During the recent pilot of NewHabits-NewGoals (the course built on the concepts of 2Time), it struck me that every professional has their own home-grown time management system. They developed it in a trial-and-error fashion, mostly starting when they were in their early teens, and picking up bits and pieces from people they admired along the way. These included people they know in person, as well as those who may have written books outlining one person’s particular approach.
However, they didn’t develop it in a systematic way. They didn’t know the fundamentals. Without the fundamentals, they could not develop a complete system or innovate within the boundaries of the discipline in way that made their life easier, rather than harder.
Technology has only made their homegrown systems more susceptible to failure. Email is a great idea. Sending email from a Blackberry in the middle of a meeting is a bad idea.
Technology makes things worse when users adapt technology without knowing the fundamentals. Ideally, the role of technology is to make it easier to execute the fundamentals.
Microsoft Outlook certainly enables the task of Scheduling to be performed.
However, when a user fails to balance Scheduling with Listing, and ends up with an electronic Outlook list of thousands of items that only creates a burden, then the technology has makes things worse. A homegrown system becomes a disaster when its limitations are bared.
With the fundamental components in hand, a user of 2Time is able to make intelligent and very careful choices about how to impact their execution of the fundamentals.
Tiger Woods goes to great lengths to choose his golf clubs, and he chooses sticks that no-one else would be using simply because his grasp of the fundamentals of the game far surpasses that of the average player.
Before buying the latest gadget a professional should seek to gain an understanding of the fundamentals, practice them until they are mastered to some degree, and then change them only slowly with tools that enhance execution, rather than hinder it.
This is slow, boring, mundane advice, and frankly it’s simpler and sexier to shoot on over to Best Buy to get the latest palm than it is to practice Capturing, Emptying and Tossing privately until they become second nature, before whipping out the plastic to impress the friends.