Time Management: How to Work More Productively with Timeboxing

Time management methods are currently very popular. No wonder. Who doesn't want to work more concentrated and focused to complete more tasks? In this blog post we are going to talk about the time management methode Timeboxing.

Timeboxing Definition

Timeboxing is a technique that comes originally from project planning. Instead of spending as much time as necessary on a task, fixed time windows (timeboxes) including the final result are set in advance. This ensures focusing and prevents multitasking. The most important rule: The time windows are consistently respected and not exceeded! Depending on the scope of the task, a time unit is defined by minutes, hours or days.

All briefly summarized:

  • Method originally used in project planning
  • Fixed time windows
  • Predefined final result
  • Focus instead of multitasking
  • Time units in minutes, hours or days

For some, this approach is already familiar from agile project management methods. Timeboxing, for example, is used in Scrum. Here, events such as daily scrum or sprints are planned as fixed timeboxes. It is also interesting that Scrum teams often hold their daily scrum meetings while standing. So everyone keeps his questions short and the set time frame is not exceeded. Other time management methods also work with the principle of time boxing, such as the Pomodoro technique.

Advantages of Timeboxing

Timeboxing has some benefits if it is consistently carried through. Because then the method creates focus and this - in times of countless e-mails and numerous parallel running tasks - is enormously important.

Timboxing ensures:

  • Focus instead of multitasking
  • Increase of effectiveness
  • Less procrastination
  • Motivation

Disadvantages of Timeboxing

Timeboxing is not a miracle cure and does not automatically make you more productive. It is also not suitable for all kinds of tasks or meetings. For example, when it comes to creativity or brainstorming, a lot of space and time is needed. Time pressure is a rather obstructive factor. It is also important to always pay attention to the quality of the results. No matter whether with or without Timeboxing, the goal should always be a high-quality work result.

Timeboxing with InLoox

Timeboxing is child's play with InLoox, because the basic idea of a project management software is already based on the scheduling and planning of projectsactivities and work packages. So how can you easily use InLoox for self-organization?

First of all, we take a look at your personal tasks - which means all project-independent tasks. The best way to organize them is via a backlog project. How does it work?

 

1. Create a new InLoox project e.g. “Backlog Rita”. In this project you work agilely on the Kanban-Board to organize your personal tasks.

2. Adjust the status of the Kanban board to your individual needs. The following statuses are helpful for our backlog project:

  • Backlog
  • Backlog Week
  • Backlog Day
  • Done

How to edit the Kanban status in InLoox Web App

How to edit the status of the Kanban board in InLoox Web App

3. In the Backlog column you first collect all pending tasks. Here you simply enter all the tasks that are due. Also all to-do's with low priority. This way you make sure that you don't lose sight of anything.

4. At the beginning of each week you drag the important tasks for that week into the column Backlog Week and at the beginning of each day you drag the tasks to be done today into the column Backlog Day.

Organization of the backlog project is done via the Kanban Board (here InLoox Web App)

Organization of the backlog project is done via the Kanban Board (here InLoox Web App)

5. Now it's time for timeboxing! Define fixed time windows for the tasks in the Backlog Day column. Define the timebox for each task via start and end including time. 

Timeboxing a task with InLoox Web App

Timeboxing a task with InLoox Web App

6. In the description or in the note field, you then enter the desired outcomes.

7. If you like, you can synchronize the daily tasks with your Outlook calendar to block the time windows. 

8. In the InLoox options you can also define if and when you want to be reminded of the start and end of InLoox tasks.

 

Important: Don't plan too many tasks for one day, because there is also the daily business as well as your respective project tasks. By the way, the project tasks can be "timeboxed" in a similar way. Here you will work with a different Kanban board, but you can still keep the procedure with the definition of the effort and the final result.

 

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