How Can You Reach the Promised Land? — A Calendar of All Tasks

I bet you’ve heard the saying that “What gets scheduled gets done.” At the same time you may have wondered: “What does that mean for me?” or “What should I do differently?”

If you’re like most people who ask these questions, your mind immediately envisions a new you: one who schedules every task successfully, never arrives late, never over-promises and never forgets a single obligation to yourself or to others. It would be a rebooted, productive version of your current self… at peace knowing that all the stuff you intend to do, but aren’t doing at the moment, is safely tucked away until later.

More likely than not, this Promised Land continues to evade you despite all your efforts. Somewhere along the way, something unwanted happened and you gave up, consoling yourself that it cannot be done, anyway.

– Maybe you took a look around you. No-one you knew was trying to schedule all their tasks. Plus, the most productive ones weren’t making an attempt, so why should you? It’s so much easier to copy what they are doing… no need to go overboard.

– Maybe you read the words of a blogger or author who advised against this approach altogether. Shamed into thinking you were doing something stupid, you dropped the idea.

– Or maybe, just maybe, you actually tried to schedule all your tasks using a paper or digital calendar. Sure, it worked for a while. But then, after a stressful day with lots of unwanted surprises, you became overwhelmed and just quit. It was just too depressing to see a carefully crafted plan go up in smoke, sometimes within minutes. Plus, who has the bandwidth to re-adjust their entire schedule every time the inevitable disruption occurs?

The overall effect? Disappointment. Jaded, perhaps you even became someone who told everyone that “Total Task Scheduling” does not work.

But in the back of your mind you never lost sight of the original vision. Even now, when you add a task to your calendar, you know that it’s different from leaving it to be buried in your To-Do List. “If it works for one task,” you still ask yourself, “why couldn’t I get it to work for all of them?” It seems as if it should work, and it shouldn’t be hard.
Looking for Help

Unfortunately, there has been little assistance in answering this question.

Now and then, you run into someone who claims to be “scheduling everything.” Authors like Cal Newport and Kevin Kruse make it clear that you are not alone in having a vision of a new you. Others do it, they say, citing their personal experience, case studies and research of successful people.

But rather than inspiring you to try again, this new exposure only brings back your disappointment, even as it reminds you of that original vision you once had. As they exhort readers to become Total Task Schedulers, you struggle to see where you went wrong.
Finding Best Practices and Practitioners

To get some answers, perhaps you turned to Google, like I did. “Somewhere,” I thought, “there must be others who are trying.” After a year of searching, I gave up and started Schedule U. As they say, if you can’t find the right group to join, start your own!

But, I’m fortunate. In the past couple of years I have become a daily user of SkedPal, one of the few auto-schedulers designed to help people achieve the goal of Total Task Scheduling. Being an adviser to the founder of the software, I have shared its features while testing early versions of its desktop and mobile apps. Plus, I contribute to a tiny community providing Beta-version feedback.

It’s led me back to a thought I had when writing Perfect Time-Based Productivity in 2014. Becoming a Total Task Scheduler isn’t easy, even with the use of an auto-scheduler. Both manual and app-driven approaches require the user to combine technology and personal practices, a feat left to the individual to discover.

So I launched Schedule U, a place of learning for people to find success stories and explain them in plain language. Fortunately, there are quite a few of people sharing how they do it which I have pulled together into a free training called A Course in Scheduling.

If you ever had a vision of the peace of mind which can come from a calendar of all your tasks, join us there.

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Thanks to my proofreaders — Glen Buchwald, Melanie Wilson, Jeneil Stephen, Robin Blanc, Catherine Munson.

Help For Time Advisers

8 fata assumptions that time advisers make

A Time Adviser is a coach, consultant, trainer or professional organizer who is in the profession of helping other people improve their time management and productivity skills. Over at the MyTimeDesign.com website I have been focusing on helping them use the latest research to have a bigger impact with their clients.

To that end, I recently partnered with Janice Russell to produce a new Special Report entitled: The 8 Fatal Assumptions that Time Advisers Make. It’s available for immediate download at the website, and also on Scribd.

If you are a Time Adviser, when you download the Report from our website you’ll be placed on our mailing list which will immediately start sending updates on the work we’re doing. plus you’ll be introduced to our other resources developed to date, and provide some information on the progress we’re making towards creating a formal certification process for Time Advisers.

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

A Training Simulation for Improving Coaching Skills

Our MyTimeDesign website that focuses on applications of the 2Time Labs ideas recently launched a training simulation for managers, coaches and professional organizers.  It gives the learner the opportunity to help a fictional character, Wilma, navigate a consulting relationship with Adam, her client.  She’s attempting to migrate from a focus on physical organization to one on time clutter / time management.

Try out this 15 minute learning opportunity here:  http://icd.mytimedesign.com/wilma and leave us a comment on the page.

From a training and development perspective, you can see the direction in which 2Time Labs is headed, as we look to provide the very best online training in time management in the world.

Thanks to Trivantis and it’s Snap programs for helping to make these goals possible with new affordable technology.

