Boost Your Productivity with this To-Do list Alternative

Though to-do lists are useful, not everyone can utilize it correctly. I’ve been using a method called timeboxing and it has boosted my productivity immensely. This helps me keep track of everything I do throughout the day and also helps eliminate procrastination. I would suggest trying this method out for a weekend and see if it helps you stay organized and help complete tasks throughout the day. This article will give you a rundown of what are the benefits of utilizing timeboxing and how to use the template provided.

Benefits of Timeboxing

These were the key benefits I found by using this method.

  1. Eliminates procrastination

Since I started using this method, I noticed that I could stay on task for a longer period of time. The method is called time blocking, where I split every hour into 30-minute blocks, this means that I do a certain activity for 30 minutes and I do a different one for the next half an hour. Here’s an example, say it is 5-pm, for the first half of the hour, I will work on my SAT prep and for the next half an hour I can go on break. This means that I don’t have to focus on a single task for hours at a time and instead I can break it up into 30-minute blocks and not tire myself out doing the same activity till 6-pm shown in this example.

2. Helps you prioritize important tasks throughout the day

Aside from breaking up tasks into time blocks, there is also a list that helps you keep track of what’s important and what should be completed by the end of the day. This system is better than the to-do list because a standard list helps you keep track of activities that you should finish but doesn’t help you prioritize what’s more important because there are usually too many things on that list. This helps you pick out the most important tasks and helps you schedule your time-block around those tasks.

How To Timebox

The arrows show the numbers in the timebox corresponds to the numbers on the list on the left

The diagram above shows how it’s use and it’s quite simple.

  1. List your top three (or more) priorities in order on the top left column.
  2. create a separate list with less important tasks to finish throughout the day on the bottom left column, this doesn’t have to be in order, the numbering shown above helps place the task in the time blocks in the next step.
  3. In the time blocks on the right column, place your top priorities (the number associated with the task to save space) early during the day so you can finish them sooner, the separate list with less important tasks can be done later during the day. the [:00] represents the first half of the hour and the [:30] represents the second half (see how it’s being used on the diagram above).
  4. This step is optional, if you get distracted easily, putting your phone on do not disturb helps you maximize productivity.
  5. Cross off all the tasks that has been completed on the time blocks, if you haven’t completed some activities, then circle it so you can add it to the top priorities list the next day (as shown above).

This is how I use timeboxing, but it may look different for others. As you get more comfortable with this method you can add your own elements to fit your criteria. I personally use a whiteboard, but this can be done on paper, a word document, or even on your phone. This method has been used by many professionals and the most notable being Elon Musk, which is how I got to know about this. you can find a template by clicking on this link here.

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