Time Tracking

I have been testing a new software programme that I discovered a few weeks ago that tracks time management use by taking and storing snapshots of the screen at different intervals.

I have been tracking my time for several years, and due to my habit of filling out my time sheet only twice (or less) per week, I have been less than happy. At the end of some weeks, I would stare at the time sheet with disbelief, because I could not recall what I did just the day before.

Uconomix Snaplogger takes care of faulty memories. You can tune it to take a shot every few minutes, if desired (I have mine set to every 5 minutes). Then, it shows what happened during the day in enough detail to fill out a time card with much more accuracy.

It is a very handy tool.

Did I mention that the free version does everything that I need?

Deliberate Practice

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.

Measuring Success in 2Time

In the HBR article, “The Making of an Expert”, referred to in my last post, the author makes the case that “real expertise must pass three tests“, and I think that these three tests must also be applied to the 2Time system in a variety of ways.

“First, it must lead to performance that is consistently superior to that of the expert’s peers. Second, real expertise produces concrete results. Brain surgeons, for example, not only must be skillful with their scalpels but must also have successful outcomes with their patients. A chess player must be able to win matches at tournaments. Finally, true expertise can be replicated and measured in the lab.”

This has made me wonder. What are the measurable outcomes that expertise in time management should produce? Continue reading “Measuring Success in 2Time”

Death of a Thousand Tips


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.” Continue reading “Death of a Thousand Tips”