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.

By their nature, sports are easier to practice, as the feedback is immediate. Even a sport like chess which may take hours to complete, gives feedback that is unambiguous and immediate.

A professional who is attempting to practice time management must look for feedback that is also as clear as the ball thudding into the net on a failed serve, but must work harder to collect the data that is needed to tell them how their practice is going.

For example, take the first practice: Capturing. One way to know that the system is failing is to measure to number of items that must either be drawn from memory, or just go completely “un-captured”. During the course of a day, the number of times this happens can simply be written down and recorded.

If the user decides that the number is uncomfortably high, or that something important was forgotten, then they may decide that their time management system is not working and needs to be improved.

Each day, they may try a different approach to see which innovation works best. During this process of learning and experimenting, they may make one or more of the following decisions:

  • That a paper pad works better than a PDA because it is more handy
  • That a digital voice recorder works best for them because they hate to write things down
  • That they need to get rid of the 6 email addresses they are not using because they cannot check them all once per day

The learning sequence is as follows:

  1. Set standard
  2. Measure performance or take note of a significant breakdown
  3. Innovate and experiment
  4. Implement the new variation
  5. Repeat until it becomes the new standard

These steps can be applied to each of the 11 elements, but it’s a good idea to innovate only a single practice at a time, and then allow the new innovations to settle in before trying to change another element.

While the visual imagery is not as vivid as that of Asafa Powell practicing his starts from the blocks over and over again, he actually is following the same process. The only difference is that he can measure his reaction time, and get immediate feedback on small changes that he makes down to the millisecond.

A 2Time user must demonstrate more patience, and wait for what might be days to get the kind of feedback they need to improve.

They may think of their practicing in one of the following contexts:

  • As a prelude to the crunch time that is coming when they have a baby
  • As time invested in developing skills they’ll need when they get their next promotion
  • As a way to be very mindful in the way they manage their time, and therefore add to the quality of their life