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.

Imagine further that you wanted to build your own, in order save some money, and that the company is willing to sell you the designs so that you can build your own. You purchase the design, and use it manufacture your own fleet.

Finally, imagine that you wanted to change the design, or even design your own aircraft, because now, instead of flying the mid-distance flights that you had originally been taking, you now wanted to take short- and long-haul flights. In order to be more efficient, you needed to design some different kinds of aircraft.

But you now discover that you have a problem… the company does not have a way for you to design your own system. They either do not know how to replicate the original designer’s genius (who you understand designs in his dreams), or they are unwilling to give you that level of information for fear that you will lose your dependence on them, and even start to compete with them.

Furthermore, you can see that you will need new designs to meet new needs in the future, as the world is changing and you are sure that you will want to change with the times.

So, you try your best with your limited knowledge, and succeed in parts and fail in others as you don’t really know what you are doing. You have the following options:

  • Forget about the alternate designs and stick with the only one that you can get from the company
  • Wait until a new designer comes along to sell you some new designs
  • Forget about flying altogether and go back to using the trains

Unfortunately, this is where professionals are stuck with respect to time management systems. They are stuck in systems that they know don’t work for them, they are waiting and longing for something better to come along, or they have abandoned whatever systems they have been exposed to and gone back to their old habits. The occasional professional finds that someone else’s system works perfectly for them (at least for now) and as long as their needs stay the same, they are satisfied.

Imagine, however, that a school opens up that has actually broken down the mysterious process of plane design into elements that can be taught. They go into the fundamental principles, techniques and tools that are required for designing every kind of plane that exists. You hear the news, and rush to join that school!

I know that I would.

In the under-researched world of time management, there is no such school. Even worse for us, the background thinking that would go into a “school of time management system design” has not been completed, or even properly attempted to my knowledge.

Yet, the ideas here in the 2Time blog represent my own point of departure, and an effort to do the basic thinking that has been lacking up until now.