Time-Boxing (Efficiency Hack #7)

Efficiency Hack #8: Use Time-Boxing

If you want to be really efficient and get things done, then use time-boxing. Set aside a fixed amount of time to work on something and then don’t stray outside of the boundaries.

Work in blocks of time like this to recognize the fact that you can’t do everything at once (as Isabelle explains very well with research and guidance on this weeks article on multitasking).

If you want a specific and more detailed example of time-boxing then read the article I wrote about the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a great technique to get things done and remove distractions and it really helps you focus when you know you have a finite amount of time to work on something.

In fact I’ve been using it this morning as I have lots to get through, I’m just about to stop and have lunch, but to give you an idea, here is my list so far:

Task Start Time Time Spent Task Status
Email <10 & General Admin 9am 25 mins Completed
Continue Writing LTG Book 10am 25 mins In Progress
Wealth Project Prep 10.30am 25 mins In Progress
Property Appointments for Monday 11am 25 mins In Progress
LTG Efficiency Hacks or Wealth Tip Post 11.30am 25 mins In Progress

(the last one refers to writing this by the way)

By the way if you’re worried about not finishing in the allotted time, the point is not about whether you finished or didn’t finish something, it’s more about focus. In the case of the pomodoro technique you can use it to split your time between various tasks to help with efficiency, time-keeping and prioritization. If you are not finished a particular task then you would assign another block of time to it, either after a break or after spending some time on a different task.

Another way to do time-boxing is when planning to decide how much time you need for each activity and then stick to that time so as not to upset the overall plan. Time-boxing in this way can help focus on what you will actually do within the allotted time for any given activity.

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