Blackberry Slavery Article

I wrote a post as a guest-writer the Stepcase LifeHack website entitled “Blackberry Slavery” that was published today.In the article, I describe how PDA’s armed with real-time email are allowing companies to take advantage of employees’ fears of losing their jobs.All this, while HR department move much too move slowly to  protect employee down-time, and ultimately the productivity of thier most valuable resource: human beings.The article can entitled “Blackberry Slavery” can be accessed here.  

Following the Rhythms of Life

Now and again, I come across an article that I don’t quite know what to do with.
To be sure, I like the idea of setting a daily schedule that takes into account one’s daily rhythm.
This article, however, takes the idea to another level, as you’ll see.
(It’s taken from a comment made to a blog post I mentioned earlier.)
#1 | Nicholas Powiull | 2/16/2009 at 6:02 am

I have experienced this many times.

I did a Polyphasic Sleep experiment. I sleep only 1.5 hours in a 24 hour period. I slept 6 times around the clock. Every four hours I would take a 15 min nap. I did this for 273 days straight. Now I am only sleeping 45 minutes in every 24 hour period (I call it Powiull sleep, because nobody else has ever been documented sleeping this little for this long) and I still am experiencing the same positive effects:

1. In the first 48 hour, my intuition heightened, the mental chatter cleared (like that of a mediation state), and I begin to realize how to live in the moment rather than by a day and night schedule. I begin at once writing what I was receiving from within.

2. My logical mind dulled while my creative imaginative mind accelerated giving me a child-like sense of everything being exciting, new, fun and perfectly fine. Unlocking this part of my mind again allowed me to understand the power of the imagination to solve any problem from within (the key of life) using the engine to creative power and see many more choices that my logic couldn’t imagine by putting limiting beliefs on Self.

3. Time became non-realistic in all terms that time can be perceived since I am up for 23 hours and 15 minutes in a 24 hour period. I came to understand time as non-existent because there is so much of it. When people refer to yesterday, I can not place when one moment to a next moment was yesterday. It is all a continuous streaming reality with no approach or separation between days and nights to me. I notice the shift from day to night but I do not shift with it in form of a schedule. Instead I listen to my physical, emotional and mental bodies in the moment to signal me when it is time to do something, you would be surprised by how much you do things based on habit of a night/ day cycle.

4. During the process of adopting this sleeping pattern all my five senses dulled and when all the five senses returned, they were much sharper, aware, alert, alive and clear. As if I were in a dream all my life and just waking up to a new world that is much more vibrate and vivid.

5. I felt the elevation of my consciousness to higher states of awareness. I also feel a connection to myself, to everyone else and everything around me. This connection has made my conversations with people much more meaningful and helpful in developing and growing conscious states.

6. My dreams are more vivid, intense, and real. I often have lucid dreams and I remember my dreams quite easily, which is very helpful in consciousness advancement since dreams are a reflection of reality.

7. The ability to remember things (on a short-term and long-term span) has increased dramatically, the motivation I have has improved, and my concentration as well. I literally feel like a much more intelligent person, as if my brain waves are more active. Rather that is the case or not, it is very self-reassuring and builds confidence to a higher focus.

8. After every nap I feel refreshed, energized, wide-awake, with no feelings of tiredness, drowsiness or grogginess. Even when my naps times come around I still do not feel tired, drowsy or groggy. These feelings are non-existent to me ever since I adopted this sleeping pattern. When a naptime is close (15-20 minutes) my body gives me a signal by making my eyes slightly heavier and relaxing my body a bit more. Nothing too intense, just enough to let me know that naptime is close and every nap feels like an eight hour restful sleep.

9. All activities of stress, worry, depression, negative thoughts and seeing things as problems have vanished. The mind is the corporate that leads to all these things. The mental noise in the background that is in continuous struggle trying to make things better and always questioning with “what if” dilemmas. This sleeping pattern puts that mind chatter to rest and opens up a new way of thinking.

10. Jet lag is the result of the circadian rhythm being unbalanced. Circadian rhythm is a natural rhythm that the body adopts based on day and night schedules. When you adopt the polyphasic sleeping pattern then the circadian rhythm is replaced since you will no longer have a day and night schedule, making the experience of jet lag nonexistent.

