Others say: “Time management is something you learn once, like riding a bicycle”
Time Management 2.0 says: “If you don’t continually upgrade your skills, prepare to fall behind”
Fortunately for us, we live in an age of rapid innovation, and there’s hardly a day that goes by without an announcement of some gadget, software program or web service that promises to help us increase our productivity. The future is likely to continue in the same vein. Given these changes, we need to be constantly scanning the horizon to discover which new tools could be used to help us improve our time management systems.
For example, here in 2010 alone, we have seen the release of Apple’s iPad, GMail’s Priority Inbox and Xobni’s program for Outlook. Also, a number of books have been published that promise new tips. It’s easy to throw our hands in the air and claim that it’s all happening too fast to keep up.
In Time Management 2.0, we embrace these changes and find ways to evaluate new offerings in terms of their potential impact on our time management systems. We must do so because working professionals are likely to face the following in the future:
– increased competition for our attention
– more technologies with built-in disruptors (pings, beeps, buzzes, vibrations, chimes, etc.)
– new channels of communication
– even more messages sent at us each day
Dealing with this reality will require you to have new technologies, new techniques and new tools. The professional who develops her time management systems to any given point, and stops, is likely to fall behind, simply because her current time management system is not geared to deal with the latest reality. For example, I know CEO’s who have their secretaries print out their email so that they can read it each morning. Clearly, their skills have not kept up with what’s happening around them.
On a more personal note, I remember when I had AOL as my primary email account, and the program announced “You’ve Got Mail” whenever I got a new message. That was fun when I got 2-3 messages per day, but at some point that technology became useless when the number of emails received exploded. Anyone using AOLMail today probably doesn’t use that feature for the 150 messages that they receive on average.
One of the most unproductive places you could be, is to have old skills in the midst of new technology. The key is to find a feasible, stress-free pathway for continuous improvement.
Before discovering Time Management 2.0, all of the time management systems I looked at made the mistake of taking their users to a single point and leaving them there. The assumption seemed to be that once you “got” time management, you were set for life.
Here in Time Management 2.0, we emphasize the idea that there are people in the world who are highly skilled practitioners in time management. They are designated as “Green Belts,” according the ladder of skills ranging from White to Green that we use as a tool. They start with a simple assessment to determine their current belt level. (For an example of how this is done, see Further Resources below.)
There is no external pressure or expectation to move up from one belt to another whatsoever, recognizing that each person is different. They compare their skills against their life’s current needs, and then make a decision about whether or not they’d like to upgrade their skills, and perhaps earn a new belt. Some decide that they are fine where they are at the moment, but most are able to see some gaps for the first time and make some plans to close them.
That’s a far cry from many who think that time management is something to learn once.
Here are the links to all the pages in this report: