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Timeboxing: successfully complete your to do lists!

4 mins read

Do you find yourself procrastinating? Or spending too long on one task on your to-do list and leaving less time for the others? Do you struggle with work-life balance? Use the timeboxing technique to keep track of your to-do list while you set priorities and assign periods of time to your tasks!

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Why timebox?

Many studies and surveys show timeboxing to be the most effective time management method. So much so that many entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk and Bill Gates, use this technique to aid their success and productivity. 

This management technique prevents procrastination and allows for a comprehensive representation of your progress on your tasks. 

Additionally, it helps eliminate multitasking and focuses your attention to one task which lets you feel less scattered. Moreover, individuals and teams can use this technique.

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What is timeboxing?

So, what is timeboxing? Essentially, the technique converts your to-do list into time blocks which put a focus on the timeline of the task, which allows for better management. 

You can use apps to help you organise. But ultimately you block out time (minutes, hours, days or months) for tasks. 

Figure out what scale works best for the scope of your tasks. However, I would advise you to break the bigger tasks into smaller chunks so you can.

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How to timebox

Write all of your tasks in an unordered list: This can serve as a brain dump to which you can refer and gather your thoughts. 

Prioritise your tasks: by deadlines, importance, and time and effort. 

Estimate the length of tasks and set your timebox length. 

Make sure you are not overworking yourself. You can overcome this by applying other time management techniques such as the Pomodoro technique. It is essential you give yourself time for breaks in your day to ensure you do not burn out.

Put your priority tasks into these timeboxes and get started!

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Tips and tricks 

It is essential you remember to give yourself breaks and reward yourself for completing tasks. This keeps your motivation high. Examples of this could be going for a walk or playing with a pet. 

When you complete your tasks, you will find yourself getting increasingly more motivated. This is due to the release of the reward hormone dopamine

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If you are the type of person who cannot get motivated, you need to use this hormone release to your advantage. This is done by breaking your bigger tasks down into smaller ones.

Make your timeboxes visible and coloured – colour code and define the boxes. Use both physical and digital diary calendars.

Commit to your set timeboxes. Do not change around things after they have been set. It may take you time to adapt to the technique, but the more you do it the higher the chances of you mastering the technique will be. 

It is essential you are realistic when setting a time goal for the box of your task. You do not want to be rushing and lower the quality of your work. But conversely, you do not want to be taking too long on tasks. The idea is optimality in your time spent on tasks. 

Featured Image Credit: MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

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Final year Biology & Psychology student with a keen interest in music, food and lifestyle pieces.

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