- 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
What’s that? The meaning of the word “trilogy”? Don’t…Don’t even start. Just…don’t.
Today, I’m just going to quickly share with you a little technique I came up with recently that uses birthlines to approach tasks where unnecessary fear and BS is involved. To keep things short, I will assume you already know what birthlines are.
Basically, this technique combines decremental and incremental timeboxing with birthlines. What happens is that the birthlines keep decrementing in distance, while the work that’s done at the birthline increments. So like this:
- Rest: 64 minutes
- Birthline 0: Work 1 minute.
- Rest: 32 minutes
- Birthline 1: Work 2 minutes
- Rest: 16 minutes
- Birthline 2: Work 4 minutes
- Rest: 8 minutes
- Birthline 3: Work 8 minutes
- Rest 4 minutes
- Birthline 4: Work 16 minutes
- Rest 2 minutes
- Birthline 5: Work 32 minutes
- Return to 1?
So what’s happening up there is that we’re halving the time between birthlines, while doubling the length of timeboxes. The actual numbers are, of course, up to you. I don’t use birthlines like this all the time, but this kind of “inverse timeboxing” is useful for easing yourself into things that would otherwise get unnecessarily avoided. Things like, I dunno, filling in tax forms. For writing AJATT itself I mostly use “parabolic” timeboxing.
If you have a task you’re avoiding, one thing you could do is start with this “inverse timeboxing” or “birthline timeboxing” or whatever we’re going to call it, and then, once you’re past the worst of the fear and avoidance, switch to a simpler timeboxing method.
That’s it. Pretty simple. First you rest for a whole hour, then work for just 1 minute. So you don’t even have to stop procrastinating to begin with 🙂 . Life is sweet, ‘innit?
Next installment: Timeboxing Trilogy, Part 10: Timeboxing, Tony Schwartz and Recovery | AJATT | All Japanese All The Time j.mp/dM8XoP