Lost for time? Timeboxing makes time work for you.
The nuts and bolts: Timeboxing allocates a fixed and maximum unit of time to an activity within which planned activity takes place.
You’ve got two options to make a project ‘wow’ — you can work until it’s done or you can set a time limit for a task to get done as “best you can.”
In the land of start-ups, working until it’s done usually doesn’t work. There are simply too many other tasks that also have importance. When you look at all the start-ups we’ve helped, everything comes down to one principle — “How do we get something to market quickly?”
We’ve worked with enough failed start-ups to know that perfection is the death of a start-up. The beauty of a new company is that you can learn from your mistakes quickly — not that your goal is to cause them — but the lessons learned become tools to help you succeed faster. Mistakes are sometimes more valuable than all the right answers.
Timeboxing helps you focus on getting stuff done quickly so you can get the feedback you need.
Think of timeboxing as planned procrastination. Let’s break it down:
- The goal is the focus, not the time. Yeah, that’s a bit backward considering we’re talking about timeboxing. However, by continually focusing on limiting what you’re doing based on the availability of time, you’ll actually focus on the result. Strange, but true.
- It builds teams faster. Part of growing a team is learning through education and sharing knowledge. The faster you learn, the more the team benefits. Timeboxing keeps this exchange of information happening faster.
- Personal satisfaction is high. Nobody wants to struggle through a project that lasts for weeks and produces no results. Completion and instant feedback are two of the biggest factors in employee morale. Timeboxing helps keep these front and center.
- Deadlines don’t have to be debilitating and can actually be liberating. They sharpen focus and cut out a lot of possibilities so you’re not wasting your time on a bunch of “what ifs.”
Timebox is a time-tested method for getting awesome results.
At ZURB Wired with Downtown Streets Team, we set some ambitious goals, and we’re happy to say not only did we accomplish them, but had time to even crank out some additional pieces thanks in large part to timeboxing. If we hadn’t carefully planned out what we were working on, we wouldn’t have been able to finish within that crazy 24 hour time frame.
Overall, it was a great effort for a great cause and we produced 5 different print materials, banners, bus ads, sandwich boards, redesigned their website, and even revamped their messaging. Overall, a huge success!