New Columns in the Jamaican Newspaper

I recently inked a contract to be a regular columnist in the most prestigious newspaper here in Jamaica: the Gleaner.

I have been an unpaid contributor for some time, but that’s changed, meaning that I am on their staff of writers.  My column focuses on individual and corporate productivity, in line with another column that I write for the Trinidad Newsday.

Here are links to my most recent articles.

Why We Aren’t Doing Enough About Jamaica’s Productivity


Habits… Not a Bag a ‘Mout.’


Pink Shoe Power Follows Time Management 2.0 Principles

Am I a bit excited?  It’s the first time that I have found another website that shares Time Management 2.0 principles.  It’s called Pink Shoe Power.

The authors of the site, Valerie McDougall and Jayne Jennings, describe four time management styles that women might find themselves following, and based their thinking on the following line of thinking:


Have you found you’ve spent your time and money trying different time management tools or strategies before that just didn’t work for you? Either because they seemed too hard to keep doing, didn’t feel right or didn’t give you the results you were wanting?

If you’re like most people you’ll be nodding right now! (Can I see you nodding?)

It’s not your fault….

You don’t expect all clothing to fit you and look good…so why should we expect the same of time management tools and strategies?

Many time management systems are flawed for one key reason…they assume that the approach they prescribe is right for everyone, They’re based on the false assumption that with equal effort, everyone will be able to achieve similar outcomes.

THE PROBLEM is one size doesn’t fit all—we are all individuals with different likes and dislikes and importantly, we learn and do things differently. Some people are visual, others kinesthetic, auditory, structural, or creative…. So it’s no surprise that the way you approach time management is NOT the same as everyone else’s.

That’s from the page describing their book by the same name.

While I haven’t read the book I applaud their thinking and once again can only wonder why there aren’t hundreds of sites based on this seemingly obvious premise?  I take it for granted here at 2Time Labs, but this is the only site I have found that clearly and openly shares that premise.

Maybe I’m wrong, but if not, would anyone care to venture a guess?


Living a Life Filled with Experiments to Improve Your Productivity

In case you haven’t noticed, or are new to this website, I am not a fan of the quick fix.  When it comes to time management, I simply don’t believe in them.

Genuine upgrades take work, whether you are a world-class athlete or a working professional looking to be more productive or reduce your backlog of email.

Matthew Cornell is a very interesting blogger and management consultant who recently made a radical change in his public writing.  He’s no longer writing much about time management and productivity, and has instead shifted his attention to doing life-experiments.  His blog is called The Experiment-Driven Life.

Fortunately for us, he’s saying some great things.  Unfortunately, he’s one of the few saying these things, and very few seem to be listening.

His thesis is simple enough.  If you want to get better at anything in life you need to learn how to conduct effective experiments.  In other words, you need to do research.

Not the kind of research that we like to do when we do a Google search.  He’s talking about PhD level work that starts from the ground up, but instead… done by the common man.

Here is a link to his cornerstone post:  How to Experiment

The reason that his blog is of such interest to me, and the work at 2Time Labs is because it echoes the approach that we advocate in Time Management 2.0.  If you agree that each of us needs a custom time management system (for any number of reasons) then designing one that works involves a major sequence of trial and error.

It’s much better to use good research principles than to flounder around wasting time without the right kind of objective data, and Cornell’s point is that this data can be quantitative or qualitative, and be drawn from the very day to day activities that make up your life.

I might be quite biased, as I taught an MBA school research course, and also has degrees in Operations Research.  However, he’s going much further than anything I ever taught or learned in driving this kind of “hi-falutin'” thinking into everyday life.

It’s exactly the right mindset that we all need to adopt when we attempt our upgrades, and the more rigor we bring to the experiment, the less time and effort we’ll spend on them.

Take a look at his site, and understand why I want to create a community of self-experimentation.

Great quote

Productivity is never an accident.  It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.

Paul J. Meyer

So much for the tips, tricks, shortcuts and secrets that we love so much…

An “Up” from Jawbone

An interesting post from the Fast Company website might be the beginning of some of the problems we have in measuring time management upgrades.

