The Problem of Not Scheduling

Many professionals only maintain lists of items to do, and don’t actually schedule anything other than appointments into their calendars. In the language of 2Time, they may be Green Belts at the skill of Listing, but Yellow Belts at the skill of Scheduling.

A typical professional’s schedule is below – let’s say his name is “Sam”. He is attending both meetings with Bob, his boss.

Sam’s Schedule


Why can this approach create a problem? After all, most of the time management systems that exist only address using the schedule in a basic way. GTD® takes it another step and advocates the scheduling of “contexts”, or in other words groups of activities such as:

  • @home
  • @computer
  • @meeting with Bob
  • @driving

These are pretty basic appointments that one has with oneself. Incidentally, I have noticed that there is no word in the English language for “an appointment with oneself”. At different times in this blog, I have used different words to describe the whole genre of scheduled activities, including both appointments with others as well as oneself. In this post, I’ll use the word “engagement”.

The problem with only having a list (or lists) of activities is a simple one – it is too easy for a list to grow out of proportion to the time that one has available when it’s not scheduled into a calendar. Continue reading “The Problem of Not Scheduling”

Multi-Sports and the Inescapable Fundamentals

triathlon-pic.jpgI happen to be a part-time, amateur, middle-of-the-pack triathlete.

Since 1997 I have been competing in races that involve a swim, bike and run at a variety of distances, the longest of which was an iron-distance race I did that included a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run.

In this sport, like any of the multi-sports such as the pentathlon, duathlon, biathlon, or decathlon, the athlete comes to learn rather quickly that that there are certain fundamentals that must be mastered.

In the triathlon, an athlete must swim, cycle, run and “transition” (from one sport to another on the fly). In most races, depending on the length, an athlete must also drink and eat.

That’s it for the fundamentals. They are, in 2Time language, inescapable. Continue reading “Multi-Sports and the Inescapable Fundamentals”

“Email Bankruptcy”

email-bankrupt-investor.jpgI just heard the most appropriate term I have heard in a while – “Email bankruptcy”. According to the New York Times the definition is as follows:

e-mail bankruptcy n.

What you’re declaring when you choose to delete or ignore a very large number of e-mail messages after falling behind in reading and responding to them. This often includes sending a boilerplate message explaining that old messages will never receive a personal, specific response. Continue reading ““Email Bankruptcy””

Zen to Done: a Fast Critique

I have been looking over the set of techniques described in Zen to Done, and I think there is a LOT of value being offered at the site, and the e-book looks like a steal for $9.50, for a document that’s some 80 odd pages long.

Of interest to me at the moment, after a brief glance, are the 10 habits that comprise his system.

  1. collect. Habit: ubiquitous capture.
  2. process. Habit: make quick decisions on things in your in-box, do not put them off.
  3. plan. Habit: set MITs for week, day.
  4. do (focus). Habit: do one task at a time, without distractions.
  5. simple trusted system. Habit: keep simple lists, check daily. Continue reading “Zen to Done: a Fast Critique”