Others say: “Don’t worry about why this system works, just follow/use it”
Time Management 2.0 says: “Find out the design principles behind all useful systems so that you can craft your own”
People who come across a time management book or class are generally told to “follow the instructions,” and to adopt the new practices they are being taught. But they are simply never told WHY, exactly, the system being described is better than the one they are currently using.
Don’t blame the teacher/author/workshop facilitator. They simply don’t have the time to work with each individual in order to understand what they currently have, and instead they present a generic system that they honestly believe the listener / reader should adopt in whole… for their own good, of course.
If you have ever been in a time management class or read a book, you might know exactly what I’m talking about.
That approach works fine for a few people, but an increasing number have come to realize that one size doesn’t fit all. When they come across new time management information tips, they have no intention of adopting all of them. Instead, they cherry-pick ideas from here and there, making the changes they believe are the right ones for them. Nothing wrong with that, and most authors and teachers admit that that is exactly what users do.
The problem is that the gurus don’t share the “secret sauce,” or just don’t know what it is. The gurus have built a system that works for them, but they don’t turn around and share the process they followed.
That’s a secret.
Some treat it as “intellectual property” to be locked away and hidden from the public because it’s so valuable. Others have no idea what they did, and couldn’t repeat the trick if their life depended on it.
But which would you rather have? The rules or the “secret sauce?”
“Francis,” you might say, “are you nuts….???!!!! I’d want to know how to fix, shape and improve my own time management so that next year, when someone creates some new invention that will change my job forever, I’ll be able to escape the mayhem with a small tweak! Also, I don’t want to be one of these people who chase after the next sexy gadget but keep forgetting their wife’s birthday!”
Unfortunately, you are never given the “secret sauce,” but you do your best anyway using bits and pieces from here and there. You probably won’t cover all the essentials of time management in your design, and also won’t figure out your upgrade path for the future.
Gurus haven’t offered professionals the real help that many need — information on how to effectively manage, maintain and improve their own systems based on the fundamental principles.
It turns out that the fundamentals are pretty easy to understand, and in Time Management 2.0 professionals come to learn what they are and how they work for themselves, so that they can do things like:
– repair their way of dealing with email if they find themselves continually falling behind
– choose a new device, such as a smartphone, knowing which habits they’ll have to change
– upgrade to the new version of Outlook or Lotus Notes and understand whether things will be easier or harder
– make a change in their habits forced by relocation, or by travel, and understand the impact on their productivity
These fundamentals can be learned by taking one of my courses or by reading the 2Time blog (see the references at the end of the report.) You can also download a manifesto I wrote on “The New Time Management” that describes the 7 essential fundamentals: Capturing, Emptying, Tossing, Acting Now, Storing, Scheduling and Listing.
Here are the links to all the pages in this report: