Look Out World! Our Open House Is Almost… Open…

I’m proud to say that our doors at 2Time Labs will be opening to the public on Thursday morning, and anyone can come in and take our MyTimeDesign programs.

It’s been a bear getting everything ready and in place for this virtual Open House, but now that it is, our programs will be offered again for the next two or so weeks.  It’s the second and final time we’ll offer them in 2011.

On offer to the public will be our free introduction: MyTimeDesign 1.0.Free, and one of our paid programs, MyTimeDesign 1.1.Plus+.  The Plus program has been heavily upgraded to version 1.1, and we think you’ll like the accessible price that it starts at.

I hope you find a program among these two that suits your aspirations, time and budget if you are at all interested in using 2Time Labs’s research in a practical way for tangible results.


Leave the Office on a Natural High

Leaving the office each day feeling as if you got a lot done has something to do with how you schedule the day.  Lying in bed each morning to make a mental calendar is one thing.  Putting it on a piece of paper is another.  Using an electronic calendar is a relatively new option that very few are doing regularly, but it turns out to be the best option.

By far.

Find out how you can leave the office each day on a natural high by using an electronic schedule.

Click here to be taken to the video: How to leave the office feeling as if you got something accomplished.


Making Unrealistic Plans Every Day? Use Better Scheduling Techniques

Most of us make either mental, written or keyed in plans each day, and unfortunately we make the mistake of telling ourselves to do too much with too few hours.

Address the problem today by changing your scheduling skills, and use the latest research from the best time management researchers, who don’t just make stuff, but use actual data to draw conclusions.

Check the video to learn how to make more realistic plans here.

Building on Randy Pausch’s Time Management

The Randy Pausch video on time management is famous for several things.  One is his emphasis on committing to big goals, broken down into everyday steps.

I thought I’d update his ideas with some of the newest research which shows that these small steps need to be included in our calendars – which is a one of the hallmarks of an advanced time management system.

Click here for the original video on Making Big Goals:  http://www.youtube.com/embed/PMci0lYCqIk

New Ways to Use Your Schedule

For a long time, there’s been a school of thought that says that you should only use your schedule for appointments.  The latest research shows that there are better ways available to us to be more productive, especially when we move from using paper calendars to electronic ones.

In this video, I talk about the benefits of making the switch:



Ways to Avoid Digital Distractions

For some strange reason, the world is conspiring to keep us in a constant state of digital distraction.  It affects our productivity, and ruins our peace of mind… while robbing us of that great feeling that comes from knowing we had a great day, in which we got a lot of good stuff done.

Solve the problem with the latest ideas in time management that get all the way down to the ways in which you manage your smartphone, tablets and other gadgets.

How to Use Dezhi Wu’s Time Management Research to

As I shared in the prior series of four posts on this topic, Dezhi Wu’s book “Temporal Structures in Individual Time Management: Practices to Enhance Calendar Tool Design” is a breakthrough piece of research.

It’s the dawn of a new age, I hope — time management researchers are actually tackling the problems that ordinary people people face when they try to improve the way they manage their time.  New tools, gadgets and software are coming out every day, but they all miss the point… and Dezhi’s research is essential to putting them back on track.

Listen in as I summarize one of her key findings – it’s my final summary of her book for the time being (until I schedule time to read it again!)

or click:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pp3t4iJPUdk&feature=colike

Gallup Survey Reveals the Extent of Time-Stress

A recent Gallup poll revealed 11 areas of dissatisfaction in the US workplace, and 3 of the areas had a direct connection to time-stress.

Number 11.  Flexibility of Schedule — employees abhor the rigid and arbitrary nature in which their employers enforce the “rules” around working hours

Number 6:  Amount of Vacation Time — This might be a survey of the US in which the least number of vacation time is granted.

Number 1:  On the Job Stress– Most of us have jobs in which meeting deadlines is critical.  They are part and parcel of being a working person who must deal with hundreds of email messages  each day.

How to Know When to Upgrade Your Scheduling Skills

In a number of posts,  I have written about the need to upgrade your scheduling skills when you hit “a certain threshold.”  Unfortunately, there is little empirical evidence to guide us to the precise point in time when this shift should take place.

Instead, I find myself coaching clients in programs from a bit of a vacuum.  I know what worked for me, and a few others,  but I can’t back it up with proper research.  Which I hate.

