How to Use Timeboxing to Write Articles Efficiently

Don’t Seem to Have Enough Time? Try This!

Used across a variety of fields and disciplines, timeboxing is an effective and efficient time management strategy used by many Expert Authors to balance article writing with other tasks.

Simply put: Timeboxing allots a period of time for a task or activity.

Seems simple enough, right? It is, but timeboxing involves motivation, dedication, and even flexibility.

By giving yourself a limited amount of time to complete a specific task, you create a sense of urgency. These deadlines provide added incentive as well as the ability to over-deliver while maintaining efficiency.

In short: Timeboxing gets things done.

Timeboxing 101

The process is simple! Here’s how to incorporate timeboxing into your daily efforts:

  1. Ready? Decide on the amount of time to dedicate to a task. For example, you might allot two hours to draft an article, 20 minutes of editing, and another 10 minutes for finishing touches. Use this timesheet (PDF) to help track tasks by recording when it should be done and for how long.
     
  2. Set? Get a timer and set it to an appropriate time amount. As you begin to feel comfortable with timeboxing, challenge yourself by creating a soft deadline that is less than the time you allotted. Strive to do more in less time.
     
  3. Go! Start the timer and focus on performing the task by eliminating distractions. Try using white noise generators to keep out noise or listen to music if it’s not distracting. Turn off your phone and notifications. Bottom line: Give yourself a completely distraction-free zone.
     
  4. Time’s Up! Pencils down, heads up. Stop your task and review your work. Did you finish? If not, why? Plan for it in the future by refining the process each time – strive for better value in less time.
     
  5. Incentivize! When your task is complete, reward yourself. Rewards come in many forms: It may be that sense of pride you gain from crossing off a task, taking a break, or rewarding yourself with a treat or luxury. Creating an incentive will help you strive to do better and be faster in the future. Finishing is always more rewarding than procrastinating, so celebrate!

Timeboxing helps you train to gain enhanced focus. It encourages you to break tasks down into smaller chunks and perform them in short bursts – anywhere from minutes to hours. The alternative? Putting off “far away” deadlines at the end of the week, the month, the quarter, or even the year.

Those who have reported using the timeboxing technique stated their writing amount doubled because the motivation helped them concentrate and perform on their own terms. Increase your chances at success by giving the timeboxing strategy a try!

Additional Time Management Resources

Pair timeboxing with other strategies for added success and efficiency to become an unstoppable force.

  • Mentally train and consider SMART goals by becoming a peak performer. [Learn more.]
  • Evaluate your time strategy by pinpointing time sinks, eliminating distractions, and identifying your goals. [Learn more.]
  • Consider your long-term strategy by creating an Editorial Calendar. [Learn more.]

12 Comments »


1

Hi penny,

I have read your article about “How to Use Timeboxing to Write Articles Efficiently” but I have a question. I think using time limits for writing articles may not be helpful to create innovative articles. Yes I know Time Planning is very essential in management but I doubt whether it will work in case of writing quality articles. What do you say?

Comment provided October 30, 2012 at 9:59 AM

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Tim writes:

You have to create the notes and do the research in advance for what you are covering in your article. That work, too, can be timeboxed. It’s much easier to write on schedule when you have all of your notes or an outline ready for you to start writing.

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Tim writes:

I love the timeboxing technique! (I didn’t even know that’s what it’s called!) Before I set aside a specific time for writing, I would let days go by without meeting my quota…and then wonder why I didn’t have very many articles at the end of the month. Setting aside a specific time for writing each day is what has allowed me to write over 1000 articles per year.

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2
Penelope Young writes:

I’ve recently discovered the Pomodoro technique which is similar to the one you describe. I love the way it turns what could be a tedious task into a game. Setting the timer – it has to be a mechanical kitchen timer – helps me focus and I get such a buzz when it rings. I power through work.

Comment provided October 30, 2012 at 10:02 AM

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3
Peter Nehemia writes:

I’d love to try this timeboxing, but not so fast as the example. Two hours for drafting? 20 minutes for editing? No, ma’am, that’s too fast for me. I think I need to stretch the time allocation for the first project. May be after I get used to the schedule I will be faster in writing. Good tips. :)

Comment provided October 30, 2012 at 2:03 PM

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4
Lance Winslow writes:

If you practice such time management principles, eventually it will become second nature in everything you do, and it becomes your default method of completing tasks – any task.

Comment provided October 30, 2012 at 6:57 PM

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5
Randall Magwood writes:

Great post Penny. I especially like the additional time management resources section. Helps me to stay on track.

Comment provided October 30, 2012 at 8:14 PM

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6
Tina Mundy writes:

Penny
Thanks for yourpost about How to Use Timeboxing to Write Articles Efficiently.
I’d love to try this timeboxing.

Comment provided October 30, 2012 at 9:44 PM

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7
Ishtiaq Husain writes:

Hi Penny,
Thanks for the tips on Timeboxing to improve efficiency in article writing. I found your article very useful for time management.
Regards.
Ishtiaq Husain

Comment provided October 31, 2012 at 1:59 AM

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8
Betty L Eriksen writes:

Just what I needed thank you, Penny. A great article on time management thanks, Penny, and I intend to get the kitchen clock out right now. The time allocations should work well to get me motivated and motoring.

Comment provided October 31, 2012 at 4:48 PM

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9

Good tips. I will give it a go but I think one needs to be flexible and not too rigid.

Comment provided November 1, 2012 at 4:14 PM

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10
Betty Eriksen writes:

Great article on time management, thank you, Penny.
I have used the kitchen clock, but without timetabling my days events, which is something I think I need to do in order use my time more productively.

Comment provided May 13, 2013 at 6:44 PM

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