The product is a sensor that looks like a wristband, and can be used to track all sorts of movements that a user might conduct in the normal course of a day.  There might be no need to track your time usage manually each day, if it works as described, and you might be able to do the kind of real experiments that are needed to see whether or not a change in a single habit really helps, or just feels good.

The product is called “Up” and the company that makes it has a very cool name:  Jawbone.



A New GTD Article on Stepcase LifeHack

I have a new article posted up at the Stepcase Lifehack website entitled: “Upgrade Your GTD® Calendar and Keep Up With the Times.”

If you are a GTD afficianado, you may be interested in a couple of other items I have developed that can be used to upgrade your implementation:

a special report entitled The Six Surprising Mistakes that GTD’ers Make

and a teaching video —  Permanently Fixing the Weekly Review

The ideas are offered as enhanced ways to look at GTD, and to solve some of the problems that users often experience in deploying the book’s recommendations effectively.  For some, it requires selective upgrades so that they can handle more demands on their time than GTD seems intended to handle.


Mission Control Productivity, FranklinCovey, GTD and Getting Things Done are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company (  2Time is not affiliated with or endorsed by the David Allen Company, Mission Control Productivity or FranklinCovey.

Breakthroughs in Teaching Time Management via Elearning

I honestly thought that my on-line training programs were pretty decent, until I started to read some of the latest thinking… it kept me up last night after 12:00am and almost made me miss my bike ride this morning!

It comes from the Elearning Blueprint website authored by Cathy Moore, who has a fantastic blog called Making Change.  She has pioneered a new method of thinking about designing powerful Elearning called the “Action Method” that she describes in much detail at her site (a woman after my own heart!)

(As an aside, I love meeting other “wannabe-thinkers” who also want to change the world in some way, and believe me… she’s gotten the ideas presented in a way that’s concise and compelling.)

The reason I am loving what I’m learning is simple. I’m opening up my on-line programs for registration – MyTimeDesign 2.0.Free and MyTimeDesign 1.0.Plus+ – in September and I’m keen to make it the best on-line training in time management in the world.  One of the problems that I have to conquer is the transition from just giving out a bunch of information, to ensuring that participants who register end up taking action by building the habits that make up their upgraded time management system.

Well, she debunks the idea of dumping information, in favor of creating experiences and a light bulb went on for me, because that’s exactly what happens when someone takes my course.  Here are the experiences that I have come up with so far that people have when they encounter Time Management 2.0 in one of its forms.

  • Experience #1: Going from “I don’t need this” to “I need to change some things
  • Experience #2: Going from “I don’t know what things to change” to “I know exactly what I need to change
  • Experience #3: Going from “I need to change too much” to”I need to change a little at a time
  • Experience #4: Going from “I’ll never continue after I start” to “My support system makes it easy to keep going
  • Experience #5: Going from “I’m stuck because I can’t see a new level” to”I know how to set and find a new level whenever I want

If I understand the website correctly, good Elearning is about emphasizing these kinds of experiences.  They are quite real, and the aim of the Elearning is to ensure that the tools and information are given to help the learner to solve the problem themselves.  They get to discover the consequences of their choices, and don’t have to be told what they are: if it’s done well, they can see them for themselves.

When these experiences are powerfully crafted, they result in behavior changes that produce results in the real world.  They need not involve flash videos or anything fancy, and should just do enough to cause the behavior to shift.

I’m planning to use her principles to enhance MyTimeDesign 1.0.Plus+, which is starting to look quite different from it’s Free cousin due to the new angles that I’m adding. Stay tuned — ultimately, it’s really the participants who will be telling whether or not I achieve the big goals I have set for these programs.

Curious? I Have Upgraded My About Page

I am amazed to say that one of the most popular pages of my website is the About page that describes who I am, what 2Time Labs is all about and also offers a definition of Time Management 2.0.

