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.