Having trouble staying focused? Having trouble prioritizing your work, or your time? Having trouble planning efficiently? As many people are forced to work from home during these uncertain pandemic times, there are many more time management issues that are arising. The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship held a webinar on November 17th with guest speaker, Tracey Grace to tackle these topics by utilizing a concept known as Timeboxing and offering support and advice to facing these issues.
Tracey Grace is the President and CEO of IBEX IT Business Experts. She has worked in the business industry for 8 years. She claims timeboxing has made a huge difference in her life and wants to share the good news! Timeboxing is a form of time management and is a planning skill that was outlined by James Martin in his book Rapid Application Development. Timeboxing consists of setting allotted maximum amounts of time for an activity and then completing the activity as planned. Tracey suggests that this shift away from to-do lists and towards a more time and calendar-based approach is more effective because other people can have access to your calendar, and it provides a comprehensive record of your completed tasks and keeps track of the duration of completing the tasks.
Tracey has introduced the concept of timeboxing into her life planning and has found success and efficiency. She claims that there are many benefits to this method of time management. These benefits include being able to focus longer, being able to free up more time, guarantees productive meetings as an outcome, promotes a healthy work-life combination and separation. She mentions the stress and anxiety reduction benefits as well. Trace states ‘Timeboxing allows you to reclaim your time and make the most out of your time!’ This time management tool has been a beneficial tool but is often confused with time blocking.
Though Timeboxing and Time Blocking are similar they are not the same. Tracey Grace outlines timeboxing as being more flexible allowing for large periods of time to be boxed such as minutes or months and states that it acts as a limiting method to avoid spending too much time on just one task. She also goes further into this concept by splitting up the concept into two types to what she refers to as soft timebox and hard timebox. She describes a soft timebox as consisting of completing a big task by breaking it down into smaller subtasks and a hard timebox as a task that once completed it can be entirely forgotten about. Tracey also shared an example of her own weekly timeboxing routine and gave her best advice! She pointed out that to be the most effective during your time as possible it is important to remember to set up your time strategically. She also mentions the importance of scheduling pre-planning and post-planning time to increase efficiency and retention. The other two important rules to remember is that each box must have a definitive start and end time and there should also be personal boxes for time with you, your friends and family. This timeboxing method is super flexible as it could easily be implemented on paper or a planner, but also online with apps such as Cloickify, Trello, Pomotodo, Timebox Timer, and Do Now.
All these rules and suggestions from the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship Webinar with Tracey Grace are great to consider when implementing your timeboxing method to your everyday life and work planning! By introducing this tactic to your everyday planning, you are guaranteed to reduce stress and increase your efficiency! Give timeboxing a try today!