- 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 Using the Awesome New Technique of Randomized Timeboxing
- OMG: A Public Service Announcement from Captain Obvious
- All I Ever Needed to Know in Life, I Learned from Cloud Storage
- More Timeboxing Insights: Ramp Scaling and Polar Switching
- 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
- 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
- Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 10: Timeboxing, Tony Schwartz and Recovery
- Decremental Timebox → Real Time Conversion Table
- Can Timeboxing Help Me Do Really Big, Hard Things?
- Three Minutes Of…
- Nothing Is Hard
- How To Get Nothing Done: The Art and Science of Wresting Defeat From the Jaws of Victory
- How to Make Miracles Happen and Get Called a Genetically Gifted Genius
- Remember That You Are, Were and Will Always Be Human: Infinite in Possibility and Finite in Action
- Why America Doesn’t Win Wars Any More and What (Ironically) That Can Teach You About Learning Languages
- The One True Secret to Being Happy, Productive and Sane Forever
- How (and Why) to Make and Use Entropy Bombs
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 😀 .