The Chaos of a Novice

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.

Being a Novice is neither good nor bad – just a useful point of departure. The truth is, time management is not taught as a discipline at any point in our education system in the Caribbean, and our general lack of productivity (and the resulting poverty) are the observable by-products.

A Novice’s life is hard – they frequently feel overwhelmed by all the time demands coming at them, and stressed at their inability to cope. They have bottomless email in-boxes, piles of stuff hidden in closets, a lot of things on their mind that they are trying to remember, hidden conflicts in their schedule waiting to create crises, people who have learned not to depend on them, and suffer from a lack of exercise, poor eating habits and a personal appearance that is not up to the standard they want.

They usually make the cardinal error of thinking that their lack of productivity has something to do with being lazy (as do their managers, unless they are worse). The truth is, the effects of their personal lack of productivity are not just work-related – they impact every facet of their lives, and everyone in their lives who must rely on them. They are caught in a maze with no way out.

In the 2Time Management system, our assumption is that novices are mostly uneducated, and unpracticed.