Archive for August, 2007

Habit Tracker — Joes Goals

August 30, 2007

I have been using a very simple and very useful habit tracker called Joe’s Goals. It is a very powerful tool that gives a visual display of how well one is doing in learning new habits.

I think there is further scope for applications like this, particularly in Outlook – but I am unable to find any that really work.

In any time management system, it is critically important to find effective ways to unlearn and learn new habits, and having an effective display of progress is only a part of the battle, but an important one.

Prioritizing Makes No Sense

August 29, 2007

line-up-height.jpg Almost all popular time management systems make the point that it is important to set priorities.

They argue that people spend a lot of time taking actions that are not the best actions to take at that particular moment in time. The solution is to sit down at regular intervals and to place action items in some kind of rank order.

In 2Time, prioritizing is not a basic element.

Why not?

Because prioritizing using some kind of number or ranking system is a waste of time.

Why?

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The Basic 2Time Elements as “Big Rocks”

August 28, 2007

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Put In The Big Rocks First!

In “First Things First,” Stephen Covey tells a story that one of his associates heard at a seminar. The seminar presenter pulled out a wide-mouth gallon jar and placed it next to a pile of fist-sized rocks. After filling the jar to the top with rocks, he asked, “Is the jar full?”

The group replied, “Yes.”

He then got some gravel from under the table and added it to the jar. The speaker jiggled the jar until the gravel filled the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asked, “Is the jar full?” (more…)

Time Management isn’t Time Management

August 27, 2007

The truth is that time management is nothing of the sort.

Time can’t be managed, in the strictest terms, because a user has no control of this very valuable resource. It has a life of its own, and cannot be affected in the least by anything the user does, unlike other valuable resources such as money, precious metals or people.

What a 2Time user is managing is actually action. “Action management” is what is actually at the heart of the 2Time system. (more…)

Muscle Memory and Learning Habits

August 26, 2007

As I get into the task of turning the components of 2Time into a training course, one of of the challenges I have is a common one – how does someone teach themself to learn a new habit?

In other words, once they determine that they want to learn a new habit, what is the environment they need to create that will result in the new action becoming an unconscious one? Furthermore, how is this environment created when the user is at different belt levels for the different components, and therefore at different levels of self-awareness?

There is enough theory to understand that people are different, and respond to different things.

I hope to create something like a menu of options for a user to choose from. (more…)

Open Source

August 18, 2007

One of the great wishes I have for this site is that it become a place where people can add their thoughts to the discussion of the 2Time philosophy.

The problem that I have found with this invitation is that the websites and blogs that I have read on the topic of productivity are heavily based on piles of small tips. Nothing wrong with the tips (and I happen to think they all have a place) but as I mentioned in a prior post, you can’t become a top time management practitioner by following tips.

I am still hunting around for a deeper discussion than one that is focused on tips. So far, I have had no luck, but I am sure that I have just been unlucky.

So far this blog hasn’t attracted much traffic, but hopefully it will bring to it the kind of people that are interested in joining me to explore the 11 Basic Components of 2Time.

If anyone reading this is interested, we can start by sharing ideas about this content in the comments.

The Ultimate Guide to Productivity Submission

August 16, 2007

jordan_ap-01.jpg Recently, blogger Ben Yoskovitz created a meme to create a list of the 100 best productivity tips, under the title “The Ultimate Guide to Productivity.”

Over 100 people submitted their tips, and perhaps I won’t be too late in submitting my own tip to the list (which I understand is still open).

My tip is a bit different.

Francis’ Ultimate Tip: Ignore All Tips

The problem that most people have with being productive is that they spend too much time on tips, and not enough time on the fundamentals. The problem with the field of time management is that there are millions of tips flying around, but no understanding of the basic, fundamental and unalterable structure of the challenge.

It is little like trying to play basketball professionally by taking all the tips that every coach gives, and trying to make them work together. Here is an example of a basketball tip:

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The Half-Life of Time Demands

August 11, 2007

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As explained in the post on Time Demands, each Time Demand is made up of some kind of trigger, plus a commitment. For example, that sock lying in the corner represents a Time Demand with the trigger being a visual sighting of the sock, and the commitment perhaps being the desire to have a clean room.

A Time Demand is the basic element of the 2Time Management system.

The 2Time system is all about recognizing Time Demands for what they are and treating them in a very specific manner. They are the smallest elements of a time management system, but they need to be understood differently from the system as a whole.

In the book “Stumbling on Happiness“, Dan Gilbert states:

“In general, many of us have the mistaken idea that large numbers are like small numbers, only bigger. As such, we expect them to do more of what small numbers do, but not anything different. (more…)

More on Tossing

August 4, 2007

Here is an interesting article on the need to de-clutter a physical space from 43 Folders.

The thing about clutter is that each and every piece represents a Time Demand that preys on the mind in the form of a delayed action, a feeling of guilt or something that we think is automatically overwhelming. Only when we remove these Time Demands do we give our minds a welcome break.

Interesting Articles

August 4, 2007

I found this article on How to Create a Personal Productivity Scaffold by Steve Pavlina to be quite useful. In it, he talks about creating a scaffold or support for new habits, and also mentions spending an hour in the morning and afternoon reviewing.

Also, here is a another good article about creating a visual display to assist oneself in breaking a habit, apparently inspired by Jerry Seinfeld. It reminds me of Joes Goals in some ways.