Floating Time Boxing! Part 1: Rough Sketches

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about my schedules, and well, I guess I’ll talk about it some, as it has involved into a duality.

For me, schedules are really just a reminder of doing things and to help solidify habits.

You’ve probably read the countless magazines talking about healthy sleep schedules, and if you’re a parent you’ve heard and read countless articles about how routines on the major stuff helps your child, and we adults are the same. But then they flip around and say be spontaneous and have fun because life’s too dang short! Its hard to do both, which is why I’ve combined them into the floating time box method. As far as I know, that’s no official term, so let me describe what it is.

Art from Sarah Broadmeadow-Thomas

Floating time that gets boxed! haha, okay seriously, What it means is that you find what chunks in your day are workable, and then create small chunks of time that could fit in those bigger chunks, and rather than focusing on a specific, minute by minute mentality, you just have time chunk overviews. For instance, when you’re driving to work, you usually don’t get specific saying, oh from 8:23-8:35 I get on I-34 and go east, then from 8:36-8:43 I drive down Denbury street. 8:53 I arrive at work. No, we just think in our head, oh, it takes 30 mins to get to work! So if we work just fine at getting to work (at least I hope) why try and micro manage other times? All that tedious work will only bog us down! The problem with some time boxing methods out there, is it wants you to get nitty gritty in the micromanaging. That’s why I think Pomodario works well for some because it is general time chunks that are well managed.

But if you’re like me, Pomodario will never work because of that silly little now turning 4 turbo charged never stops daughter of mine wouldn’t allow such convenient time planning. This is where floating time boxing shines, because you’re not forcing certain events at certain times, and it will allow for spontaneous, children wanting you to build fort, moments. Of course, it could be a friend stopped by to chat, or you decided you must suddenly have pie, because PIE! Or even in the world of immersion and fun, that strikingly funny tv show just came on and you gotta watch them prank the poor souls in that haunted onsen! If you’re interested in trying it out, keep reading.

So now that you have an idea about it, I will show you an example with Bob. Bob is a single man who works Monday-Fridays and then hangs out with the ladies on Saturdays and plays Paintball on Sundays. I’m going to use him because its simple, and fast and well, didn’t I mention lazy? I plan to show my schedule in the end of the series.

Make the most absolute roughest schedule of starting events you can think of first. And don’t forget the weekend or rather, special days where there are no major obligations like work/school.

Monday – Friday

8:00 AM Wake up
9:00 AM Go to work
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM Work till I cry
5:00 PM Come home
11:00 PM Go to Bed


8:00 AM Wake Up
12:00 PM Lunch
5:00 PM Ladies Ladies Ladies and Dinner whenever
1:00 AM  Bed time


8:00 AM Wake up
10:30 AM Paintball
1:00 PM Lunch
5:30 PM Dinner
11:00 PM Bed

As you can see, I don’t account for nothing that isn’t bare bones minimum gonna happen no matter what activities. Everyday you want to wake up, eat, and sleep at roughly the same times, its healthiest for your body. I didn’t write in breakfast, because its a part of the wake up routine. Dinner could be considered the same for when coming home from work. If the activity is consistently following other ones, there is no need to separate them. That’s too tedious! Waking up, showering, shaving, food, teeth brushing, clothing, shoes, work stuff/school stuff gathered and so on, should be normal everyday type things and you should already know what kind of time it takes you to do them, and if you don’t, well, then time yourself doing a routine and use that. No need to rush either, life isn’t about over rushing either and burning you out will make you hate scheduling. Scheduling shouldn’t be about trying to be faster and faster and faster to the point that you hate life.

The next thing to do is evaluate what boxes you have that are large and chuncky and can be manipulated! This is easiest because you already separated everything:

Monday – Friday
8-9       1 HR
12-1     1 HR
5-11     6 HR

8-12    4 HR
12-5   5 HR

8-10:30  2 1/2 HRs
1-5:30    4 1/2 HRs
5:30-11  5 1/2 HRs

So you might be thinking, Uh, Mikoto! When are you going to eat if you’re giving that time away!? Well, those are going to be accounted for, Now you have to think of all the little chunks of things you both have to do and want to do, that’s the fun part, and that’s going to come in part two!

One Response to “Floating Time Boxing! Part 1: Rough Sketches”
  1. Delenir says:

    “…special days where there are no major obligations like work/school.” Yes my friend, those are special days indeed!

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