A New Version of Outlook

One of the major challenges for a 2Time user at any belt level is to find a system that fits the way in which they process their information.

Unfortunately, Microsoft Outlook, the industry leader in this sphere, does not seem to have been designed by a time management user, and instead seems to have been put together by programmers who made their decisions on what to add based on how long it would take to add a new feature.

The problem with taking this approach is that Outlook has lots of features, but no overall “philosophy”. Continue reading “A New Version of Outlook”

Starting Each Day on the Right Foot: Scheduling

One of the challenges I have been facing is how to start the day on the right foot each and every day.

Unfortunately, in Microsoft Outlook XP, there is no way to work with past appointments effectively, which is a real weakness in their system. If they have not been completed, the reminders merely stock up, one on top of the other.

I have been turning the start of a new day to Joe’s Goals, which is a very simple web application that is available for free. It is so simple, and yet so effective in its job to help someone keep a string of activities going.

It would be great for a 2Time user that has to start each day the same way and uses a flexible calendar to have some choice about which appointment reminders to work with.

Looking for Good Outlook Software

I have been looking for a while for some kind of add-on for Microsoft Outlook that will pull together different pieces of information into one single project.

I am trying to create something like a “workspace” that brings all the phone numbers, appointments, lists, files etc. into a single place where they can be viewed all at once. I have been trying to get a copy of OneNote to review, without luck, thinking that it might give me what I want.

If anyone knows of any other suitable applications, or Outlook add-ons, do let me know.

When I decide to upgrade to Windows Vista, I’ll be sure to include a copy of OneNote, but that’s at least a year away.

The Problem with Prescriptions

Prescriptions are pretty useful when they come from a doctor. However, they are dangerous when they come from a time management guru.

For example, one guru went so far as to require that users redefine everyday words such as “Now”, “Occasion” and “Concern”. The result was predictable – language that is difficult to learn is quickly lost when too much of it is thrown at an adult learner too quickly.

The problem that a guru has is that in two days, they attempt to cram 6 days of material (or months, or years) into the heads of students who are hearing the concepts for the first time. The “better” the guru, the more the concepts. Continue reading “The Problem with Prescriptions”

Practicing as a Professional

It’s easy to see how Tiger Woods can arrange his practice. He gets up at 6am and goes over the the green and starts hitting balls, hundreds and and maybe thousands of balls.

In like manner, a tennis player can serve hundreds of balls over and over again.

These examples seem easy to understand, but what is the professional equivalent of practicing by hitting numerous balls with a stick.

While there are no real practice opportunities outside of the 2Time class to practice each of the 11 skills in a simulated environment, a professional can use the daily flow of events as a way to practice and improve. Continue reading “Practicing as a Professional”

Vote for a New Paradigm of Time Management

voting1.jpg Recently I submitted a proposal to an interesting website, ChangeThis.com, that hosts manifestos from thinkers on new and different ideas.

I thought that this might be a good way to share some of the thinking I have been doing on this blog with a wider audience. I thought I would go more public with the notion that professionals need to forget about the hundreds of tips floating around out there, find out what the fundamentals are, and then focus on practising them to perfection.

The result was a proposal, submitted to the website, which was accepted, and the polls are now open to the public to vote on the proposal, which, if accepted, will result in a full-blown Manifesto which will be posted on their site. (There is no cost or payment involved.)

I invite you to vote on whether or not I should write this manifesto, by following these steps: Continue reading “Vote for a New Paradigm of Time Management”

Draining the Swamp

If it’s one thing that you know about draining a swamp, it’s that once you start draining it, you don’t know what you are going to find.

The water level lowers, and the tallest stump reveals itself. It lowers some more, and the second tallest stump can then be seen. The process continues until the water is completely gone, which in a swamp may never happen.

A 2Time user faces the same challenge.

Once a user discovers the principles of 2Time and starts to practice the discipline of time management with a view to personal improvement, they find that they must work on, say “Capturing” first. Once they make some headway with this element, then another element becomes the next important one to work on, and so on.

The game can be played in this way, and it may never end.

The only warning is that the 11 Basic Elements of 2Time are the paramount structure that is being managed and improved over time. Other interesting distractions may arise, but they need to be understood in the larger context.

Ways to Say No

Critical to improving one’s productivity and moving up the belts in 2Time is the ability to say “No.” Here are some ways, as contributed by a reader of this blog, YCC.

Things You MUST Learn To Say To Manage Your Time

  • “Excuse me, I hate to cut you off, but I have an appointment.”
  • “That sounds really interesting for another time perhaps, but now I’ve gotta run.”
  • “Lets pick that up tomorrow, I’m falling behind schedule right now.”
  • “Actually no, I don’t have a minute now, but I’ll schedule time with you tomorrow morning.”
  • “Yes, I’ll be happy to…after my 3 o’clock appointment.”
  • “Heard you wanted to see me, I’m getting ready for an appointment, will you be here when I get back?”
  • “Sorry. If I don’t leave right now, I’ll be late for an appointment.”

On Being a Black Belt pt 3

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. Continue reading “On Being a Black Belt pt 3”