Timeboxing to beat Parkinson’s Law

The problem: Parkinson's Law

Parkinson's Law states that that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Think of your projects. How often do you either procrastinate or obsess over trivial details simply because you have the time? I'm a perfectionist, so I'm tempted to spend way too much time on projects.

The solution: Timeboxing

I use timeboxing to combat Parkinson's Law. With timeboxing, you divide the project (or your day) into fixed time periods that have specific goals. During each timebox, you focus exclusively on achieving the goal, ignoring everything else. At the end of the timebox, you take a break before beginning the next timebox. This forces you to get things done.

I live by GTD (Getting Things Done), and I had heard about the similar Pomodoro Technique, but I decided to really get into timeboxing after seeing it used used on This Week in Web Design, one of my favorite web design podcasts. The technique isn't for everyone, but it works for me.

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3 comments on “Timeboxing to beat Parkinson’s Law”

  1. Great post Chad!

    I used to have a problem with my tasks never getting done because they weren't \"good\" enough to be called finished. Now I just set a deadline of X amount of pomodoros (which in my case, each one is 25 minutes) and get the project done.

    I have found that I am way more productive when I can focus on one thing at a time. It helps my ADD (self diagnosed, of course) brain complete tasks.

  2. The Technique of Timeboxing could be a Real Game changer.

    It could help us to deal with the Problems of Procrastination and Over analysis.
    Sometimes spending too much time coming up with the Perfect plan could be detrimental.

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