Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

389. The Power of Timeboxing with Marc Zao-Sanders

In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, host Melina Palmer and guest Marc Zao-Sanders reveal how the technique of timeboxing transformed not just his productivity but his life. In this episode, you’ll hear a genuine transformation story from chaos to structured success, and how intentional living can lead to profound personal and professional growth. 

Marc and Melina dissect the practicalities of digital organization, intentional decisions, and share personal experiences that bring the concept to life. Learn why timeboxing is more than just a productivity hack – it’s a path to a more purposeful life. If you’re looking to make meaningful changes to your daily routine, this episode offers wisdom and actionable steps without the hype. Join us for a dose of reality about the power of scheduling and prioritizing that could truly reshape your outlook on work and life.

In this episode:

  • Maximize Productivity: Unlock the benefits of timeboxing to supercharge your daily output and efficiency.
  • Harness Time Management: Learn the art of implementing timeboxing, a powerful technique to take control of your schedule and accomplish more.
  • Optimize Productivity: Explore the nuances between timeboxing and time blocking to revolutionize your approach to time management.
  • Prioritize Effectively: Discover strategies for prioritizing tasks using timeboxing, ensuring maximum impact in minimal time.
  • Foster Collaboration: Strengthen team collaboration with shared calendars, enhancing efficiency and synergy within your organization.
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00:00:00 – Introduction
Melina introduces Marc Zhao-Sanders, author of Timeboxing, and sets the stage for the conversation about the psychology of time management and productivity.

00:03:32 – Marc’s Background and the Origin of Timeboxing
Marc shares his journey from being disorganized at the start of his career to creating his system of personal productivity and stumbling upon the concept of timeboxing through an article in Harvard Business Review.

00:08:42 – Success of Timeboxing
Marc discusses the popularity of timeboxing, the TikTok video that led to a book deal, and the widespread reach of the concept with translations in 33 languages.

00:11:35 – The Power of Timeboxing for Everyone
Marc emphasizes that timeboxing is not just for naturally organized individuals. Still, it can benefit anyone, especially in terms of mental health and feeling in control of one’s time and productivity.

00:14:07 – Differentiating Timeboxing and Time Blocking
Marc provides a four-part definition of timeboxing, highlighting the intentional decision-making, scheduling, and flexibility of the practice, and distinguishes it from time blocking as a more comprehensive approach to managing time.

00:15:05 – The Importance of Timeboxing
Marc discusses the importance of timeboxing in making decisions and spending time intentionally, free from distractions. This allows for prioritizing tasks and committing to single-tasking.

00:16:17 – Defining Timeboxing
Marc defines time boxing as scheduling specific blocks of time to work on tasks, committing to single-tasking, and ensuring task completion to an acceptable standard within the allocated time.

00:17:36 – Parkinson’s Law and Timeboxing
Marc talks about Parkinson’s Law and how time expands to fill the time allowed. He emphasizes the importance of setting deadlines and timeboxing to avoid endless, frustrating tasks.

00:20:01 – Overcoming Timeboxing Challenges
Marc addresses the challenges of timeboxing, especially for new tasks. He recommends starting small with time boxes and gradually building confidence in the process.

00:24:51 – The Power of One Thing at a Time
Marc emphasizes the productivity of focusing on one thing at a time and the mantra “one thing at a time” to avoid multitasking and increase efficiency. He also discusses the satisfaction of completing tasks according to one’s plan.

00:29:58 – Efficient To-Do List Management
Marc explains how to efficiently manage a to-do list using timeboxing and spreadsheet functionality. He emphasizes the 80/20 rule and the importance of prioritizing tasks.

00:31:41 – Ranking and Sorting Tasks
Marc discusses the importance of ranking and sorting tasks based on urgency and importance. He also addresses the issue of prioritizing tasks and provides advice on how to handle items with high rankings.

00:32:53 – Calibrating Priorities
Marc shares his approach to collapsing urgency and importance, and emphasizes the need for calibration when dealing with tasks that are ranked highly. He also discusses the value of retaining tasks for future reference.

00:36:56 – Data-Driven Time Management
Marc highlights the value of using hashtags and search terms in digital calendars for time management insights. He emphasizes the importance of quantifying and prioritizing activities, such as learning and reading, through intentional time boxing.

00:43:42 – Living an Intentional Life
Marc discusses the concept of living an intentional life and emphasizes the importance of setting milestones and time boxing for aspirational activities, such as travel planning. He encourages planning to achieve desired outcomes.

00:44:24 – The Importance of Timeboxing and Planning
Marc discusses the significance of planning and timeboxing to achieve goals. He emphasizes the need for setting specific milestones rather than vague timelines like “soon” or “next week.”

00:46:33 – Accountability and Collaboration
Marc and Melina talk about accountability and collaboration in the context of timeboxing. They explore the positive effects of timeboxing on reassurance and realistic task allocation within a team.

00:47:29 – Digital Calendar Sharing and Transparency
Marc delves into the benefits of sharing digital calendars within a team, highlighting the positive impact on task dependencies and realistic time allocation. He also touches on the potential positive pressure created by the Hawthorne effect.

00:49:11 – Using Emojis in Timeboxing
The conversation shifts to the use of emojis in timeboxing and calendar management. Marc explains the light-hearted and visually pleasant aspect of incorporating emojis into time management, adding a touch of fun to the process.

00:51:48 – Conclusion

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