In this week’s episode, we are going to introduce you to a productivity accountability technique called 25/55 (named for touching base every 25 and 55 minutes of every working hour). We describe what the 25/55 productivity accountability technique is, its components and why it works, how long you should practice a technique like this, and even a discussion on automating your check-ins. We’ll close out with some tips for those who may not feel like 25/55 will work for them; you’d be surprised!
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In this Cast | 25/55 Productivity Accountability Technique
Show Notes | 25/55 Productivity Accountability Technique
Resources we mention, including links to them, will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.
- You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults w/ Attention Deficit Disorder) by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo
- Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD
- Default Mode Network (mind wandering)
- BlipBlip (Android)
- Toggl Track
- Apple Shortcuts
Raw Text Transcript | 25/55 Productivity Accountability Technique
Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be substantial errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases. The time coding is mm:ss (e.g., 0:04 starts at 4 seconds into the cast’s audio).Read More
Voiceover Artist 0:00
Are you ready to manage your work and personal world better to live a fulfilling productive life, then you’ve come to the right place. ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things productivity, here are your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud, with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:17
Welcome back, everybody to ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things personal productivity. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith.
Augusto Pinaud 0:22
I’m Augusto Pinaud.
Francis Wade 0:24
And I’m Francis Wade.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:25
Welcome, gentlemen, and welcome to our listeners to this episode of productivity cast. This week, we’ll be discussing something called the 25/55 technique, we’re going to talk about what it is why you would do it, how it all kind of works? And then how long you should do the 25/55 technique, if at all? What are the parameters for why you would want to do it, and some of the underpinnings for why you would approach the system for some particular length of time or not. So let’s get into what the 25/55 technique is. Its origins are a bit muddy for me. So do not think that I know everything about this origin story, the details that I can say and remember well enough is that many years ago, this is going back a little bit more than a decade ago, a friend of mine had asked me to, in essence, start doing this. And I said, Oh, well, where did this come from? And my best recollection is that it was generated from some thoughts related to the book by Dr. Edward Hallowell. You mean I’m not lazy, stupid or crazy, which is, which is a self help book for adults with ADHD. And so I’ll put a link to that book in the show notes. And so I believe that’s where the, the idea of this all came from. The 25/55 technique is a method for you to be able to touch base with a social accountability partner throughout the day, and helping you to plan and manage from the half hour level. And so this is how it works, you find a communication platform that you both can agree on. And you in essence, will every 25 and 55 of the hour. And again, you can choose, you know, every 15 and 45 of the hour, it really doesn’t matter what the kind of the meter of the or the tempo of the technique is, you get to choose if it’s on the half hour and the hour, or if it’s on the 25 and 55 at the hour. But kind of using a little bit of Pomodoro Technique here, giving yourself that five minute break between every 25 and 30 of the hour is kind of built into the 2555 techniques. So you choose a communications platform, it can be synchronous, or asynchronous, as long as you both can keep a thread going with one another. And so say SMS text messaging every 25 of the hour, you would write to the person starting at some particular hour of the day. So say you want to start at the eight o’clock hour, in the morning, you would say at 7:55am, you would you would send a message telling your accountability partner, what it is you plan to do in the next 30 minutes. Now, you then start working on that 30 minutes of work focused. And then at 8:25am, you would then again, message your accountability partner, and let them know what it is that you accomplished in the past half hour, did you do what you said you were going to do at 7:55. And then you’re going to tell your accountability partner what you’re going to do in the next 30 minutes. And that next 30 minutes is from the next hour, or it could be from from the 25 minute forward. I think that if you utilize the Pomodoro Technique, here, you would take that five minutes, take a breather, do what you want to do. And then at 8:30, you would start working on the next thing. And so you work on that for the next 25 minutes. So you are in essence, just checking in with that accountability partner. And mind you, your accountability partner is doing the same thing, which means that both of you are accountable to touching base. But if one for some reason lapses in touching base with that person, then the other person’s message should prompt you to go ahead and respond back with your 25 or 55. You know, touch point. So you are throughout the day doing that process and keeping each other accountable in the sense that you’re both watching what each other is doing, and not really providing any feedback. The notion behind the social accountability is not for you to be giving feedback necessarily. But you can obviously modify the technique in order to do that. It just depends on the nature of the accountability relationship and what you want each other to do in that regard. In my particular circumstance, I don’t want any feedback. I just want the accountability to know that I am telling Someone else what it is I should be doing. And I’m doing it outside of myself beyond that, I really don’t want anything. And so the goal then is to figure out the parts that work for you. And beef those up,
Augusto Pinaud 5:12
