Sometimes I see productive people interchangeably mentioning time blocking and time boxing. You can use these productivity techniques to save your time and energy while working on different daily tasks. But what is the difference, and which one should you use? I will describe them in this article.
Time blocking is deciding time windows of the day for different types of work or projects.
For example, you will spend from 9:00 to 11:00 on developing your most important project, then from 11:30 to 14:00 on communication with clients or customer support, then 14:30 to 16:00 on marketing, and lastly from 16:30 to 17:00 on wrapping up the day and planning for tomorrow.
Using this technique, you will stay within the same context, procrastinate less, and always know what to do at a specific time.
Another productivity technique, time boxing, is to define a time window to work and finish a specific task. For example, I gave myself 1 hour to write this blog post. Time boxing lets you focus better, get into the flow, and put all your energy into the task at hand. Using this technique, you will avoid stubborn perfectionism and be more likely to reach your milestones on time.
Time boxes can take 15 minutes to several months.
Which productivity technique is better for you?
What to choose to become more productive depends on your priorities and goals.
If you want to be organized, have a routine that works well for you, and have long-term projects, use time blocking.
Use time boxing if you have a time-sensitive project with strict deadlines, teamwork with dependencies on each other, or just want to get things done.
You can also combine time blocks and time boxes. Because some work is vital in general, and other work is time-framed and urgent.
Be productive! Make your days count!
Cover photo by Dimitry Anikin.