Have you ever been on your computer and before you know it it’s been two hours? We have been hypnotized by researching online, reading email and working on your website, especially when we are doing UX methodologies.

Timeboxing

One way to avoid this pitfall while working agile is to learn to timebox. It limits you to a specific time in which you work and then move on to something else. It doesn’t mean that you can not go back to what you were doing, just limit your time per session.

Compartmentalize

Compartmentalize your time. You can do this using many techniques. For example, I set my timer to go off every 25 mins when I start a one-off  That way I get something was done (or at least started), in which I can always revisit later. Timeboxing keeps me on track with projects and research.

Tools and Techniques

There are many tools and techniques to help with timeboxing. The one I highly recommend is Focus; it’s an app that you can use on your desktop, iPhone or Apple Watch. You can set up several tasks in 25 increments at once, the app gives you 5 min breaks in between tasks. You can pause the timer and resume when needed. You can download the Focus Productivity app at the App Store.

The Pomodoro Technique is another practice that helps teams work together in an Agile environment. Learn how to predict the time it takes to complete a task, monitors your productivity and set personal goals. Breaking a project into several time-boxed tasks will help to scope the project, as well estimating the cost. You can download the Pomodoro Timer app at the App Store.

There is software that helps teams record tasks in a time-boxed manner. One well-known tool is Rally, which improves cycle time and impacts your bottom line with customers. Get frequent feedback and adjust the scope to meet your business goals.