At the same time, I do have some guiding principles.  You should probably upgrade from keeping multiple lists to managing a single calendar when:

  • You find yourself using multiple lists and hating the required activity of reviewing them frequently.  After you make the upgrade, you’ll only have to check the ones that fall within a narrow time period, e.g. that day, yesterday, and tomorrow.
  • You find time demands falling through the cracks.  You want to be sure that the cause is related to this upgrade, and not another cause, or your upgrade won’t work.   When you do make a successful upgrade, it’s harder to lose time demands because you are focusing on a handful, rather than tens or thousands.
  • You find yourself running late often.  Once the upgrade is made, you’ll find that you can schedule reminders, buffer times, and travel times, delegating the job of remembering when to leave to your calendar, rather than to your memory.
  • You feel stressed from using a mental calendar.  Having a calendar fully worked out in front of you and available at all times requires less energy, attention, and effort than trying to keep one in your head.

These aren’t fool-proof tests by any means, but it’s important to note that they might be precipitated by a life-change of some kind that brings an instant flood of new time demands.  These are the moments in our lives and careers when we need to be vigilant, because we might notice some of the above events, which never used to happen, taking place for the first time.

The combination of the life-changing event, and the symptoms listed above, are a good sign that something needs to change, and that it needs to happen quickly.

I plan to make it easy for anyone who wants to make this kind of upgrade.  In a couple of weeks, we’ll be initiating the next 2Time Labs Open House. During this time, our doors will be open to anyone who wants to take one of our free training programs.  The registration period will be short, and hopefully we’ll be able to fill the class before the doors close.  Stay tuned, or visit http://mytimedesign.com for early notification.  (For those who have been tracking carefully, you may have noticed a shift in date.  We simply bit off more than we could chew and put in too much new stuff to hit the original deadline.)

We’ll also be promoting our paid programs during this period to anyone who wants to take things a step further, deeper or faster.

What Inspires Me – In Part – To Improve Time Management

I recently put together a video describing some of the benefits of the free program that I’m about to offer during 2Time Labs’ upcoming Open House.  In the middle of editing the recording, I felt guilty and a little ashamed.  After all, I was telling the world how weak we as a people are in this area, and it felt as if I were washing my dirty linen in public.

Then I read this article published recently based on a speech given by Bryan Wynter, Governor of the Bank of Jamaica, which is our Central Bank (the equivalent of the Federal Reserve.)   The article said:

Total factor productivity, which captures the overall efficiency of production, has declined at an average rate of 2.1 per cent every year over the period 1990 to 2010.  Similarly, labour productivity, which measures output per worker, contracted at an average rate of 0.5 per cent per year over the same period,” he noted.

He also observed that Jamaica’s labour productivity has lagged behind its major trading partners, as well as a number of emerging market economies.

“Against this background, Jamaica’s annual economic growth over the past decade has averaged 0.8 per cent. This is in contrast to average economic growth of 2.6 per cent per year for our Caribbean neighbours,” Mr. Wynter pointed out.

The Central Bank Governor identified a number of factors which have contributed to Jamaica’s low productivity over the years. These include: deficiencies in human capital; high levels of crime; fiscal distortions; and a poor work ethic.

What I know from living and working in the U.S. for over 20 years is that Jamaican workers who migrate are just as productive as anyone else.  The right environment makes all the difference.   Part of what originally got me inspired was a need to replace the excellent mentors, role models and coaching that I observed in the American workplace with something quite different that could be used anywhere – a pathway that anyone could take to improve their time management and productivity skills.

It was the spark that led to 2Time Labs, MyTimeDesign, and NewHabits-NewGoals, which was fueled by the further insight that I had… everyone who wants the benefits of greater personal productivity eventually runs out of others to copy and imitate and must find a way to teach themselves a method that works for them.

So, it might be strange to take a time management program designed by someone living in Jamaica – we are more known for being very, very fast, and very, very laid back (some contradiction)!  We’re not so well known for our productivity, which funny enough, is exactly why I have been so inspired.

P.S. Update on the timing of the Open House.  In the middle of migrating to the new version of MyTimeDesign it dawned on me that there are a lot of upgrades I want to make… so rather than rush them, I’m giving myself a bit of time to migrate from 1.0.Plus+ to 1.1.Plus+.   Stay tuned…