An Uncanny Resemblance

A new set of videos showed up in my feed today entitled “How to Be More Productive.”  They are sponsored by

What’s remarkable is that their videos have an uncanny reemblance to the 20 videos that we put together here at 2Time Labs: the Top 10 FAQ’s and SAQ’s About Time Management.

Take a look at this video from their site which talks about the fundamentals: Capturing, Emptying, Tossing, Storing, Acting Now, Scheduling and Listing.

Coincidence, perhaps? I signed up for their mailing list and sent an email, but I’m not too optimistic about getting a response.

I imagined that this would happen at some point, and as I expected, I’m feeling a bit flattered!


Coaching in a World of “Stuff”

It’s hard to help someone else improve their time management skills when all you see is “stuff.”  Here’s an article I wrote about how an understanding of time demands can make a big difference:  Coaching Amidst a World of Stuff.

P.S. I added a few videos that can help a coach, consultant, trainer or professional organizer do a much more successful job of producing results.

“It’s Not About Time Management!” – Really???

There are all sorts of books, blog posts, white papers, YouTube videos and other sources that are claiming that time management as a discipline has become irrelevant.  They are all dead wrong.

Usually the claim comes in the form of a statement;

“It’s not about time management….  it’s about ____________.”  

 What fills in the blank are things like energy management, life balance, prioritization, self management, etc.

The truth is, there is no such thing as time management in strict terms, due to the fact that time cannot be managed.  It’s independent of our attempts to do anything other than observe it.  What we commonly call time management is closer to “action management” in which we make decisions about what to do at any point in time.  This is, however, beside the point.

The fact is, there is no escaping the management of ones actions in time.  It’s a fundamental part of being effective as a working professional who has 24 hours each day, and more demands than can be completed in a human lifetime.  Time management is part and parcel of producing results in business and its essential that professionals have the right skills in order to meet their obligations at each point in their careers.

To overlook these skills is to have tasks fall through the cracks, email Inboxes overflow, stress levels to build, physical clutter to accumulate, deadlines to be missed and meetings to start late.  Dealing with these problems are mostly a matter of mechanics, which time management is uniquely equipped to deal with.

Can You Create a Margin Without a Schedule?

Michael Hyatt posted an interesting entry on his blog entitled “How to Create More Margin in Your Life.”  In fact, it’s a summary of a book with a similar title by Richard Swenson called “Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.”

I haven’t read the book, but it wisely advises professionals to create extra time, space, energy, etc. in daily life in order to avoid the risk of going into overload.  It’s a great strategy, and one that Orange Belts in Scheduling employ to ensure that their days don’t become overbooked and therefore impossible to complete with peace of mind.

The authors make the point that its rare to find someone who schedules free time for themselves in their schedule – most people run at 120% rather than 80%, with predictable results.

He also makes reference to an “Ideal Week” which is a concept that’s the same as one that we discuss in MyTimeDesign and NewHabits training.

It’s a post that’s worth reading as it indicates the power of pre-planning what one’s week will look like, before the first email arrives on Monday morning.

I have adopted the practice of placing margin time twice in each day.  When I have to delete these blocks of time in order to squeeze something in, I know that the day is at risk of being over-scheduled.  Wherever possible, I try to move time demands into later time-slots in the week.

This technique could be overkill for those who only need Yellow Belt Scheduling skills, and can get by with an appointment calendar and one or more lists. (At the Yellow Belt level, ones schedule remains in ones memory, so it’s much more difficult to create a margin.) However, when the time comes for an upgrade, this is an essential practice.