Have you ever prepared a to-do list for the day? With all the responsibilities people face in school, family, and their career every day, the answer is probably yes. Writing down the things you need to do can feel comforting, as it allows you to mentally organize and plan your day in advance. But while a to-do list strategy may work for some people, many are still guilty of leaving the items on their list undone. This assumption is even backed by a research study by IDone. If making a simple to-do list is proving to be ineffective for you, the best thing to do is look for a new or improved method that can help you accomplish more in a day. One productivity hack that you can try is called timeboxing.
What is timeboxing?
In many ways, timeboxing is similar to making a to-do list, you simply write down your tasks for the day. The difference here is that you add a specific time frame for the goals you set for yourself. For example, if you wish to work on a house project, you can allot 2-3 hours for it in your calendar. The idea is that for the time period you set, you commit yourself to solely doing a certain task. Ideally, you will declare the task as done once the allotted time has elapsed. It is then time to move on to the next task on the list.
Why is timeboxing effective?
Timeboxing is a better time-management strategy because it eliminates some of the problems that make a list of to-do items ineffective. In a simple to-do list, you face the risk of listing too many things because you do not take into consideration the amount of time it will take to finish a task. Timeboxing, on the other hand lets you identify at a glance if the tasks are already unrealistic. Also, the time constraints present in a timeboxing method puts urgency in a task so you are more compelled to work on it. The time set for each tasks also lets you avoid overworking or ignoring other tasks. Aside from increasing focus, breaking down tasks on several periods also makes a task less overwhelming.
Quick tips about using the timeboxing method:
Estimate the time you need. You need to know how much time you need to finish a certain task so you can set a doable timeboxing calendar. For those who are new to the method, it may be best to start with short time periods for a task.
Avoid distractions. Discipline remains a key factor in any productivity technique. So strengthen your willpower by avoiding urges to do things that keep you away from the task such as checking emails, messages, or procrastination.
Adjust accordingly. You cannot always finish one task within the allotted time and that is fine. However, timeboxing does not come with a rigid rule. Therefore, you adjust your schedule depending on the importance and urgency of a task.
Utilize reminders. Help yourself remember your time limit for each task. You can print the calendar for a visual reminder or set an alarm timer to know when it is time to do the next tasks.
Take breaks. You have to give yourself time to rest and recharge too. Thus, remember to allot time for breaks in between tasks.
Every day is a gift, they say and we have to make the most of it. Letting one full day go by without accomplishing or finishing anything worthwhile feels like a terrible waste. You can avoid this unfortunate scenario by trying the strategies life coaches and mentors suggest. One technique worth a try is timeboxing. Give it a go and you may just find the key to maximizing your productivity in a day!