The single greatest challenge to success and fulfillment is procrastination. You know what needs to get done, by when and why, yet it doesn’t happen.

Once again, the to-do list didn’t work.

OK – let’s change the approach and try timeboxing.

Timeboxing means setting aside specific amount of time in your schedule for a particular task.

Do this:

  • Define the task
  • State the benefit and desired outcome of completing the task.
  • State the downside of not completing the task. (I find writing it down makes it more real. Its staring back at you in your own handwriting. No blaming someone else this time.)
  • Scheduling a meeting in your calendar.
  • Select the day, start, and finish hours
  • Block off the time in your calendar

You now have a plan for what to do, and when to do it.

Here’s the mental model behind this approach – you remove the paradox of choice. Timeboxing eliminates the need to choose between a range of tasks or activities. It helps you prioritize objectively and realistically.

When selecting from a long list of tasks, we generally select Q-1 activities (Urgent and Important) to “put out the fire” or Q-4 (Not Urgent or Not Important) as a distraction and a way to trick ourselves into thinking we accomplished something.

By blocking off tasks on a calendar, you prioritize what’s important.

There’s one more important psychological benefit of this – you have a record of what you’ve accomplished! This leads to feeling good about yourself, increased self-esteem, and motivates you to keep operating this way.

You free up head space to be more productive and creative instead of trying to remember what you shouldn’t forget.


There is no sense doing something well that should not be done at all.