To be honest, when I developed the page I thought no0one would read it.  Apparently, I was quite wrong about that so I have updated the page, added some pictures to my bio and put in some new information that reflects the latest happenings in my life, and the 2Time Labs website.  It’s a little slice of what makes me “tick.”

Click this link to be taken to the About page, or Click here to be taken to my updated bio.



2Time Labs is on Alltop

I’m happy to say that the 2Time Labs website is now featuring on the Alltop website.

If you have never visited the Alltop page, take a moment to click this link and you’ll see where 2Time Labs is listed as one of their most influential blogs.  It’s a great honor — thanks to the folks at Alltops for selecting us.

Learning and Practicing by Writing

One of the quarrels that I have with myself is… “Why Do You Insist on Putting All Your Ideas Out There in the Public?”

The answer isn’t too hard to figure out, now that I am writing “the book” in earnest.  My ideas don’t gather steam and make sense unless I am actually spelling them out in words for other people to see.  It’s a little like the difference between doing a live performance versus one that’s being recorded.

When I know something will be “out there” I write differently, in a way that not only enhances the standard, but also helps cement it as a building-block for further ideas and insights.

Writing “the book” isn’t much different.  The part I’m having the hardest part with is not the ideas I want to include, but instead it’s the story around the learning that I want the protagonist, to experience.

To that end, I have found wonderful help from a book called “Techniques of the $elling Writer” by Dwight Swain.  There are some memorable quotes in the book, which clued me in to the fact that it’s written very much along the lines of Time Management 2.0.  The author claims that there are certain fundamentals of writing fiction that are simply inescapable, and it takes continuous practice in order to become proficient in each of them.

I almost fell out of my chair, especially when he stated:

“the skill of a skilled writer tricks you into thinking there is no skill.”

“You first have to be willing to be very, very bad, in this business, if you’re ever to be good. Only if you stand ready to make mistakes today can you hope to move ahead tomorrow.”

“Can you learn to write stories?
Can you learn to write well enough to sell an occasional piece?
Again yes, in most cases.  Can you learn to write well enough to sell consistently to Red-book or Playboy or Random House or Gold Medal? Now that’s another matter, and one upon which undue confusion centers.

Writing is, in its way, very much like tennis.  It’s no trick at all to learn to play tennis—if you don’t mind losing every game.  Given time and perseverance, you probably can even work yourself up to where Squaw Hollow rates you as above-average competition.
Beyond that, however, the going gets rough. Reach the nationals, win status as champion or finalist, and you know your performance bespeaks talent as well as sweat.

So it is with writing. To get stories of a sort set down on paper; to become known as a “leading Squaw Hollow writer,” demands little more than self-discipline.

Continued work and study often will carry you into American Girl or Men’s Digest or Real Confessions or Scholastic Newstime. But the higher you climb toward big name and big money, the steeper and rougher your road becomes.
At the top, it’s very rough indeed. If you get there; if you place consistently at Post or McCall’s or Doubleday, you know it’s because you have talent in quantity; and innate ability that sets you apart from the competition.
Now this doesn’t seem at all strange to me. The same principle applies when you strive for success as attorney or salesman or racing driver.

Further, whatever the field, no realist expects advance guarantees of triumph. You can’t know for sure how well you’ll do until you try. Not even a Ben Hogan, a Sam Snead, or an Arnold Palmer made a hole-in-one his first time on the links. To win success, you first must master the skills involved. A pre-med student isn’t called on to perform brain surgery.”

Alrighty then…  This isn’t a book about tips, tricks and shortcuts:  the kind of stuff that’s killing time management training and learning.

Instead, it’s about honest hard effort to learn a craft that doesn’t yield it’s deeper secrets to anyone who simply picks up a pen.

In like manner, if you are serious about time management, don’t expect anything to change when you purchase your first Blackberry (even though you might feel more productive.)  Getting better at time management, and becoming really, really good both take hard work.

I imagine that some would say that he’s being too discouraging but, as I have said in prior posts mentioning Usain Bolt and Andre Agassi, they didn’t arrive at the top by taking every silly piece of advice.  Why should we?