Too often we beat ourselves up over not being productive enough. I’m at the forefront of this obsession. I underestimate how long a task will take and overestimate how many I can fit in a day. No matter what I get done, I never have the satisfaction accomplishing anything. “I could have done more” or “I still didn’t get this done”. It seems like I’ve scoured the earth, physical and virtually for a “system” that would cure my neurosis. It wasn’t even about being more productive really, even though that was part of it: it was the perception; I needed something that provided me that feeling I had accomplished what I set out to do and I want to tangibly see it.
About thirty years ago while building my recruiting firm, I coined a term, “On the Road to Your Perfect World.” In a nutshell it means; in life and all its nuances, it’s the journey that matters not the destination. It’s the experiences of life that create the human beings we are. And maybe more than that – it’s how we think about those experiences and how we react to them.
At some point during this time, my productivity disorder collided with my concept of the Perfect World journey and my daughter, Alex’s obsession with LEGOS. LEGOS were visual. They were tangible and were distinctly able to be differentiated due to the variety of colors available. What if these LEGO traits could be used in a different way.
What came from this synthesis was a time management system that takes advantage of the visual attraction of LEGOS while also utilizing the different sizes blocks that could represent different amounts of time. Each row on a block could indicate a 1/2 hour time segment with the different colors representing the various areas of activity in my life.
The value of BLOCKS! is not so much as a productivity tool, even though its definitely that. There’s many options on the market to do that. It’s that the colored blocks visually show what tasks (or task groups) have been done and what still need to be. They provide a stark visual representation of the level and composition of your productivity (or lack of). The different colors enable you to breakdown your roster of things going on in your life into visual categories; and by separating them into what was done and what still had to be done – you can actually see your productivity and hold it in your hands. You can visually see what you were spending time (or not).
Up to this time however I didn’t have a good tool to get my things (my various project lists) coordinated to the point of knowing exactly what was needed to be done in my life at the time. I was organized from a project-by-project basis; but the act of combining everything together was still evasive to me. But recently that’s changed. I had always been familiar with Reminders in the Apple ecosystem, but it never dawned on me how it could be connected with my old idea of a LEGO organized system. At least not until recently, specifically with the new OS and iOS 13. This confluence of the real world and virtual provided the connective tissue I needed. The the color coordination of Reminders and the LEGO blocks took a To Do list system to one that also provided me with an idea of how productive I had been and on what I had spent my time on. It laid out the conduit to a sense of accomplishment.
After twenty years of incubation, BLOCKS! was born.
BLOCKS! isn’t going to help tell you what you should do in the first place. It’s a tool to help you manage your journey through life. It’s here to help you get done what you want to do get done in a visual sense – whatever that may be. But maybe most of all, it allows you to see and feel good about what you’ve done. And for me – that has made this twenty year journey all worth it.