Component/Fundamental #3 — Tossing v2

Tossing is one of the components that can directly follow Emptying.


Once a time demand enters or is entered into one of the capture points, a decision is made during the component of Emptying about what to do with it.

Certainly, one of the options is simply to take the time demand out of existence without further regard, or in other word to “Toss” it away or to delete it.

An example might be:

Component/Fundamental #2 – Emptying v2

Emptying is the activity that logically follows Capturing.


Emptying involves removing items one at a time from the points of capture and placing them within one of the other components of the time management system. This action frees up the point of capture to receive new items.

Whereas Capturing involves a split-second activity and is truly a habit that can be practiced until it becomes automatic, Emptying is an action that takes careful consideration as it acts as the primary gateway into the rest of the time management system. Emptying is a transfer step, the connection between the items in the points of capture (e.g. an in-box of paper items, a voice-mail system, a paper notepad, etc.) and subsequent components in a time management system (e.g. Tossing, Scheduling, Acting Now, etc.). Continue reading “Component/Fundamental #2 – Emptying v2”

Component / Fundamental #1 — Capturing v2

In an earlier post, I talked about the fact that there are certain key components that need to be included in an effective time management system.

Component #1 is that of “Capturing”.


To understand Capturing, it’s best to slow down a single process that occurs hundreds of times in the day of an average profession.

The process starts with the thought “I need to do something” that could be prompted by a conversation, a book being read, a request — anything that triggers a thought that something needs to be done at some point in the future.

In the 2Time Management System we call this a “time demand”.

Once the original thought appears,- we do something to store the time demand, so that it can be accessed later. Continue reading “Component / Fundamental #1 — Capturing v2”

Time Management: The Martial Art for Working Professionals

In a prior post, I made the point that within every time management system there lies a structure that is always present.

I compare it the bone structure that makes up the human hand. Although individual hands might be different, a fully functional hand must have all the component parts. They each serve a distinct purpose. While it is possible to function without all the parts, there are a few essential bones that must be either present, or replaced, in order for the appendage to work.

In the same way, a time management system must have certain basic components, without which it does not function. These basics are Capturing, Emptying, Tossing, Storing, Scheduling, Acting Now, Listing, Switching, Warning, Interrupting and Reviewing.

In fact, an effective time management system in 2007 must be able to do things that a time management system in 1970 just was not designed to do. Continue reading “Time Management: The Martial Art for Working Professionals”

The Inescapable Laws of Time Management

In our development of a new, Caribbean-based approach to time management, I have stumbled across what I think is an irreducible framework lying behind all efforts to improve personal productivity. It may well provide the basis for a flexible kind of system that anyone can create for themselves.

In the same way that ALL bicycles are designed in keeping with certain physical laws, all time management systems must account for certain basic facts of how time is used and experienced by humans. For example, not being able to be in two different places at the same time is a simple law that many of us try to break, but are not able to, despite our crazy efforts. Also, another law might be that it is impossible to leave for a 3 p.m. meeting at 3 p.m. – one must allow for travel time in order to be on time.

While the time management that one uses may be customized, enhanced, tailored and even automated, it still must make a certain kind of basic sense to each and every user, regardless of profession. Continue reading “The Inescapable Laws of Time Management”

Designing Your Own Time Management System

Individual time management systems are notoriously difficult to implement.

Most professionals are never taught how to manage their time, and so they cobble together a home-grown system based on whatever software they find on their computers when they get their first jobs, and whatever PDA they can afford. They know little of best practices or universal principles, and they mostly operate without standard processes.

They do learn, however, how to complain about not having enough time, having too much to do and being stressed by how much their job is demanding of them. Everyone they know has the same complaint, so they find themselves in good company.

The Caribbean manager is no different in this regard. He, like others, looks at what other people who accomplish much more than he does with a sense of amazement as these hyper-productive people seem to be using magical methods to get the job done.

In an attempt to close the gap, he may place himself in a time management course, or pick up a book on time management. Unfortunately, the results are temporary.

The reason is simple: no two people are alike, yet the gurus behind the most popular time management approaches tend to advocate a single approach for everyone. Continue reading “Designing Your Own Time Management System”