As a project manager, it’s likely that you have multiple projects on the go at once. Unfortunately, this can also mean that there are limited periods for you to get work done, and if you’re working as and when, things can get very messy very quickly.

This is where timeboxing comes in. Put down your boxing gloves, because this doesn’t mean you’ll be sparring with your alarm clock. Find out a bit about our favourite time-saving method below.

What is timeboxing

Timeboxing is the practice of sectioning off your day into blocks of time. You then save these blocks for certain tasks, meaning you get more done in one day.
Staying focused on completing one task can be difficult when you have emails flying in and distractions all around you. However, if you want to get the end of the day with the majority of tasks complete, timeboxing is a must.

The methods

Boxing off your day into certain periods of time based on the tasks you need to complete may sound simple enough, but there are a variety of methods that to choose from.

Depending on how you best work, you may be better suited to one method than another. You can see all the timeboxing methods below.


The Pomodoro Technique is one of the most popular methods of timeboxing and can be adapted depending on your preferred work method. The technique, created by Francesco Cirillo, requires only a tomato timer – or any vegetable-shaped timer you may prefer.

Split tasks into 25-minute chunks. Between each task, you take a five-minute break, and once you have completed four ‘pomodoros’, you can take a longer break.

Power hour

Of the same ilk as the Pomodoro Technique is the Power Hour. For one hour you turn off all distractions, take yourself to a quiet space and knuckle down.

Rather than meandering through tasks at a glacial pace, you will be forced to focus on your next task and nothing but, so you’ll be guaranteed to come out the other end with a good chunk of work completed.

60 second deadlines

And if you thought an hour might be too long for you to try and concentrate, this one is definitely for you.

As a project manager, it’s likely you only get minutes at a time to get on with your own work. So, in between being on the phone, helping other members of your project management team and dealing with all the other elements included in bringing a project to life, you really need to do what you can.

The 60-second deadline is the perfect opportunity to make the most of this precious time. The only rules are, if you can do a task in one minute, do it or if it can be started in two minutes, start it.

Which will work for you?

The method of timeboxing that is most effective for you may not be as effective for another project manager. While the job title may be the same, everyone works differently, which is why different methods work for different project managers.

Choosing one method that will work for everyone is pretty much impossible to do, so it’s really up to you to try all the methods and see which one will work the best!

Have you tried one of the methods listed above? Which one works best for you? Leave your comments in the section below or contact us on Twitter or Facebook!


project management expert Oliver Banks

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