You should read this article because it explains the 5 killer rules for working effectively. These are rules that work and are simple and practical to put into operation. We only have a short period of time on this earth so why waste it if we don’t need to. 5 minutes of your time invested now will result in considerable savings in the future. Also, being a ninja is cool.
Just a friendly footnote before you read on. I do not advocate violence in any circumstance and so you must use these rules solely for effective working and not for causing injury by force…unless of course the 12 year old kid won’t give you any of his candy and you really, really want some – but even then, it is a last resort.
Not as violent as it sounds, timeboxing is one of the easiest and most effective ways of staying focused and limiting wasted time. Parkinson’s law states that work expands to fill the time available for it so we use timeboxing to put this law to work for us.
A 30 minute task can easily become a 4 hour marathon episode if the entire afternoon is dedicated to it or no clear timebox has been defined for completing the task.
It is important to define a beginning and end time for any given task – this time frame is it’s time box, hence the term timeboxing. I like to use time boxes of half an hour as you will be surprised at how many tasks can be complete within this 30 minute period. I also tend to begin any task time box on either the hour, quarter past, half past or quarter to as it makes it easier to work out the end times very quickly.
If you get into a habit of not breaking these time boxes you will find very quickly that all your faculties; concentration, focus, creativity etc will work more effectively to accomplish the tasks if there is a definite end goal.