There are days when we can’t focus on our work. Some days it’s effortless to flow on our work rhythm and someday we just can’t focus on our work. We simply don’t feel like working at all. We usually feel the urge to do something else as soon as we try to focus on our work.
We all human beings are professional procrastinators. I don’t know why but all of us procrastinate a lot, and you know it well. It’s just that some of us learn to deal with it effectively whereas others struggle to overcome it. Since we all procrastinate, it’s really hard for us to get our stuffs done. Usually, complex tasks are hard for us to complete or even start at the first place.
I’ve figured out an effective strategy for it and it’s called the Time Boxing method. However, this technique is not the only way to overcome procrastination, but instead, it’s one of many. A technique that works for others might not work for you. There’s no one magic technique for procrastination or anything. Experiment all and figure out which works for you. This technique might or might not work for you.
It is a simple time management technique I use often.
Whenever we have to complete or work on complex tasks, we tend to procrastinate and shift it to further date. As a result, we never get it done. This is where time boxing technique comes in. The technique is to spare some time for some particular task. Spare, for example, 30 minutes for any task you don’t like. Don’t push your self too hard to complete the work. Just work till 30 minutes or till your allocated time period. If you complete it then, you’ll finish your complex task, if not then you can set another time boxing period for another date.
Give yourself a specific amount of time, which you won’t go over, and you simply do the best job you can within that time.
For example: If I have to write something and I don’t feel like writing then I’ll set timer for 15 minutes and write only for 15 minutes. I don’t expect it to be great, I just try and get it done. Since, there’s only 15 minutes to write, I won’t feel like procrastinating. Instead, I’ll feel the urge to write since there’s only 15 minutes left for me to write.
Time boxing can be done for everything. Don’t feel like reading? Just set the timer for 10 minutes and commit yourself for reading only 10 minutes. Since your brain will be aware that it only needs to read for 10 minutes, which is easily doable, it starts to read without procrastinating.
Time boxing also makes getting started less intimidating. It’s a lot easier to begin on a task you only have to do for fifteen minutes than on something you have to spend an indefinite amount of time on.
I’m using this trick for programming. Whenever there’s really complex programming task ahead of me, I tend to procrastinate and leave it. So now, what I do is, create a timer for 30 minutes and just work on it for the fixed time. Sometimes I get it done and some other time there’s some work left to be completed. Either way, that’s an advantage for me, instead of not getting anything done.
Time boxing method works because whenever you have to commit on something for a very limited time and you don’t have any expectation, you tend to throw yourself into it. It’s not hard for us to work on something for a very limited period of time.
It also makes us complete the work faster because there won’t be anything for us to worry about.
Getting started on a task is often more difficult than doing the task itself. So, next time whenever you feel like kicking the balls of work, use this technique.