- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 1: What Is Timeboxing, Why Does It Work, And Why Should You Care?
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 2: Nested Timeboxing
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 3: Dual Timeboxing
- Three Minutes Of…
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 3.5: Timeboxing Turns Work Into Play
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 4: Decremental Timeboxing
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 5: Incremental Timeboxing and Mixed Timeboxing
- My (Current) Timeboxing Tools: Hardware Timers
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 6: Q&A
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 7: Isn’t Timeboxing Just A Waste of Time?
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 8: Don’t Those Super-Short Timeboxes Make Timeboxing Meaningless?
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 9: Birthlines And Timeboxing
- Decremental Timebox → Real Time Conversion Table
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 10: Timeboxing, Tony Schwartz and Recovery
- Can Timeboxing Help Me Do Really Big, Hard Things?
- Protected: How Zombie Gunship Taught Me All I Need to Know To Make My Real Life Awesome (And So Can You!): Gamifying Real Life For Fun and Profit and (Almost) For Free
- Nothing Is Hard
- Protected: All I Ever Needed to Know in Life, I Learned from Cloud Storage
- Protected: Don’t Be The Kaiser or the Fuhrer
- How To Get Nothing Done: The Art and Science of Wresting Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
OK, now I’m just abusing the word “trilogy”.
I can’t find the original comment, but back in one of the preceding timeboxing posts, a kid asked a very pertinent question. It went something along the lines of:
“How can a 60-second timebox have any meaning or motivational value if you know you’re just going to have another one?”
Great question. Excellent question. Let me answer it very simply.
- First, you’ve got go get out of the mindset that a 60-second timebox has no intrinsic value. Or, more accurately, you’ve got to get into the mindset where you can see the intrinsic value of 60 seconds. And what mindset is that? It’s this one. It’s the probabilistic algorithm mindset: it’s the mindset that says: “I’m not going to a lot of work; I’m not going to do perfect work; I’m just going to do something that helps [for 60 seconds]”. So a short timebox is saying to you: what you do doesn’t have to be big, it just has to help.
- Once you understand that 60 seconds can have value, you are then in a position to begin to appreciate nested timeboxing. Because the whole point of nested timeboxing is to bring form to the formless. 60-second timeboxes are great, but an endless succession of them can seem, well, endless. That’s where nested timeboxing comes in. It puts these useful microtimeboxes (which I’ll arbitrarily define as any timebox of size < 300 seconds) into a larger framework of meaning. Nested timeboxing gives bigger meaning and structure to the small-but-useful microtimeboxes.
- Finally, there’s no rule that says you have to use 60 seconds as your timebox length. That just happens to be a length that appeals to me personally. That’s just how I play the game; it’s how I roll. Remember, though, this is all a game, i.e. it is something you play at. For fun. The rules only exist to make things fun. Change, interchange and ignore at will.
So that’s the basic idea there. Keep your questions coming, they’re top stuff 😀 .