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15 Time Boxing Strategies to Get Things Done - Litemind

https://litemind.com/time-boxing/

litemind.com

15 Time Boxing Strategies to Get Things Done - Litemind
Putting it simply, time boxing is the most effective time management tool that I know of. Even if you already know and use it to some extent, there is a good chance that you can make it even better with some of the tips that follow.

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Time boxing

Time boxing

It is one of the most effective time management tools.

Time boxing is about fixing a time period to work on a task or group of tasks. Instead of working on a task until it’s done, you commit to working on it for a specific amount of time.

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Dealing with small tasks

Dealing with small tasks

Time boxes are a great way to tackle those small but annoying tasks. 

A good strategy for dealing with them is to fix a time period and tackle all of them at one sitting.

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Overcome procrastination

Overcome procrastination

If you're procrastinating on a task, don't force yourself to finish it. Just put it in a time box.

Setting a time for it will help you overcome your resistance towards the task and chances are that when the time is up you’ll have built enough momentum to continue working on it much longer.

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Conquer perfectionism

Conquer perfectionism

If you're a perfectionist, you probably dwell on a task for so long that when you notice, a big chunk of your time is gone.

To avoid perfectionism, having a definite cut-off time for a task is one of the best strategies you can use.

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Sharpen your focus

Sharpen your focus

Time boxing a particular task helps with excluding other tasks and unrelated thoughts from your radar during that particular time window. 

Reducing mental clutter is essential if you want to be fully productive.

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Boost motivation

Boost motivation

Big tasks, no matter how important, can be demotivating, because you need to work for too long to see their outcomes.

But just like the simple act of crossing off items from your to-do list can be motivating, so is successfully completing a time box. Completing a time box works as a visible sign of progress.

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Raise time awareness

Raise time awareness

How many times have you wondered at the end of the day where did all your time go?

Being more aware of how much you can really fit in your time helps you say ‘no’ to unimportant things more often. Structuring your day in time boxes will help you control how you spend your time.

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Create a work rhythm

Create a work rhythm

You only get maximum effectiveness if you properly balance periods of work and rest. Time boxes provide a great framework to allow this balance to happen. The key is to find your own rhythm.

Alternating between different types of time boxes (such as work/rest, or hard/easy tasks) maximizes your use of energy and enables you to accomplish much more. 

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Get meaningful work done first

Get meaningful work done first

Working on your most important projects first thing in the morning will guarantee that you do meaningful work in your day. 

Create a time box to work on your biggest goals every day — before the world out there has a chance to disrupt your plans.

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Balance your life

Balance your life

We usually become too focused on a specific area of our lives at the expense of others.

Pre-allocating time boxes for the things that matter most is an excellent strategy to help you live a balanced life.

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Switching between tasks can have damaging costs to our work and productivity.

Develop the habit of single-tasking by forcing your brain to concentrate on one task and one task only. Put your phone away, close all the browser windows and apps that you don’t need. Immerse yourself in this task. Only move to the next one when you’re done.

Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life depends.” 

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Being purposeful with your day

Being purposeful with your day

Time management is about taking control of the time you do have available and using it optimally for productivity while creating balance.

How to plan your day

Much advice about time management is about creating a to-do list, reminding you what you want to do. However, it's more important to use a schedule, which tells you when you're going to do it.

  • Create "bookends" for each day. Consider your morning and evening routines, then "block" in time for your most important tasks. For example, a 2-hour writing-block every morning after breakfast.
  • Set aside time for your most important projects. The object is to be purposeful about what and when you're going to do something.
  • Schedule in breaks. A schedule has to be realistic. That means including time for breaks, food, exercise, social time, and other "non-school" tasks that keep you happy.

Be aware of how you’re spending your time

To build a better time management system, you need to know what you currently spend your time on. You need to know where you're losing time to the wrong things.

To track your time, spend a few days writing a "time log" to track how you spend your day.

Obstacles to Getting Stuff Done

  • The habit of putting off starting, because it’s uncomfortable.
  • Maybe you get started, but then constantly switch to other tasks.
  • You put off starting (or finishing) because con...

Picking one important thing

If you focus on getting the small stuff done but not the big stuff, or switch between tasks all the time, you’ll be less effective.

Pick one important thing to focus on at a time and learn to evaluate what tasks and projects are of higher value to you.

Starting

It's best done by focusing on the smallest first step and practicing just launching into that.

Pick the tiniest first step, and launch into it.