There are many reasons why people prefer to work freelance rather than be stuck in a contract with a company or a contractor. One of those reasons is the flexibility of time and schedule, as well as the freedom to work at any time and virtually anywhere. But along with these perks is the downside: procrastination. Because freelancers often work on their own, there is often the tendency to get sidetracked by other activities before actually being able to start your tasks. This is where time boxing comes in handy.
Time boxing is very useful especially in such work conditions as that of a freelancer’s. It focuses on the time spent rather than the tasks done. It basically allows you to set a fixed time, or deadline, for tasks you need to do. For example, if you need to write a draft for your article, you can set 30 minutes as your time to do it. And when your 30 minutes is up, whether you’ve finished your task or not, you’ll need to stop. From here on, though, you can choose to set the time again for another 30 minutes to continue with the task. You can, however, set the task for a longer time, or make a rough estimate of the amount of time you will need to finish the task.
As mentioned above, you set the amount of time you want to spend on each task you have for the day, the week, or even the month. Time boxing is very flexible and can be used in a couple of ways, but there are two basic ways the technique can be used. As you might already know, this technique involves a timer that goes off when the time you’ve set up for the tasks are done. When this happens, you can either keep working, or stop cold. Stopping cold is pretty much what the term means, stopping. When the alarm goes off, whether you’ve finished the task or not, you stop and drop everything for that specific task. You can then go on to the next task, and do the same when the alarm sets off for the next task. If, on the other hand, you choose to continue and keep working on the task even after the alarm goes off, that is also another option. This is especially useful if the alarm sets off just as you are only 5 minutes or less from finishing the task, or if you don’t have any task lined up after it.