Thoughts Flying Around

brilliant_idea_business_concept_illustration.jpgPart of what humans are unable to control is the sheer volume of thoughts that travel through the average person’s head on a given day. We cannot stem the torrent of useful and useless ideas, bits of conversation, idle fantasies and the like that don’t seem to stop even when we are asleep.

The challenge that we have is to develop habits to deal with at least some of them effectively, and especially when they create time demands.

Part of the trouble I have with some of the language Steven Covey uses in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is that the things he talks about are not really habits at all, because they are not actionable, observable physical movements. Continue reading “Thoughts Flying Around”

Learning a Habit I Forgot

I am reading the #1 New York Times Best Seller – The Four Hour Work Week and finding it quite entertaining.

As someone who lives in Jamaica, it would seem that I am living the author’s dream to some extent! More on this later, to be sure.

One immediate benefit this book has brought me is that I realized that I had fallen back into the trap of checking email at all sorts of times during the day. I remember scheduling the times when I used to check email, and I even plan to teach it in the upcoming 2Time Pilot. Continue reading “Learning a Habit I Forgot”

Changing Habits Slowly

Recently, I did a most interesting test of my personal health on

What made it remarkable is that it gave me back a list of on-the-point recommendations, and it also gave me back an estimate of my “real age”, which I am happy to report is some 8 years younger than my calendar years.

Once I got over my pride at the hard work I have put in over the years, I started looking at all the new things I should be doing, like taking vitamins, sleeping longer and eating more tomato-based products. All in all, it had a list of interesting new habits for me to adopt, and the beauty of the report was that it listed all of them in one single place. Continue reading “Changing Habits Slowly”

Outgrowing Habits

teenager.jpgBuilt into the 2Time philosophy is the idea that a user can choose to evolve their habits over time. Once they determine which belt level they are currently at, they can change it when they know the new practices that they need to master.

But at the same time, there is a somewhat natural evolution that takes place for every professional. They get to the point where they are using a certain set of practices they feel comfortable with, say at the Yellow belt level. They are adequately dealing with a certain number of time demands, and are feeling no sense of being overwhelmed.

Then, a natural change occurs. Continue reading “Outgrowing Habits”

Changing Habits – Neatly and Simply

Neat and Simple is a blog well worth reading for those who are serious about 2Time or any other thinking around time management.

In this article on changing habits, the author (Ariane Benefit) delves into what it takes to overcome deeply ingrained habits, and to take on new ones. She identifies four different phases an erstwhile habit breaker must go through:

  1. Initiation
  2. Disorientation
  3. Reorientation
  4. Integration

It’s just great thinking and writing.

Cracking Your Personal Code of New Habits

steph-burns-articles2.jpgThere are so many good ideas from this article at The Leadership Labyrinth entitled “Installing a new habit and breaking an old one” that I don’t think there is much that I can add.

The article has to do with establishing new habits, a science and an art for which there seems to be no cookie-cutter solution. One thing I do know is that people are different, and that it is possible to crack one’s personal code when it comes to establishing a new habit. I like to create habits by setting up physical or audible assistants. I have been getting up in the morning every Tuesday and Thursday to ride at 4:10 a.m., and I have never missed a single ride in over 18 months. I started by taking out my clothes, taking out my bike, and setting everything up to make it easy for myself to roll out of bed with a woozy head, until I make it safely to the start of the ride.

Practicing as a Professional

It’s easy to see how Tiger Woods can arrange his practice. He gets up at 6am and goes over the the green and starts hitting balls, hundreds and and maybe thousands of balls.

In like manner, a tennis player can serve hundreds of balls over and over again.

These examples seem easy to understand, but what is the professional equivalent of practicing by hitting numerous balls with a stick.

While there are no real practice opportunities outside of the 2Time class to practice each of the 11 skills in a simulated environment, a professional can use the daily flow of events as a way to practice and improve. Continue reading “Practicing as a Professional”

On Being a Black Belt pt 3

I just read a great definition of what being a Black Belt is all about. I am paraphrasing what was written on the website Easy Time Tracking.

A Green Belt spends a great deal of their time working on being more productive, and more efficient.

A Black Belt’s goal, however, is to live better and to savor one’s time, and to live a better life. In other words, their focus is on quality rather than quantity.

Black Belts are simply able to live more of the life they want to live than anyone else, all other things being equal. Continue reading “On Being a Black Belt pt 3”

Deliberate Practice

In the article “The Making of an Expert”, the author also makes the case that deliberate practice involves two kinds of learning:

“[…] improving the skills you already have and extending the reach and range of your skills. The enormous concentration required to undertake these twin tasks limits the amount of time you can spend doing them.”

These are useful distinctions for the 2Time user.

The author makes the points that

“[…] musicians over 60 years old who continue deliberate practice for about ten hours a week can match the speed and technical skills of 20-year-old expert musicians when tested on their ability to play a piece of unfamiliar music.”

Again, this is good advice for the executive who refuses, for example, to use a PDA of any kind and is forced to lower levels of productivity.