Time Management for When There Is Not Enough Time
There never are enough hours in the day, how can we maximize our time when time won’t wait for us?
Written By: Kate Couch and Tony Sprando
Time management is something we start learning as early as 6 and really never stop learning. It’s something that goes into every area of your life. If you have bad time management in the morning, you’ll be late to work. If you have poor time management at work, you’ll be late for dinner, or you might not get assignments done on time. If you had poor time management in school, you have bad grades. If you have poor time management in the kitchen, you’ll have burnt or cold food. Time management truly does affect every single aspect of our life if you really sit down and think about it. Time management is crucial in business, and there’s been a lot of time management trends throughout the years. The newest time management trend is called “timeboxing.”
Timeboxing is a modern theory of time management. Benjamin Franklin wrote over 260 years ago, “You may delay but time will not.” His idea still stands true today. There are never enough hours in the day. I frequently find myself saying, “Well, I’m going to have to push that until tomorrow,” or, “If I just had another hour.” Unfortunately, I struggle with time management all the…Time (no pun intended.) Typical time management oftentimes looks like a to-do list. Walk the dog, write a presentation, send out emails, make phone calls and more. We accomplish this to-do list by starting on a task and working on it until it’s finished. Timeboxing is actually somewhat of the opposite. When you make a timeboxing management schedule, you schedule a certain time for things. But once that time is up, you stop doing that task. This means won’t finish all of the tasks you need to at the beginning. Some things are straightforward; you walk the dog for 30 minutes. Others are not as simple, such as working on a presentation for only an hour.
This may seem like a problem at the beginning. The idea is, when you block off a certain scheduled amount of time for tasks, your productivity will then learn to meet that time requirement. This helps eliminate distractions and increase your productivity. Maybe checking emails normally takes you an hour to two hours. You might find yourself getting distracted or having to reread emails over and over again. But when you only have 30 minutes to check and respond to emails, it becomes something that needs to be done now. Your brain will go into hyper-focus, getting the task done before time is up. It’s definitely a learning curve in the beginning, and you probably won’t be able to finish tasks in the time that you give yourself. The goal: The more consistent you are with timeboxing, the more you will be able to meet your time limits.
Most professionals recommend having time boxes of 25 to 30 minutes. Timeboxing has become increasingly popular over the last decade and is even used by famous businessman Elon Musk. Elon Musk encourages five-minute time boxing. He tries to block off every five minutes of his day, scheduling every little thing with the minimum amount of time it takes to do it. This means that he genuinely makes the most out of every day. It’s not meant for everybody, but a little bit of timeboxing in our lives (especially with strict deadlines or activities you might like to be more productive with) can make a big improvement in your personal and professional life. Timeboxing encourages increased productivity but also discourages distractions. It makes buckling down and getting the job done a lot easier. If you make timeboxing part of your daily schedule, it might also feel less overwhelming to fit excess things into your schedule.
Timeboxing is definitely an interesting way of time management. It’s heavily encouraged by businessmen and professionals and it’s something you should consider trying.
*This article is Tony Sprando of AV Bends intellectual property. To use or reference this article please contact: Tony@avbend.com*
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