 

Teleclass Recording and a Brand New Way to Learn

Last week’s teleclass focused on the most recent research in time management, and how it can be used to improve the way we schedule our time, and change our habits.  I used the research by Dezhi Wu and the authors of Change Anything as my primary sources of information, taking their best ideas that we’re working with here at 2Time Labs.

Here is the link to the teleclass, which you may also download.

Also, I want to give you access to a new way of teaching and learning time management via e-learning – using an interactive simulation that we developed.  It’s a game of sorts, involving different choices you can make to help Brenda, a young professional, use the best time management techniques to navigate her first day back at work after a long vacation.

Here is the link to the simulation: “Brenda Returns from Vacation.”

Our Open House Continues… a Teleclass!

Our Open House is in full swing and people are registering in the Free and Plus programs as speak.  It’s an exciting moment in the history of 2Time Labs!

On Thursday night (Oct 6th), the adventure continues with a teleclass entitled “Breakthroughs You Can Use.”  I’ll be sharing how you can use the findings on the most recent time management research in Scheduling (Dezhi Wu) and Habit Change (Patterson et al.) to derive personal shortcuts to personal productivity and peace of mind.

Here are the details of the call:

Conference Details
Scheduled Conference Date: Thursday, October 06, 2011
Scheduled Start Time: 8:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Participant Access Code: 676330
Dial-in Number: 1-270-400-1500 East Coast
See you on the call!

Using the New Time Management to Avoid Digital Distraction

On August 24th I’ll be giving a tele-class to the members of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization.

The topic will be The New Time Management and Digital Distraction.  It’s not a free event as you must be a member of the institute to attend, but it seems like a great group of folks and I love what they are trying to do.

Please check our their site and see whether or not you’d like to join.

Pink Shoe Power Follows Time Management 2.0 Principles

Am I a bit excited?  It’s the first time that I have found another website that shares Time Management 2.0 principles.  It’s called Pink Shoe Power.

The authors of the site, Valerie McDougall and Jayne Jennings, describe four time management styles that women might find themselves following, and based their thinking on the following line of thinking:

 

Have you found you’ve spent your time and money trying different time management tools or strategies before that just didn’t work for you? Either because they seemed too hard to keep doing, didn’t feel right or didn’t give you the results you were wanting?

If you’re like most people you’ll be nodding right now! (Can I see you nodding?)

It’s not your fault….

You don’t expect all clothing to fit you and look good…so why should we expect the same of time management tools and strategies?

Many time management systems are flawed for one key reason…they assume that the approach they prescribe is right for everyone, They’re based on the false assumption that with equal effort, everyone will be able to achieve similar outcomes.

THE PROBLEM is one size doesn’t fit all—we are all individuals with different likes and dislikes and importantly, we learn and do things differently. Some people are visual, others kinesthetic, auditory, structural, or creative…. So it’s no surprise that the way you approach time management is NOT the same as everyone else’s.

That’s from the page describing their book by the same name.

While I haven’t read the book I applaud their thinking and once again can only wonder why there aren’t hundreds of sites based on this seemingly obvious premise?  I take it for granted here at 2Time Labs, but this is the only site I have found that clearly and openly shares that premise.

Maybe I’m wrong, but if not, would anyone care to venture a guess?

 

Living a Life Filled with Experiments to Improve Your Productivity

In case you haven’t noticed, or are new to this website, I am not a fan of the quick fix.  When it comes to time management, I simply don’t believe in them.

Genuine upgrades take work, whether you are a world-class athlete or a working professional looking to be more productive or reduce your backlog of email.

Matthew Cornell is a very interesting blogger and management consultant who recently made a radical change in his public writing.  He’s no longer writing much about time management and productivity, and has instead shifted his attention to doing life-experiments.  His blog is called The Experiment-Driven Life.

Fortunately for us, he’s saying some great things.  Unfortunately, he’s one of the few saying these things, and very few seem to be listening.

His thesis is simple enough.  If you want to get better at anything in life you need to learn how to conduct effective experiments.  In other words, you need to do research.

Not the kind of research that we like to do when we do a Google search.  He’s talking about PhD level work that starts from the ground up, but instead… done by the common man.

Here is a link to his cornerstone post:  How to Experiment

The reason that his blog is of such interest to me, and the work at 2Time Labs is because it echoes the approach that we advocate in Time Management 2.0.  If you agree that each of us needs a custom time management system (for any number of reasons) then designing one that works involves a major sequence of trial and error.

It’s much better to use good research principles than to flounder around wasting time without the right kind of objective data, and Cornell’s point is that this data can be quantitative or qualitative, and be drawn from the very day to day activities that make up your life.

I might be quite biased, as I taught an MBA school research course, and also has degrees in Operations Research.  However, he’s going much further than anything I ever taught or learned in driving this kind of “hi-falutin'” thinking into everyday life.

It’s exactly the right mindset that we all need to adopt when we attempt our upgrades, and the more rigor we bring to the experiment, the less time and effort we’ll spend on them.

Take a look at his site, and understand why I want to create a community of self-experimentation.

Great quote

Productivity is never an accident.  It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.

Paul J. Meyer

So much for the tips, tricks, shortcuts and secrets that we love so much…