Examples: checking calendar, doing dishes, making lunch.
Examples: prepare 7 days worth of medication at once. Read email only twice a day. Cook 3 days worth of food at once.
Note: batching requires an above average level of discipline. You need to be capability to focus on one type of work through several, boring repetitions. You need to tune out distractions until the batch is done. No scatterbrains!
THE 5 MINUTE RULE
If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now.
Examples: put a book back on the shelf, fold a blanket, put dishes away.
The time boxing idea is simple: create a box of time dedicated to a task; that box must have a clearly defined start and finish. Use that time to focus on the task, and avoid distractions. Really, it’s a process of setting short term deadlines. These deadlines create a little push to keep you focused and efficient. The end of the time box could be measured in minutes, hours, days, or weeks, depending on the nature of the task.
The time boxing concept is also part of the Pomodoro Technique, which involves using a kitchen tomato timer for 25 minute focused periods, followed by a 5 minute break. Some variants also include a longer break after several consecutive pomodoros. The unit of one pomodoro is also used to estimate how much time is required to complete a project. This is very useful for freelancers when estimating cost for a client.
Note: time boxing goes hand in hand with batching!
Inverse Time Boxing
Where time boxing focuses on what happens during a time box, inverse time boxing focuses on what does not happen. Also, instead of emphasizing the end of the box, inverse time boxing emphasizes the beginning of the box, the time to start the task.
Despite your own agenda, often, someone else is determined to steer you their way. Their task is always more important, and they go to great lengths to distract you. Your inbox fills up every morning with requests from these people. You can ignore them, but they only become more insistent. You want to stay focused on what you planned to get done, and context switching totally sucks. There has to be a better way!
Inverse time boxing works like this: when someone makes a request of you, and you’re in the middle of your own important stuff, tell them when you can start working on their request. This works because: a. they like getting a response, b. they may find someone else to do it, c. they may do it their self, d. it wasn’t that important anyway, or e. it was seemingly important at that moment, but not by the time you can start.
Thanks for reading! My mission in writing these posts is always to help uplift at least one person. If only one person is uplifted, the world is a slightly better place. Your comments and feedback make writing extremely rewarding; I truly appreciate receiving them. Stay legendary!