What Is Timeboxing?

Timeboxing is a time management method used by employees to increase their work productivity and eliminate procrastination. Workers open their calendars and create blocks of time, or simply timeboxes, on a given day to mark the hours they would need to finish a specific project task.

How Does Timeboxing Work?

Timeboxing works very similarly to scheduling meetings in a calendar. When an employee wants to create a timebox, they choose the day on which they will create this block of time and decide on its starting and ending time.

Afterward, employees add the desired outcome of the timebox, e.g., to complete a specific project task in 45 minutes, and reserve that timeframe in the calendar. The timebox ensures there will be no rescheduling or any distractions until the task gets ticked off.

Employees who work on longer tasks and projects assign timeboxes to themselves in advance to stay on top of things and have control over their work schedule.

Types of Timeboxes

Employees use two timeboxing methods – hard timeboxing and soft timeboxing.

Hard timeboxing includes individual tasks that are not connected to one another as part of one larger task. Employees complete a hard timebox task and review it to ensure everything is correct and move on to their next task.

Soft timeboxes are slots for a series of smaller and more manageable tasks that are part of a longer project. While each task has a separate timebox for clarity, they are still scheduled one after the other to allow employees (and managers) to keep track of the main project’s progress.

The Advantages of Using Timeboxing

While there are many benefits to using timeboxing, here are some of the main ones that help employees stay on top of their game.

Task Organization

Employees use the timeboxing method to organize their work schedules. When employees have their work schedule already laid out, it allows them to focus on their tasks and manage their time better. With timeboxing, workers can divide their tasks into categories based on their difficulty level (e.g., light, medium, or hard) and distribute their workload adequately. 

Timeboxing also eliminates procrastination in cases where difficult tasks pile up in succession. Employees can divide their tasks so that they tackle one difficult task per day and work on regular tasks for the rest of their work hours.

Productivity Boost

The timeboxing method helps workers fight distractions and boost their productivity and focus as their schedules are planned out and their time slots are booked in advance. 

Dealing With Issues

Timeboxing helps workers with perfectionism issues who tend to get stuck on one task and over-work themselves clear out their plate by allocating enough time for themselves to complete a task without feeling pressured. 

When employees have a full roster of activities, the timeboxing method allows them to dedicate a specific amount of time to each task before they move on to the next one without being forced to multitask or jump between different tasks.