Time Boxing

A goldfish grows to the size of it’s tank.*

 

It’s been said over and over, the only scarce resource today is time.

One of the most overlooked and underused tools is time boxing.

 

Time Boxing

Time boxing is the art of providing a time in which you will work on or accomplish something. It’s amazing how much you can get done in 15 or 30 or 45 minutes.

When I plan my day and give myself a set amount of time to accomplish things, I often do. Obviously I can’t build an aircraft carrier in an hour, but for knowledge workers it is amazing how much we can get done by setting deadlines.

Because I am getting much more done in a day, I reward myself with time to learn, or do something I want, which is ok since I’ve gotten much more done than I ever expected.

 

In Practice

When calling someone, ask ‘Is now a good time?’

If someone calls, you don’t have to answer.

If you choose to answer, you can say, I have X minutes before my next meeting / appointment / call / massage appointment.

When you need to leave, it’s fine to say I have a desk full of work / feral cats / someone at my door that I need to get to.

 

As a highly paid consultant I worked alongside often said ‘No is an acceptable answer.’ 

 

* I know there are many factors and there is a capped size of goldfish.

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