Update September 2016
Bill’s Im-Perfect Time Management Adventure didn’t make me a millionaire but that’s not why I decided to write another book.
A few readers complained that they wanted more details on how to repeat the steps the protagonist undertook. Fortunately, these details existed in the lessons I taught in NewHabits-NewGoals, my productivity training mentioned on the prior page of this bio.
The first program was offered in early 2008 and it was meant to be different from (and hopefully better than) any other training I had ever encountered. In it, I trusted the learner to:
- rapidly become conversant in the disciplines of time-based productivity
- learn how to evaluate their current practices
- convert their evaluation into a set of goals
- use those goals to set up a personal improvement plan
- create a habit-change support environment that could not be ignored or forgotten
These principles were there from the start, eventually making their way into my new book, Perfect Time-Based Productivity: A unique way to protect your peace of mind as time demands increase.
That’s how the book started anyway. My experience and the data I had collected from participants, made me think the book would be far easier to write. After all, in my prior book I had to learn how to write a novel from the ground up.
Early in 2015, as I started writing, I ran into a bit of luck. I discovered that my access to the University of Phoenix’ library was still active. Also, they had dramatically improved its quality to world-class.
I started using it to supplement some gaps in my knowledge, but before long, it became the tool I use to download hundreds of papers. My reading convinced me that I needed to do more than just put the class in a book. To make the ideas useful, they needed proof.
The book wound up with over 200 academic citations, far more than any time management book I had eve read. (The most popular book had a single citation in its first edition.) That meant spending a great deal of time reading and cross-referencing, delving to “the bottom of things.”
I learned that in every field, there is actually a “bottom” – a place where you have read all the relevant research and the papers you have studied all refer to each other, rather than to new content.
The book that was to be published in May was eventually released in December 2014, just after I moved to live in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
The Post-Publication Effect
One of the many benefits of writing a book of this kind is that it provides a powerful shortcut. Instead of having to explain the same idea over and over again it offers a one-top source of ideas. Now, I could riff on its ideas, apply them in a number of ways and simply point to its pages as “proof” of what I was saying. with a foundation in place, it’s possible to build a bigger structure.
The first one that came along happened by accident. My book’s chapters includes a complaint. Product designers and developers in the time-based productivity space don’t spend enough time trying to understand the fundamentals of the discipline. As a result, their solutions don’t quite hit the mark with enough clear force.
Anyway, as a result of the book’s content, I became an adviser to the software company that produces SkedPal. It’s an auto-scheduler that optimizes your calendar with the lick of a button using Narrow Artificial Intelligence. Since early 2015 when I first started using the software, it’s helped me boost the number of time demands I am able to manage dramatically.
It’s not the first software company I have helped, but the number asking for assistance has increased. Now, it’s become a way for me to combine the early experiences I had working in development teams at AT&T Bell Labs with the kind of apps I care deeply about.
Lastly, I’m about to release a new publication: Can Time Be Managed?: An inquiry into the foundations of time-based productivity. It’s a 40,000 word special report that represents a deep dive into philosophy, psychology, physics and other fields, all of which are needed to answer the core question.
So… until my next update, thank for reading this much of my bio! If you have any suggestions for any aspect of my life I should address, let me know.
Update February 2017
I am in the midst of a new project – Schedule U… a School for Scheduling Everything.
It’s a unique place to help people learn how to become Total Task Schedulers – a new term I coined for people who see their calendar as the central point of control for time demands, rather than a list or memory. It should be launched in a few months’ time.
I have also decided to write a new edition of my book. So much has happened in the past two years, most of it based on my discovery of SkedPal. It’s led me to a different workflow, and the discovery of this evolution:
When I wrote my book, I had no idea that Level could be a reality. Now, two years later, it’s a daily part of my routine. My book needs to be updated to reflect this progress.