On creativity and reframing – or: decent structuring of chaos time with timeboxes
Some days ago I had a very valuable discussion with one of my colleagues who is very passionate about using timeboxing appropriately and wisely. He also said that timeboxes can be used to be sure to "not forget about time". You have a certain amount of time where you can feel free of worrying about time so you can focus on e.g. getting stuff done. This reminded me of my last blog post where I wrote about using two timeboxes for sorting my mind after a rich working day full of learnings and experiences. That is exactly one of these "do not worry about loosing too much time" timeboxes.
I also tried another similar application of this "no worry about loosing time" version of timeboxing:
You might know the concept of bumble bees from Open Space events: bumble bees are those people who "fly" from session to session and therefore "cross-pollinate" and enrich them even more. You might also know the saying of "having ants in one’s pants". In Germany we say "having bumble bees in one’s butt" for that.
Sometimes I have the need to just do different stuff almost "in parallel" when coming home: read mails, start cooking, clean up a bit, make laundry, read on twitter, peek into the paper mail, … . So not really focussed, right? And I used to kind of shame me for that unfocussed behaviour. Maybe also because a former roommate heavily criticized me for that. To be honest: I sometimes need this "chaos time" and I really get stuff done. It really is productive as long as it is not exceeded. On the other hand I also had the feeling of wasting too much time with that chaotic approach.
So I experimented a bit and now I allow myself a couple of timeboxes in a row for "bumble bee time". I started with 3 times 10 minutes and I really was surprised that I only needed two timeboxes and I got so much more stuff done within these 20 minutes. It was just amazing! I’d attribute these extra resources on not worry about "loosing too much time". Also shaming me for being unstructured disappeared.
This is how the name Bumble Bee Boxing was born. :o)