Right now, management needs a cool head and, above all, time to stabilize the company, think about its future and develop resilient strategies. But that’s difficult when crises are tugging at your skirt left and right and you, as a manager, have to play firefighter on all fronts to support your employees and colleagues. That’s why we want to introduce you to good management methods that help you manage chaos and regain structure and calm. In this newsletter, we’ll talk about Time Boxing, a scheduling method that frees you up and gives you new capacity.
Depending on your management style and the culture in your company, you are involved in many ways as a manager. If, for example, you maintain an “open-door policy”, this can lead to you having to play the fire department permanently in times of crisis and your working day being largely determined by others.
At the same time, it is precisely now that you need the capacity to critically examine your current strategy and find resilient strategies for the future – despite, or precisely because, the crises are having an immense impact on your operating business. It is precisely now that you need to find the time to set a strategic course in order to emerge from the crises in the long term.
Time Boxing helps to work effectively and efficiently on strategic or operational tasks. Innovative minds like Bill Gates and Elon Musk use this method in their daily work.
- A time box is – from project planning – a fixed time frame for a task in a project. In project management, this time box is related to the budget but also to the schedule for planned activities.
Of course, one can object that everyday work and especially crisis management cannot be planned and also knows no limits. Nevertheless, it is essential for you as a manager to allocate your resources and especially your time efficiently and effectively.
- Time boxing helps you to reserve fixed blocks of time for tasks and activities. This is important because your daily work routine and your performance also have limits that you should observe. Only then can you remain sustainably efficient.
Planning and discipline
So don’t always immediately take in everything that lands on your desk. Don’t immediately consider every new topic that is brought to you. Declare war on constant interruptions.
- On the contrary, give the issues a priority as soon as possible, a time estimate to solve the task and accordingly a time box in which you dedicate yourself to this task.
- Ideally, make a simple daily, weekly and monthly schedule for yourself, which includes regular deadlines as well as time slots for your work and breaks.
- The time slots for work should not be too short, otherwise you will be stressed out right from the start. Time windows for open door or consultations should also be built into the planning.
- Of critical importance is the discipline to stick firmly to the time blocks.
The advantages at a glance
- Priority planning helps delegate tasks.
- A clear work plan with time windows also allows colleagues and employees to reliably plan with you.
- Even topics with priority two or three get their time slot and do not fall behind.
- Tasks are no longer postponed.
- In the respective time window, you can concentrate on the one task and work through it effectively and efficiently.
- The better structure also has a motivating effect, because you actually make better progress.
- You can also use Time Boxing to plan time slots for strategic work, which otherwise often gets lost in the chaos of short-term “firefighting”. In this way, you can help yourself and your company achieve long-term success.
Our time window for you
If you have any questions about management or project planning methods, we will be happy to provide you with advice and support. In addition, we can be your sparring partner on strategic issues. Your contact person is Jens Hagmann, firstname.lastname@example.org.