Archive for the ‘Practice’ Category

Post-Pilot Analysis (2) – New Equipment

January 26, 2008

visa-hand-and-card.jpgDuring the recent pilot of NewHabits-NewGoals (the course built on the concepts of 2Time), it struck me that every professional has their own home-grown time management system. They developed it in a trial-and-error fashion, mostly starting when they were in their early teens, and picking up bits and pieces from people they admired along the way. These included people they know in person, as well as those who may have written books outlining one person’s particular approach.

However, they didn’t develop it in a systematic way. They didn’t know the fundamentals. Without the fundamentals, they could not develop a complete system or innovate within the boundaries of the discipline in way that made their life easier, rather than harder.

Technology has only made their homegrown systems more susceptible to failure. Email is a great idea. Sending email from a Blackberry in the middle of a meeting is a bad idea. (more…)

No Such Thing As a Prodigy

January 21, 2008

practice-bp-7-ward-batting.jpgThis article, entitled “The Myth of Prodigy and Why It Matters“, is such an inspiration.

It essentially makes the case that what we think of as genius, merely comes down to persistent practice, even in the cases when we think that the age of a prodigy “means” that they must have been born with their gift.

The article, taken from the Association of Psychological Science, is based on research done by Malcolm Gladwell that shows that diligence and discipline are much better predictors of future success than early talent.

This is good news for professionals who are committed to improving their productivity skills. It is never too late to learn and increasingly master the fundamentals of 2Time, or any other hard-to-learn discipline. All it takes is practice.

Deliberate Practice

September 12, 2007

In the article “The Making of an Expert”, the author also makes the case that deliberate practice involves two kinds of learning:

“[…] improving the skills you already have and extending the reach and range of your skills. The enormous concentration required to undertake these twin tasks limits the amount of time you can spend doing them.”

These are useful distinctions for the 2Time user.

The author makes the points that

“[…] musicians over 60 years old who continue deliberate practice for about ten hours a week can match the speed and technical skills of 20-year-old expert musicians when tested on their ability to play a piece of unfamiliar music.”

Again, this is good advice for the executive who refuses, for example, to use a PDA of any kind and is forced to lower levels of productivity.

Death of a Thousand Tips

September 10, 2007

master-jedi-master-jordan.jpg

There are a number of time management websites that exist, all offering thousands of tips.

To read them all, however, is to do oneself a disservice and create a distraction, if that is where one starts in an attempt to improve productivity. The effect is the same as trying to build a skyscraper using construction tips, while being ignorant of the fundamentals. In general, people don’t like the idea of being THAT ignorant, so they focus on the trivial, easy things they can do (like buy a new PDA).

They also blame their own lack of productivity on some gift that they don’t have, claiming that other more productive people are either blessed or naturally effective, or just anal retentive.

Meanwhile, they have less and less of what they want in their lives, and are increasingly less fulfilled and more overwhelmed.

In a recent issue of the Harvard Business Review (July-August 2007), in the article “The Making of an Expert“, Anders Ericsson makes the point that

“New research shows that outstanding performance is the product of years of deliberate practice and coaching, not of any innate talent or skill.” (more…)

Time Management: The Martial Art for Working Professionals

March 19, 2007

In a prior post, I made the point that within every time management system there lies a structure that is always present.

I compare it the bone structure that makes up the human hand. Although individual hands might be different, a fully functional hand must have all the component parts. They each serve a distinct purpose. While it is possible to function without all the parts, there are a few essential bones that must be either present, or replaced, in order for the appendage to work.

In the same way, a time management system must have certain basic components, without which it does not function. These basics are Capturing, Emptying, Tossing, Storing, Scheduling, Acting Now, Listing, Switching, Warning, Interrupting and Reviewing.

In fact, an effective time management system in 2007 must be able to do things that a time management system in 1970 just was not designed to do. (more…)