Archive for the ‘Belt System’ Category

An Interesting Post About Belts

February 27, 2008

black_belt_karate.jpgI ran across the following post called “Ready to Test for Your Belt” that echoes some of my thinking about belts, and moving up from one level of skills to another. It originates from David Allen, the author of the book “Getting Things Done.”

“READY TO TEST FOR YOUR BELT?”Lately some rather sophisticated people have asked me what I initially thought was a rather unsophisticated question: “How do I know what belt I’m at?” In other words, in the martial art of workflow, they wanted to know how well they were doing – how far they were from earning the coveted black belt in the Getting Things Done school of self management. One, a senior engineer, said, “David, you keep referring to ‘black belt’ and several of the attributes it signifies. There must be some way to determine how far along we might be in that continuum.” Though he excused his curiosity in the matter to his system-oriented mindset, I realized he had a good point. When I studied karate, the belt rankings were highly useful as milestones, often motivating me to keep going when I would hit plateaus in my training during which I wasn’t very aware of my progress. As I went from white to green to brown belt rankings over the course of four years, I could sense the next level up as a reachable step, when black belt would seem too elusive a goal.

So for those of you who may share that interest in some kind of marker for determining your rank, I’ll proffer a set of characteristics for the belts.

Read the full article.

I find his comments above to be similar to my own thinking about the fact that a belt system helps people to organize their thinking and find ways to make steady progress on their own.

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The Dead-End of Most Time Management Systems

December 28, 2007

dead-end.jpgI have been doing some research into other systems of “time management” ideas, and once again I am thinking that most of them (indeed, all I have ever seen) get themselves into all sorts of trouble.

Here is the common sequence of events:

1) A Bright Person invents a method of personal productivity that works for them, and does so powerfully.

2) The same Bright Person, being productive, packages their method into a system that they then sell in programmes. (more…)

Another 2Time Analogy

December 10, 2007

orchestra-heftone_banjo_orchestra_11pc_rest_288x400.jpgI recently got an email from someone who read my blog and came away with the idea that he SHOULD be moving towards become a Black Belt. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Being a Black Belt certainly is an option for those who want it, but it is no better or worse than any other belt. It just depends on what one wants to use it for.

In this sense, the 2Time philosophy is that a time management system is like an orchestra, made up of 11 possible instruments (if there is such a thing). At any given time, anywhere from zero to 11 positions can be filled, and each has its own kind of music. (more…)

2Time and Technology

November 16, 2007

One of the messages of 2Time is a difficult one – that users who are not technologically savvy are choosing to limit their productivity.

It might not be obvious as to why this is the case, but one of the major reasons has to do with portability. A user who is unable to travel with their schedule from place to place simply is not as effective as one who is not stuck with a desk-based or paper-based system.

They will end up wasting their own time, and that of others, as they take time to consult their schedules, wherever they may be, simply because they are unable to master a PDA or similar device. (more…)

List of 100 Steps to GTD Mastery

November 13, 2007

I thought that this list, The GTD Mastery 100 – Checklist for Greatness, was an interesting one, as it uses the idea of a progression of skills from one level to another. The idea of having to work through 100 items is daunting, but it still makes for interesting reading.

I do think, however, that it would benefit from being organized around the 2Time fundamentals.


Add up your score monthly and track in your GTD journal. Work with a coach to get to 90 or above.
The Basics
1. I have read Getting Things Done from front to back.

2. I have a calendar, which is always on hand.

3. I use my calendar for appointments and day-specific items only.

4. I have a physical inbox, which I use daily.

5. I have an email program, set up the way I want it. (more…)

Hate the Martial Arts’ Belt System?

October 29, 2007

belts.jpgA keen reader made the point recently that the martial arts structure built into 2Time might have some drawbacks. One is that the martial arts are seen by some as being difficult, arduous and combative. 2Time, on the other hand, is meant to be natural and organic. Perhaps it could be compared with the non-violent martial arts, if there are any!

Also, just the idea of the existence of a Black Belt is enough to get some Type A users thirsting after its attainment.

In 2Time, getting to the Back Belt level is hardly the point. In fact, given that the Black Belt level involves research and development of new methods, plus teaching, it might not be of interest to any, other than the most ardent.

The point of the belt levels in 2Time is that anyone can function successfully at any level, and that it all depends on what the user is trying to accomplish with their life.

In other words, 2Time users should get to the point where they have determined that further investments in changing their habits is not worth the extra effort.

This gives the user peace of mind knowing that they are doing their best given the current state of the art, and until there are some breakthroughs in the way time is managed, there is no need for them to improve their skills.

On Being a Black Belt pt 3

September 14, 2007

I just read a great definition of what being a Black Belt is all about. I am paraphrasing what was written on the website Easy Time Tracking.

A Green Belt spends a great deal of their time working on being more productive, and more efficient.

A Black Belt’s goal, however, is to live better and to savor one’s time, and to live a better life. In other words, their focus is on quality rather than quantity.

Black Belts are simply able to live more of the life they want to live than anyone else, all other things being equal. (more…)

On Being a Black Belt pt 2

May 31, 2007

Black Belts are the leaders in defining the 2Time Management system. In effect, they are the system’s innovators that together define and refine the core practices at the core of the system, and at the core of all time management systems.

They are forever researching, testing and trying new approaches as they are made public to see if there are any changes that needed to be made to the system.

Also, they define, and are responsible for, the training that people take to learn the 11 Components. Some may manage the movement of 2Time users from belt to belt, coaching them along the way in breaking new habits and forming new ones.

The Game of 2Time

May 2, 2007

2Time is nothing more than a game.

From a certain perspective, it is a complex game in which a user is scoring themselves using the belt system, and attempting to improve their score over time by changing long-ingrained habits.

Users take the initial course and decide what level they are currently operating at, and which belt-level they belong to. They develop a plan before leaving the course with target dates for changing certain habits. (more…)

The Chaos of a Novice

April 24, 2007

If there is a friend you have who can be relied upon to ignore your emails, voice-mails and text messages, and to forget important commitments, then the chances are good that that person is a novice in the art and science of time management.

They may be quite well-intentioned, intelligent, willing to learn and sincerely apologetic, but the fact that they are a Novice has nothing to do with their mental frame of mind.

Instead, it has everything to do with how time demands flow, or do not flow through whatever system they are using. Their processes and habits are what make them a Novice, and nothing else. (more…)