Recently, I have been exploring a different way of looking at time management skills from the approach I have taken here at 2Time Labs so far.
The idea is simple: perhaps one’s skill level in time management has something to do with what happens on a habitual basis at particular moments throughout the day. I imagine that for most adults these are unconscious practices that they learned long ago, and they are done in an unthinking way.
Moment #1 – New stuff you initiate
You decide to act, and create a new time demand by making a mental commitment to act in the future.
Moment #2 – Setting up an auto capture point
You create a new email address or voicemailbox and tell others about it. New time demands start flowing into that capture point.
Moment #3 – Working through the time demands at a capture point
For an auto or manual capture point, you decide to address the time demands that have been sitting there for some time
Moment #4 – In the middle of working on a task you are interrupted by a reminder that it’s time to act on something new.
Moment #5 – You are at the natural end of a task, and are about to start a new one. You must decide what to work on next.
Moment #6 – The moment when it’s time to upgrade your time management system. You notice that you are getting stressed at having too much to do too often, or that time demands are falling through the cracks. These are 2 of the indicators that tell you that your system isn’t working as it should
Moment #7 – You look over your time management system with a view to making some kind of improvement. You decide to change something and implement a new habit, or tool.
Moment #8 – When you engage in a task that matters, you take the necessary steps to immerse yourself in your most productive mode for its duration.
World-class time management comes down to mastering these 8 moments in a consistent and habitual way. It’s easy to separate effective from ineffective time managers by observing what happens at these moments.