The end of the year is an auspicious moment to see how far you’ve come with your goals and check if you’ve discovered the best way to stay focused.
It is not so complicated to stay focused on your goals as long as you have a method that supports them and keeps the stress away.
Timeboxing is one of the best ways to improve focus and keep the momentum going far past January.
We can hear the drumrolls of 2023 already, so use this opportunity to perk up your focus at work!
Is Timeboxing the Best Way to Stay Focused?
You can apply many techniques to stay focused on your goals, including priority management and structured communication. But timeboxing makes the backbone of it. It is an external regulator that pushes you in the right direction whenever you stray away.
What is Timeboxing?
Timeboxing is a time management technique in which you allocate a certain amount of time to an activity (you box the time) and stick to the task in the “boxed” time.
Time is the only resource you have a certain amount of without the chance to recycle it or extend it. Therefore, one of the best ways to stay focused is to be in command of your time.
The amount of time you book per activity is called a timebox. A series of timeboxes ordered and coordinated during your day and week allows you to clearly see where your time “goes” and discover when you are so unaware that you can’t stay focused and dedicated to meeting your goals.
Timeboxing in Agile
Although timeboxing has its roots in agile software development, you shouldn’t confuse them.
In agile, timeboxing is a method in which a software task must be accomplished and a piece of software released.
A software release is a broadly defined term, and timeboxing makes software development create a time framework for easier task management. It helps developers produce tangible pieces of work while committing to the process and staying focused on the goals.
That process commitment and focus on goals are what you can use to develop your own timeboxing system.
How to Do Timeboxing to Improve Your Focus
To stay focused means to stop multitasking, avoid distractions, and dedicate your attention to a single task.
A timeboxing system defines who can communicate to you, when, and why, and saves enough time for you to concentrate on important work.
Time boxes help you stay focused on your goals because they provide a clear overview of what tasks to delegate, what to stop doing, and what you must do on a regular basis because it is important.
Here is how to do timeboxing the right way:
1. Decide what your activities are.
Activities are actions that lead to accomplishing your goals. So, to define your core activities, you need to be clear about what your goals are.
2. Set up a personal calendar.
You can choose any type of calendar from the work tools you use, Google, or Microsoft, e.g., and start appointing time to each activity.
For example, ask yourself the question: What is important for me in my morning routine?
Then, assign time to that activity and use the box to complete it. If another priority presents itself as more important, be aware that you can reprioritize it by moving it further ahead in the day or the week.
3. Have a clear plan for your time boxes.
It is up to you to know what should take the most of your time and when.
In this way, you are in control of your time and not dependent on extractions or others’ requests who are constantly looking for your attention.
4. Do the hardest thing first thing in the morning.
Before the harmful and addictive pull of distractors such as app notifications and social media grab your attention, do the deep work.
Deep work is the one in which you have the excellent concentration to provide high-quality work in short periods of time.
5. Assign communication time boxes.
Communication time boxes are slots on your calendar when you are available to respond to other people’s messages. You can do this two or three times a day, depending on the type of work you do, but whatever you decide to do stick to that. If it is 8:00 am and 3:00 pm, don’t communicate out of these boxes. Keep your phone away, and your email notifications silent, and inform your clients and team that you won’t be available for them at these times.
6. Book your calendar on the basis of your personal priorities.
Move your time as you wish and not according to what others need from you.
7. Ask for meeting preparation.
A meeting preparation is, in a nutshell, a meeting agenda with files attached and shared via a calendar app. Consequently, whoever asks for a meeting must prepare ahead, and the time box will be most productively used. Meeting preparation is also one of the best ways to stay focused, stop reacting to whatever comes to you, and run your business in 2023 like you’re the boss of your own time.
8. Have group Q&A sessions.
Group meeting sessions in which you communicate with your team can easily free up to 4-10 hours per week. They replace one-on-one meetings and help team members participate in some questions and answers. Such Q&A sessions transform into knowledge-sharing sessions, which not only disengage you when unnecessary but also provide growth opportunities for growth for your team.
9. Use a work management tool.
Inevitably, unplanned activities will arise, or you will have to move and replace certain activities in their assigned time boxes. Once you set all the time boxes in which you’re available, use a work management tool to create a card for things you won’t be handling immediately. You can come back to them once you have a free slot to do them. Alternatively, you can decide to delegate them or simply decide that they’re not worth your or the time of anyone else on your time because they’re not relevant or do not lead to your goals.
The work management tool paired with the calendar timeboxing template makes a workflow framework that pushes you to stay focused on work.
If you are ready to become the boss of your own time and priorities in 2023, there’s an entire blueprint and a 4-step roadmap to transition your teams and your entire business into a self-managing business to get more time, more focus, and better results.
Click this link and get free access to the blueprint video training.