Reader’s Questions

Laura sent me the following question, which made me stop and think, and to attempt an answer in just a few words. Thanks to her for asking. Laura, by the way is the author of the blog: – which I strongly recommend.

I really like your idea of taking these ideas of self-management (because it really is more than managing your time) to people who are not already inclined to adopt them. I was thinking more about it, and while I understand the “belt” analogy, if you really want to reach the non-users of other management systems you might want to consider a different term, one that would be more approachable than a martial arts one. The martial arts one conjures up ideas of discipline and toughness. That might scare most non-adopters off.

Good luck!


On 10/19/07, Francis Wade <[email protected]> wrote:


Sure, in a nutshell:

— there is no right, global time management system to follow — instead each person must define their own system based on their current set of habits

— once they know the 11 fundamental practices underlying ALL time management systems, they can define their system with some clarity

— their personal system is made up of different levels of practice, ranging from white to black belt. They can use the scale applied to each fundamental to see what level they are currently operating at e.g. I might be a green belt in Scheduling but a yellow belt in Capturing

— once they have assessed themselves, they can take the next step and decide which new habits to adopt, and at what rate. Some may want to become a Black belt in six months. Others may want to change one belt
level per year. They may even decide to change nothing about their current habits, and to keep them the same once they realize what it takes to change

— I recommend that they change habits slowly, after practicing each fundamental for some time. They can measure their progress by using the scale applied to each fundamental.

— A user may decide to improve their belt, or even to go down in belt level — whatever works for them according to their circumstances e.g. in retirement

The issue with static systems like Covey, GTD® et al is that they are only “easy-to-use” by people whose habits are already almost “there.” In other words, by those people who find it easy to change a few habits and be compliant.

For the majority, however, the habit changes are a steep challenge. I am hoping that with 2Time, any user at any level can find a starting place, and perhaps evolve themselves to the point where a GTD or Covey-like system makes sense for them. Also, every static system has its limits, and hopefully the 2Time philosophy will help those who have become expert in those systems to innovate beyond them.

After all is said and done, I love GTD, but am no expert in it, so this may not be revolutionary at all. I certainty can’t be sure that no-one else has already said the same things. I have been secretly hoping someone else has so that I can buy their book and take a break from all

Thanks so much for the question… I welcome more…!