5 Tips on Changing Habits

I found this post in ZenHabits to be a useful one.

In summary, the entry is about the Five Things You Need to Know About Effective Habit Change:

  1. Work on One Habit at Time
  2. Create a Plan and Write it Down
  3. Refine Your Plan
  4. Make Mini-Plans
  5. Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!

Click here to see the entire post.

Plane Design, Time Management Design

airplane-supermarine_spitfire.jpgIn yesterday’s post, I commented on the way in which GTD® and other systems don’t attempt to give users a way to design their own time management systems.

Instead, they say, “Come use our design… come and adopt our solution.”

It’s a little like flying…

Imagine that you needed an aircraft to fly from place to place, and that there was a company that offered to sell you a plane. They had designed it, and built it, and you liked it, and you bought it. Continue reading “Plane Design, Time Management Design”

How to Design Your Own Time Management System

I just read an interesting post over at Lifehacker in which the author, Gina Tripani, notes that she has needed to practice a simplified version of Getting Things Done (GTD®) in order to make it work for her. She explains why, and wonders if anyone else is also doing what she does, which is to take elements that work for her, and use them, while not using others.

I responded to her blog with the comment below. After writing it, I changed the tag-line of this blog as I realized something powerful and different about 2Time – it’s built on the idea that we are all different, and need to design our own systems.

I think the focus needs to shift away from teaching people to follow any one system to teaching them how to develop their own system, and find their own enlightenment, so to speak. I use elements of GTD, and other systems also, but I find it an every other system limiting. Not because they don’t work for the system’s creator, but because I am not them. The problem with their approach is that they give the user something like a “perfect recipe”. When a user needs to deviate from that recipe for any number of reasons (as we all do) there is no help… we are on our own. I remember “following” one system a few years ago and actually feeling guilty that I wasn’t doing things the “right” way!A good art teacher does not say — paint like me. Instead, they encourage students to paint for themselves, and they teach them “How”.

I noticed the comment from someone at the GTD site who said that this post is for “those who struggle with full GTD system implementation”. The truth is… there might be 10 people on the planet who don’t struggle with implementing the “full” system… and they all work for GTD… LOL!

The rest of us need help in creating our own time management system, and then more help in evolving it to fit our changing needs over time.

We are simply missing the “How” when it comes to designing our own systems. We don’t know where to start, and we don’t know what the fundamental design principles are. We also don’t know how to craft our habits over time to meet our goals.

I am trying to answer these questions myself — http://www.2time-sys.com

The Dead-End of Most Time Management Systems

dead-end.jpgI have been doing some research into other systems of “time management” ideas, and once again I am thinking that most of them (indeed, all I have ever seen) get themselves into all sorts of trouble.

Here is the common sequence of events:

1) A Bright Person invents a method of personal productivity that works for them, and does so powerfully.

2) The same Bright Person, being productive, packages their method into a system that they then sell in programmes. Continue reading “The Dead-End of Most Time Management Systems”

Psychology… But After the Fundamentals

I was listening to a time management audio-book today with some interest, as the author was delving into the frame of mind a good time manager must have to be effective, at the very beginning of the book.

I wondered about that.

In sports, while I know there is a place for “sports psychology”, in the most effective athletes, it is never a replacement for practice in the fundamentals.

However, in the practice of time management, it seems as if professionals are left without a proper starting point, because they have no idea what the fundamentals are. Continue reading “Psychology… But After the Fundamentals”

Thoughts Flying Around

brilliant_idea_business_concept_illustration.jpgPart of what humans are unable to control is the sheer volume of thoughts that travel through the average person’s head on a given day. We cannot stem the torrent of useful and useless ideas, bits of conversation, idle fantasies and the like that don’t seem to stop even when we are asleep.

The challenge that we have is to develop habits to deal with at least some of them effectively, and especially when they create time demands.

Part of the trouble I have with some of the language Steven Covey uses in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is that the things he talks about are not really habits at all, because they are not actionable, observable physical movements. Continue reading “Thoughts Flying Around”


As an aside, I have found an interesting new web-service that’s called Taskbin.com that I think is quite interesting.

It’s offered to groups that need to coordinate project actions in a transparent way, and to keep a single point of reference for who is doing what. It seems quite easy to use and I am looking for the right project to give it a shot.

Coaching Using 2Time

interview.jpgOne benefit of the 2Time system is that it’s an effective tool for coaching, and even self-coaching.

Using the components to look at a professional’s time management system is a little like using a cheat sheet, or diagnostic tool to figure out what the underlying problem is.

For example, a user who is a White Belt in Capturing is going to experience a predictable set of challenges -they are going to complain of “forgetting a whole bunch of stuff”.

A White Belt in Scheduling would say that their To-Do list rolls from one day to the next, without ever changing, making them feel that they are accomplishing little as it grows infinitely long.

A coach who understands the underlying components can easily understand why a user’s system is not working the way they want it to, and why the gaps are being experienced the way they are.

In like manner, someone who is rigorous can coach themselves using the components of 2Time, and decide for themselves which habits they want to change, and at what pace.

Protecting the First Few Hours

coffee-cup.jpgRecently, I have been more and more careful to protect the first few hours of each working day. In a prior post, I mentioned that I had fallen into some bad habits, and fallen into the trap of checking email at every spare moment.

What I have also noticed is that my energy is very different at 8:00 a.m. than it is at 2:00 p.m. I am a real morning person, and being an energetic type, I usually work out for 1-2 hours each morning (6 days a week with one for rest). Continue reading “Protecting the First Few Hours”

Monetizing this Blog

budget_pie.gifI have been wondering if there is a company or individual who is interested in helping me to monetize this blog.

Or better yet, how can such a person be found? Would they be willing to work on commission?

Do let me know of any ideas you might have in this regard.