I recently took on some added projects because of necessity. My current place of employment is feeling the financial pinch and has kindly decided to pass that on to its employees as furlough days. Watching my paycheck shrink has spurred me into action. I can’t survive this loss of income much longer so I had to do something. Not that I wanted any more work to do, since I’m already in the process of writing a novel while juggling my life as a singleton, which translates into ‘doing everything myself.’
I’ve decided to pursue several creative avenues that would bring in multiple streams of income using the talents I already possess while also developing some new ones. I will also continue writing my novel AND work at my full time job. Overload? Perhaps. Ambitious? Totally. But manageable if I learn how to use my time efficiently and focus on the task at hand. This is where the concept of Time Boxes comes into play.
Time Boxes are great to use when you have projects that are complex or appear daunting at first, or when you are juggling several projects at the same time. Time Boxes allow you to get things done.
So what are Time Boxes?
Time Boxes are fixed amounts of time assigned to a task or project that you want to work on. For example, let’s say I set the timer for 30 minutes to edit my novel. Next, I set the timer for 60 minutes to clean the closet. Then I set the timer for 30 minutes to file paperwork and unload the dishwasher. Finally, I give myself a Time Box of 3 hours to go to my favorite park or see a movie.
Time Boxes keep me from procrastinating or experiencing burnout. When the Time Box is empty, I’m done working on that task. No ifs, ands or buts. Time Boxes give me the structure I need to get things done, have fun, and eliminate the feeling of being burdened with the ‘too many tasks and not enough time’ syndrome of modern life.