Taking The Bill Book on a Blog Tour

Luggage_-_Suitcases_1I have just kicked off a virtual blog tour for Bill’s Im-Perfect Time Management Adventure with two interviews from fans of the book, and a mention in the press.

SOS Blog

Andrea Sharb’s blog is written from her point of view as a professional organizer who specializes in corporate clients, some of whom have ADHD. She interviewed me about the reason why the book is so different from the other time management and productivity books that have been published up until this point.

Tara Rodden Robinson’s Blog

Tara’s blog focuses on productivity and improvement in general, and she has quite a loyal following who tune in to listen to her Virtual Study Group. He interview focused on the reasons why we need to focus on developing skills to customize our own approach.

Observer Column – Your Money

Cherryl Hanson-Simpson attended one of our live training sessions and made some immediate changes to her practices. She used Amazon Prime to get a free copy of the book – a great advantage for those who belong to the program. In her column, she shared some of the immediate changes she’s making to her time management system.

To see further reviews, interviews, podcasts and the link related to the blog tour, join us on  the book’s website at http://perfect.mytimedesign.com.

Why a Big Gap Exists in Time Management Knowledge

industrial engineersOne of the challenges involved in gaining a deeper understanding of time management mechanics is that it’s all about using physical actions to manipulate invisible objects.

Industrial engineering, which is the study of the optimization of scarce resources in a production environment is typically concerned with the events taking place on a factory floor where physical objects are manufactured. These objects can be touched, observed, measured and tracked by anyone with the right measuring device and an ability to count.

The traditional production environment, such as the one used to manufacture cars, is marked by a high volume of “widgets” and a number of processes that act on them. In the process, a transformation occurs from a starting state (raw materials) to a preferred end-state. In the example of automobile factories, steel, rubber, glass, plastic and other stuff is heated, pressed, pulled, cooled, sliced and diced and all stuck together in some way until a car comes out at the end. (One of the first factories I ever stepped into was a General Motors axle assembly plant, which was an amazing spectacle to observe.)

In the world of time management something similar takes place that’s also quite different.

A time demand is created by the individual’s mind, perhaps triggered by the external world. There it remains until it’s either captured in some way on paper or digital media, before being acted upon by the 7 Essential Fundamentals. At the end of the process, after the Fundamentals have been used and the action is completed, the time demand disappears and no longer has any effect.

This movement of time demands is fairly easy to simulate or model using queuing theory and discrete simulation, which are two of the tools we leaned on heavily in my training as an Operations Research /Industrial Engineer. However, I can’t find any place where either tools has been applied to time demands. I have dabbled a bit, but there remains a great deal of empirical work to be done to even begin to understand the nature of time demand management.

Unfortunately, it would be pretty difficult to do a PhD that crosses both engineering and psychological disciplines. This might be part of the reason why so little research is done in this area, even though the work done in either discipline related to time management appears to my untrained eye to be limited in scope. It takes an appreciation of both disciplines, plus an understanding of the term “time demand” to bring the two together.




Hypnotize Your Way to Better Time Management. Really?

I came across a page that sells CD’s promising to help the customer to improve their time management.

I might be reacting a bit too quickly with too much skepticism, but… it’s darned hard to think so.

If you are reading this page then you have the first essential element in changing – the desire to change. As long as you want to make this improvement in your life, as long as you can see your future self – calm, composed, relaxed, fully in control of your time, arriving early for appointments and getting things done before the deadline.. then it is possible – with help from our comprehensive time management hypnosis program.

The only difference between yourself and these “naturally gifted” people who manage their time flawlessly is in your mind – your beliefs, patterns of thinking, and simply how your mind is programmed.

This time management hypnosis session works will re-wire your mind to make you think in the same was as these people who are naturally gifted with time management – so that you too will acquire excellent natural time management skills.

Hypnotize Your Way to Better Time Management

Why The Urgent-Important Matrix and Purpose-Goal-Action Hierarchies Don’t Matter Much

too busy to figure out purposeSome people have remarked that 2Time Labs focuses almost exclusively on what we call Time Mechanics – how you manage the flow of time demands through your life. Or in other words, what happens to them from the moment they are born in your mind to the point where they disappear from your life because they have been completed.

It’s a bit of a criticism, to be honest. The argument is that we should also focus on Time Choices – helping people to decide what they should be working on at any moment in time in keeping with a hierarchy of goals. They point to the Urgent-Important Matrix popularized (but not invented) by Stephen Covey, and other systems of thought that link high-level life-purpose at one extreme, to the choice they make about what to do today at another.

The line of thinking is that it’s best when there is a connection between these two extremes, running all the way through different levels of commitment.

I haven’t joined that debate, and yes, the work at 2Time Labs focuses squarely on Time Mechanics while spending little time on Time Choices. Why?

It’s because most people don’t have time to think about life purpose for more than a fleeting moment. In other words, their time mechanics don’t give them any room to consider these questions. Even someone who decides to come up with a plan for their lives won’t succeed if they are unable to spend any time during their busy day to execute it, no matter how well it’s conceived and worded.

On the other hand, people who manage their time well seem to be able to make excellent Time Choices at all levels, and fully integrate highest and lowest level activities. My hypothesis is that they are able to do this well without any formal training because they have the time and space to ask questions about where their life is going, and then turn the answers into action items. They have a peace of mind that allow for deeper questions, and better linkage between their goals at all levels.

As for the Urgent-Important Matrix – it’s a nice system of classification. But after your time demands have been tagged with the right quadrant from the matrix… now what? You still have to make an individual decision about when to do the action and the tag might be useful for a fleeting instant, but what happens when a few days have passed and a time demand moves from one quadrant to the other? Should you go through and re-tag every item with an updated category? Probably not, which means that the action of adding the tag in the first place is probably superflouous.

The answer is not to come up with a new process or system for linking these goals, tagging the or even defining them. The systems that I have seen make good common-sense, but don’t really say anything new that you couldn’t figure out on your own. Tagging time demands with any kind of priority or category doesn’t seem to be an essential step, even though some would argue that it helps them.