), I’ve been experimenting with timeboxing. And I love it.

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Timeboxing itself is dead simple. You just:

1. Pick a task you want to get done
2. Decide how long you want to spend doing it
3. Set your timer for that amount of time
4. Start doing the task and stop when the timer rings

That’s it!

Hardly rocket science but BUT but, it’s really fab for making you super-efficient.

How? Well it’s down to this:

We have a choice. We can either work as hard as we can until a job is done or we can fix the amount of time we have available and do the ‘best’ we can.

By nature I sit in the  ‘work as hard as we can’ camp. I think most small biz owners do. We want to do the best job possible and in the absence of a boss or other person setting our schedule, we keep on working, tinkering and perfecting until the job is well and truly done.But I’m starting to behave differently and  – through timeboxing – I’ve been living in the “fix the amount of time’ camp.

My goodness. It’s fabulous.

It wasn’t easy to switch sides and it’s taken me a while to fully embrace it. But it’s really helped me get stuff done.

Here’s how:

1. Procrastination

It’s nipped procrastination in the bud. Once I’ve decided what to timebox I set the timer straight away and get on with it. I think the fact that I can see a finish line to the task helps me get started!

2. Perfectionism

You might not believe this given the state of The Business Bakery website (!), but I’ve always struggled with perfectionism. I have trouble finishing stuff because I know it could be better. I can happily tinker with things forever.

With timeboxing I have to finish when the bell goes and although I still want the job done perfectly I’ve finally accepted that when it’s 95% fine it’s good enough.

3. Predicting

I’ve worked out little timeboxes for recurring tasks. At the moment mine are mainly writing based  – so I have a timebox for a blog post, an article, a business recipe (more on that when new website appears!). My  friend who makes dresses for little girls has timeboxed the time for one dress – she does the whole thing start to finish in one timebox.  My cakey pals are timeboxing different parts of the cakey process, another friend is timeboxing her daily marketing tasks. You get the picture.

When you’ve worked out your timebox for recurring tasks it’s easier to predict how much you will get done in a week. Rather than setting off on Monday morning hopeful of squeezing a lot in, I know what’s doable!

4.Prioritising

I like to start the day with a timebox task. There’s nothing like getting something meaty done to give me the enthusiasm to pack lots more into the day! Because I only timebox important stuff it ensures I start the day with something a little more productive than a play on Facebook.

What about you? Are you a timeboxer? Do you think you could give timeboxing a go, or are you a committed ‘work- hard-until-the-job’s-done’ type?

 

 

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