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How can I be a better M.A.T.E. to my friends?


   What does it mean to be a good 'M.A.T.E.'? Bob Dylan during his 'christian' phase challenged the church to show him someone who knew how to live a life of love.  Love is what I call a 'Life Currency' - something we exchange with a view to a result.  There are many life currencies that help each of us be a good friend or mate* to others.  (*I am using 'mate' in the non-sensual sense - rather in the British meaning of being a close friend.)  'Love' is a difficult...[More]

Are You REALLY Ticklish?


I've used 'Tickler Systems' over the years - either as a brought-forward folder with 1-31 dividers and January-December dividers, or as postings in Outlook.  Dave Allen, however, recommends a HUGE system - using 43 distinct folders (see image). This has some MASSIVE benefits.  It means that you can really put quite bulky items into the folders.  For example, I love finding interesting greetings cards for birthday and anniversaries, for christmas and random spontaneous gestures of...[More]

Golden Time


Some additional thoughts on 'Golden Time'... The only way I can seem to move forward at the moment is to ‘throw a Mary’... Here's an account from Luke's Gospel, chapter 10 - at the home of Martha and Mary.  As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that ha...[More]

Hunter Gatherer, Farmer and Gardener


We are often told that humans were first 'Hunter-Gatherers' and later became less Nomadic as they turned to Farming.  These are great metaphors for how we can 'Take Control of our Time'.  Until we have hunted out and gathered all our active commitments into appropriate baskets, bins, boxes, buckets and 'Next Physical Action' lists, we will be haunted by a sense of the unknown and the undone (see Blog on 'Unfinished Business').  Our quest must be to hunt and gather until absolute...[More]

Unfinished Business - and death by a thousand cuts


I'm thinking of rebranding the manual for 'Taking Control of Your Time' as 'Unfinished Business - How to Take Control of Your Time'.  Why?  Simply because I think the sense of 'unfinished business' is at the very heart of the process.  When we have endless 'open loops' (as David Allen calls them in his process), we have this all pervasive nagging sense of unease over all the unfinished business we have yet to deal with.  This makes it virtually impossible to relax, and place ...[More]

Sacred Space and Sacred Calendars


So what should we do with our Calendars?  The answer, suggests David Allen, is only three things: Time specific events, actions and appointments Day specific events and actions that do not need to be performed at a specific time that day Day specific information - for example, direction to a meeting. Everything else should be 'Parked' in the appropriate Next Action List or in a tickler file to remind you when you next have your weekly hour-of-power.  (See blog entry...[More]

The Weekly Hour-of-Power


What could we be doing in the 'Weekly Hour-of-Power'?  (Participants on my first Time Management workshops will notice that I've bumped up the half-hour-of-power to an hour-of-power.  This is because the tasks to be done in this hour have increased since I first started sharing the concept.)  Here's what I'd recommend, based on combining the work of David Allen, Stephen Covey, Roger Merrill, Claus Moeler (TMI) et al. Prepare your 'Week Ahead Overview' Review all open '...[More]

What Your Time Management System could look like


So what sections are we going to need in a paper-based system or on our computers.  For the sections mentioned below, just think folders and applications if you are going to go totally digital.  For this blog I am going to concentrate on 'pimping' my Time Manager International System.  Here are the suggested changes: Diary Section with Day, Week and Month planner (I used to have a single Anniversaries sheet list so that I didn't have to redo that each year - though this is ...[More]

Opportunity Knocks - Next Physical Action Lists


Could 'Next Physical Action Lists' spell the end of wishy-washy commitments and lack of results?  I think they certainly offer us a major step forward. Next Physical Action Lists are all about living our Carpe Diem philosophy to the full - seizing the moment quickly when it arises.  As a reminder, Next Physical Action Lists contain tangible tasks and actions that are not time or day specific.  (Tasks that are time-sensitive should be in the diary and in the tickler system for the...[More]

Creativity on-the-Spot


If we need to 'Mind the Gap' in order to gather our thoughts when put on the spot, we doubly need to do so when we need to create new ideas.  We need a creative pause if we are to generate new ideas, alternatives and fresh options.  If fact, the 'Creative Pause' is a technique recommended by creativity guru, Edward de Bono.  His method is just to have some 'time out' and trust that the creative mind will 'fill that gap' - and it does.  However, we can actually catalyse the pr...[More]

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