In life there are many things you don’t want to do, such as get the car worked on, mow the lawn or workout. I hate working out, I don’t like the feeling of being sweaty and out of breath.
There’s an Agile technique I apply to almost everything outside of my job (and my job as well). It’s called Time Boxing. We create a specific, measurable duration to a task. For working out I set a 30 minute time box including breaks. When I’m busy or so lazy that seems impossible, I adjust that time box to a 20 minutes.
What has happened since time boxing my workouts? I’ve lost 20 pounds. What happens when I fail to time box? I lose motivation and I don’t work out. Many people use the Pomodoro Technique. I use it all the time, time boxing is an implementation of Pomodoro.
What things do I time box? Researching new plugins or frameworks, writing tests, researching defects or stories I’m working on, working out and yes even doing household chores like cleaning.
Time boxing is a good strategy for ensuring in X amount of time you do something. I time box my blog writing to 30 minutes a day. When I do that I bust through so many blog posts with laser intense focus.