How to Use Timeboxing: Elon Musk’s Weapon for Time Management
It is no news that Elon Musk has an insane work schedule. Working more than double the hours of the average full-time worker. He spends most of his time working on several projects at his main companies, Tesla and SpaceX. He also spends some time on his other ventures The Boring Company and Open AI.
According to Ashley Vance’s biography on him, he spends 4 days a week with his 5 children. There’s no doubt that Elon Musk has what is possibly the busiest schedule of any human on the planet.
But how does he manage to achieve so much given the time frame? It’s been revealed that Elon Musk plans his day in five minutes increments and has everything pre-planned in advance. This is a technique known as Timeboxing. It is also used by other notable personalities such as Bill Gates and Carl Newport.
What is Timeboxing?
Spica defines the term, “Timeboxing simply means that you open your calendar and enter a block of time that you’ll spend on a certain task in the future. Instead of working on the task until it’s done, you proactively decide how much time you’ll spend on it and when (and even where)”.
Some might argue that planning your entire day in advance essentially makes you a robot but it’s all about perspective. With timeboxing, you have less unstructured free time to waste and thus you’ll be achieving more than you use to. Here are some of the key benefits of time boxing.
It forces you to prioritise work
There is a range of benefits to using timeboxing to handle your regular assignments and delegate work. Deadlines enhance the focus of some people and improve their creativity, especially if they are procrastinators because the time limits force them to disregard distractions and prioritize their job.
It removes excessive choice from the equation
You could spend a lot of time trapped in analytical paralysis when making decisions, or you could struggle to sign off on projects until you’re sure they’re error-free. This can make you fall behind on assignments, which affect the remainder of your day. Timeboxing will keep all perfectionist tendencies under control and restrict the amount of time you spend on tasks of low value.
If you struggle to focus throughout the day, it may be because of multitasking. Most of us find that we lose time as we frequently move between tasks. .Timeboxing, though, narrows your focus to one activity at a time, and you know you will switch task once you have completed each one.
Helps measure productivity
Ultimately, timeboxing provides you with a way to calculate your levels of productivity. During your peak productive period, you can use this data to plan high-priority work and save less meaningful activities for periods when you are more likely to be distracted. Timeboxing can also help you determine if you have sufficient time for other projects so that you do not push yourself too hard and risk fatigue.
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