Wednesday, October 10, 2012

16 Ways to Master Your Derby-Life Balance
 try time boxing

OMG my two favorite things, well, my top two favorite things are kittens and Batman:

I swear though, time and boxes are right after that, and I would have said that time in boxes was unbeatable, if somebody hadn't already combined kitten with Batman.

11. Try Time Boxing

“If you can offload common tasks, such as scheduling and other appointment setting, you’ll free up your time to focus on the most important tasks. Time boxing will allow you to apply laser focus to one project at a time.” -Jeff Slobotski, Silicon Prairie News

There's two ways that I use time boxing, first the way I think he's talking about, I "box" my routine tasks generally between breakfast and lunch. Between breakfast and lunch is when I'm supposed to make the bed and do the dishes and cook one of the three recipes that I'm going to be eating from all week, I realize that having between breakfast and lunch to do these things is kind of an embarrassment of riches, but also, this is part of the whole reason that I studied to get certified to start my own business as a personal trainer. But anyway, boxing like this saves me from having to decide every cotton-pickin' morning should I make the bed or should I tackle my to do list. Make the bed is at the top of the to do list, then wash the dishes, then cook and so forth. With the side benefit, which is actually the main benefit, that the bed is made and the dishes are washed and there's food to eat all week. What does that have to do with derby, what doesn't eating well and sleeping well have to do with derby? Not to mention having clean laundry. And also not to mention, by which I mean mention, that I would prioritize cutting down on decision fatigue and guilt for improving fitness and performance over, say, cutting down on ice cream. Aagh nothing makes me more insane than a goody two shoes wallowing in guilt like it makes her better than everybody else, I want to make the scales fall from her eyes and for her to suddenly see the guilt that she's feasting on like the Ben and Jerry's binge that she thinks she's too good for and to be bathed in shame. And by "her," I mean me circa 2010.

The other way I use time boxing is the way it's used in software development as an alternative to fixing scope. In a training word, periodization. So this is talking about a long-term project, whatever that is—to play derby, to get good at derby, to get faster and stronger, to stay fit for the rest of your life—and to break it down into, say, six week boxes is pretty typical, and set yourself to whatever task you can get done in six weeks. If it's not doable in six weeks, then pick something smaller that is doable in six weeks. Because rewrite the following in your head for derby or just fitness or life in general, "in the overwhelming majority of cases, scope in a software system is not only expendable; it is usually overblown and selected by people who do not accept accountability for, or have the knowledge needed for, fitting the work with the constraints." You have work to do within constraints. The way to fit it in and hold yourself accountable for your results is to extract and accomplish specific (measurable, attainable, relevant, timebound) goals from your overblown dream, not hating on dreams, but that dream's not gonna come true by itself.