Level Up Your Productivity With ‘Time Pockets’

Level Up Your Productivity With ‘Time Pockets’

Even when you’re timeboxing your whole day, you’ll notice you end up with a few random pockets of time sprinkled throughout your schedule. If you don’t have a plan for what to do with these, they’ll become super unproductive, so start thinking of how you can maximize your productivity with “time pockets.”

What are time pockets?

Time pockets are small amounts of time throughout your regular day that aren’t really occupied with anything, but can give you a major leg up when it comes to getting big projects done. Say you set aside the first 45 minutes of every workday to tackle your email inbox. If you finish in 30 minutes one day, you have 15 minutes available. That’s a time pocket.

You can use that time to relax, as you should be taking more breaks, but ideally, you already have your actual breaks scheduled out at other times. Instead, consider using these pockets to do work on larger projects.

Two ways to use time pockets

The first way you can use little spare moments to get things done is by committing to the two-minute rule. This works well for time pockets you aren’t expecting, like the example above, when you finish another task before the time you allotted for it expires. Keep a list of simple tasks that you could reasonably accomplish in two minutes, regardless of how important the tasks are—such as gathering the dishes from your workspace or filling out a form. Whenever you have an unexpected time pocket, refer to your list right away, pick the first item, and bang it out. Whenever another simple, two-minute task pops up throughout the day, add it to the list so you always have a supply of little things to do during unplanned downtime.

The other way you can use time pockets is by noting in your schedule when you have a small break and capitalizing on it. Sometimes, you’ll have 15 or 20 minutes between meetings or activities. Instead of looking around for something to do with them in the moment, you should tackle a smaller chunk of a larger project. The best way to do this is to create a Kanban board or something similar, breaking down big tasks into smaller, more manageable ones. Slip the smaller tasks from bigger projects into those obvious time pockets in your schedule, which will help you stay more productive and focused during the day and will also lessen how overwhelmed you feel when you’re working on long-term activities. Instead of doing it all at once, portion out the work, doing it in those pockets where you have nothing else to do. In these instances, you should still rely on timeboxing to make a clear record and schedule, noting firmly in your calendar that during those 15 or 20 minutes, you’ll be working on a small task.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


Leave a Reply