Including clearer thoughts, feeling more awake, adjusted, aware, alive, vibrant, and energized. Also a growth in intuition, a unique scenery perception, happier with life on every level, no negative thoughts or feelings of depression, more aware to the world around me, answers to any questions I was seeking, more insight, seeing more inner knowledge, experiencing more wisdom, feeling more peaceful, and more of everything that I define myself to be.

If that is not flow, then I am not sure what is ;) and the good news is I didn’t have to practice 10,000 hours, I just had to stay mentally focused to get through the adoption period.


Improving Time Management Over the Years

led_digital_watch_red_70s_type_display.jpgI just read an interesting article from the New York Times exploring the reasons why free-throw shooting in basketball has not improved over the years.

Apparently, the success-rate of free-throws in the NBA and college basketball has remained unchanged at approximately 69% since the mid 1960’s.  The authors of the piece make the case that not enough has changed over the years to cause the overall average to shift, and in particular they point out some areas in which little or nothing has changed.

Here is an excerpt:

Ray Stefani, a professor emeritus at California State University, Long Beach, is an expert in the statistical analysis of sports. Widespread improvement over time in any sport, he said, depends on a combination of four factors: physiology (the size and fitness of athletes, perhaps aided by performance-enhancing drugs), technology or innovation (things like the advent of rowing machines to train rowers, and the Fosbury Flop in high jumping), coaching (changes in strategy) and equipment (like the clap skate in speedskating or fiberglass poles in pole vaulting).

This made me wonder — what are the equivalent factors in the area of time management that would have to change in order for the average professional’s productivity to improve?

Here are some candidates for factors that have impacted personal productivity in the past 50 years:

Technology — the ability to transport the modern tools of communication and organization has unchained professionals from their desks, and that is a benefit.  However, the poor use of gadgets has helped to make some users more inefficient than they were before

Practice — the little codification that has occurred in books such as Getting Things Done and on the 2Time Management blog has brought some level of standardization to a haphazard field with no established standards, and little proper research

Coaching —  while there remains little or no standardized training for time management, many pick up a book or do an online course to learn how to improve their time management skills

Measurement — in the case of basketball and many other sports, it is easy to determine how effective a player is relative to his/her peers.  Not so time management, which unfortunately for most, remains in the dark ages when it comes to having simple, empirical measures of success that can be used to compare one user to another, or even to record simple changes that a user makes in their time management system.

Of these factors, I believe that a real breakthrough will come when a fool-proof method is derived for measuring personal productivity.

Here in the 2Time approach, I advocate the use of a personal test — “what does this do to my peace of mind?”  However,  this test is hardly empirical.

Until the day comes when a solid method of measurement is created,  it will be impossible to improve time management from year to year with any reliability.

New York Times Article on the Empty Inbox

An article in the New York Times that reiterates some of the points that I have made in this blog can be found here:An Empty In-box or With Just a Few Email Messages.The writer shares the practices he uses to work his email down to zero, but unfortunately doesn’t address the fact that his set of habits can’t be picked up and used by many people, simply because they are  product of his own idiosyncracies.  Not that this is wrong – it’s just that people who want to achieve a Zero Inbox generally need more than a list of one person’s habits in order to achieve the goal.  In other words, they need to craft a set of practices that work for them, and them alone, and perhaps more importantly, a way to change their own habits reliably.Most people, however, are convinced that they need to just get less email, and that somehow throttling communication in some way is the right approach.The fact is that spam filters and email rules do help for  a while, but they don’t resolve the underlying problem that created trouble in the first place — personal habits that were never intended to handle the number of emails being received.Ultimately, only a smart change in habits will produce the desired end-result. 

On Thoughts of Overwhelm

I have written before about how one free oneself from a sense of overwhelm, without actually doing anything time management related.

Instead, I have found a great deal of value from working on my thoughts.

The following article demonstrates the principle beautifully — it’s taken from the Radical Happiness blog and the article is entitled “Unnecessary Thoughts.”

Here is an excerpt:  Life is never actually overwhelming because there is only so much we can do in a moment. But the mind brings ideas into this moment about what you “have” to do, what you want to do, what you’ve done in the past, what others want you to do, doubts about doing it, and ideas about any number of other things unrelated to what you are doing or need to do, which confuse and stress you out.”