Timeboxing – book review

Picture of the book Timeboxing and text that read TJ book review

Book: Timeboxing: The Power of Doing One Thing at a Time
Author: Marc Zao-Sanders

Always on the lookout for new ways to live a more intentional life, I was excited to peel open the pages of “Timeboxing.” Timeboxing is a planning and time management technique. Managing all tasks on your to-do list with a calendar schedule, dividing them into separate and dedicated time blocks.

Marc leaves you feeling invigorated and ready to start reprioritising your life

Not a new concept to some, Marc Zao-Sanders successfully draws on his own experiences to enhance and offer guidance on its multi-faceted implementation. With a pragmatic approach, this book dives into the details of how you can implement this method in real life. Breaking down each area into manageable bite-sized sections, you can easily cover off a chapter in a 10-minute sit down with a cup of coffee.

Written in an easy-to-follow format, Marc leaves you feeling invigorated and ready to start reprioritising your life.

“Start, make mistakes and learn quickly.”

With the distractions of modern-day life, timeboxing really comes into its own. Harnessing a powerful yet simplistic methodology to help make us become more productive each day. It takes little time to put into practice and you can embrace the learning process as you work through the application. A great reminder to aim for progress, and not perfection. Enabling the reader to establish what is important to them and really focusing effort on one thing at a time.

If looking over your never-ending to-do list has you feeling overwhelmed, applying these techniques can help add some control and focus.

This is a book of “learn as you do, do as you learn”, encouraging you to put this method into practice as you work through the theory. Great for those, such as myself, that like to quickly get hands on. Applying what you learn as you learn it not only reinforces understanding but also promotes the practical skills facilitating a deeper comprehension of the subject.

The calm amongst the chaos

The ability for the majority to usefully apply this methodology to everyday life is undeniable. From the new to work to the career changers, from old hats to young bloods, we all live in a digital age surrounded by distractions and competing deadlines. A truly inclusive approach that can be applied to a range of scenarios in a sustainable way, whether that’s at work or play.  Helping to not only reprioritise but being truly intentional about what we are doing, and most importantly, why we are doing it.

Reminiscent of the well-known Eisenhower Matrix, timeboxing works well alongside this and other methods rather than as a stand-alone. Being able to firstly determine what your priorities are and how to avoid distractions will be key before implementing timeboxing to your life. On its own, this may leave some scratching their heads, not understanding what they should be prioritising in the first place. Which does beg the question, will I really get more time back if all my time is spent on organising and prioritising using multiple methods of time management?

What I will say, as a remote worker, is the concept of chunking your day into clearly defined timed tasks, does serve as a reminder to take those breaks, and go for that walk. Ensuring that alongside those important meetings, we set aside time to do the work and focus on the task at hand.

Immersing yourself in timeboxing

With a mix of anecdotal and scientific based evidence, it does make for compelling reading. If you are interested in the theory behind such methodology over just the application, this would be a great read. There are very few, if any, books that address timeboxing in its entirety with practical tips and useful background and this book certainly does that.


Kerry Jary is Learning & Development Campaigns Manager at Co-op

Kerry Jary

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