there was two things that provide for me, one remind me to a book from the late Peter Drucker, called executive, the effective executive where the story goes that Drucker is start telling the clients, okay, I want you to write down, you know, what you are doing, or what you were planning to do and what you’re actually doing. And this is exactly what for me is it 2555 produced, so every 25 and 55, I write what I did, and what I’m going to do, like, like you, I don’t need the feedback, that looking into what I plan for the next half an hour, and what actually happens, allows me to curse correct, or really identify when, or I’m having too many external factors distracting me, or I am simply not moving forward into the goal of the day. But what that has allowed me to do is to get a more accurate information of why things happen or not happen, you know, when I said, Okay, the next the next half an hour. So before we went into this podcast, I Roca the next half an hour, I’m going to be recording ProductivityCast if I get to the end of that hour, and I go back and say, Okay, what I was going to do, okay, I was recording ProductivityCast great. I’m doing exactly what I planned. But if instead of that, I said, Okay, I’m going to be researching for this book, or writing this book. And then at the end of that half an hour, I come and said, You know what, what I did? Well, I don’t know. Okay, did I write? No, I did not write, then that allows me into a much more smaller chunks. To catch up how distracted I am. Catch up, what is what is interfering into what I’m planning on what is actually happened. And that has been incredible powerful. For me, I even go on during two times of the two hours in the afternoon and two hours in the late morning, I even reduce it. And instead of report every 30 minutes, I report every 15. And the reason is, because are the times that I tend to get super distracted. So breaking the task into even smaller chunks, has been a lot more useful for me. The other thing that was interesting for me, I I have read for many years how you know Elon Musk, and Dorsey and Twitter and many others, you know, split their days into really, really small segments. And I could not see why. Or I could not understand why that was relevant to mention on delay, start doing 2555 do they do something like that? You know, what I’m planning what I’m doing, I have no clue. But what I can tell you is that the more distracted you feel, and the more distracted you are, the shorter journey to turn that interval, because what allows you is to stay on task, and stay moving forward a lot more. And finally, the other benefit I have experienced for 2555 is the fact that things move forward in a much more consistent way. Because now I don’t depend on how distracted or not distracted I am to make things actually happen.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 8:44
The important part I think about 2555 for me is the mental skills development that happens as you learn to understand time. And time is, is amorphous for most people. And we are aware of time, usually by the rise of the sun, the setting of the sun. And if we pay attention to a clock, really that’s the that’s the general feeling of how people register time. Some people might feel hunger. And so that may be a registration of time for people. But time is just very kind of, you know, a big blob that people don’t really penetrate throughout their days. And if you want to be more productive than being able to estimate how long a period of time is, especially a focused action session, being able to identify that as Okay, the next 90 minutes, I’m going to work on this thing deeply. Then we’re needing an ability to be able to build that skill of kind of knowing the tempo of, of our own world, and 2555 starts to train you on looking back getting the message From your accountability partner or the little, you know, timer on your phone, giving you a message that this is the 3025 or 55 mark of the hour. And you saying, Wow, where did the time go, and you recognizing that you might have been in flow at that point. And when you go into flow, as Dr. Chang sent mohai talks about, you are losing a sense of time, and that’s good. That’s, that’s perfectly okay. Or if you were mind wandering, that’s also okay. mind wandering is actually not unproductive, it is actually a productive use of your time. If, if properly, you know, if you’re supposed to be in a meeting, paying attention to what is happening in the meeting, if you’re supposed to be working on something specifically, that is, that is not the appropriate time to mind wander. But mind wandering is very important to our overall creativity, thinking about problems and solving those problems, and so on, so forth. So we need to be able to understand how to effectively utilize these pieces in relation to time. And 2555 is this nice little, you know, metronome for productivity, it’s just pinging you every 30 minutes, and you can choose to ignore it or not. And when you do, you’re at least giving yourself an opportunity to recognize, oh, that was 30 minutes. And that was another 30 minutes, or I’m going to silence this for 90 minutes, or I’m going to silence this for the next two hours while I work on this thing, and then go from there. So that brings me naturally to the technology involved. And just talking a little bit about how we each would implement this, you know, in the case of goo stone, I we actually do practice the 2555 technique. But Francis, you don’t, not yet at least. But the idea here is what we would use to be able to make that happen. So for myself, I’m most comfortable with a messaging app that allows for the back and forth communication. And so for many years used SMS text messaging with my accountability partner, and then of late have been using telegram and some actually some automation. So using ifft, and a telegram, telegram bot, having the ifft recipe applet, go ahead and just send a message every 25 and 55. During the work hours. For me, that’s from eight to six. And I like it to just ping every half hour. If I don’t need to see it for any particular time, I will just mute telegram on my phone, do what I need to do, and then unmute the application. And I’m as good as golden anything else that you guys have used. I’ve also used a gong when I was just, I didn’t have a 2555 partner for a while. And I was just using a little app on my on my Android phone called blip blip, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes also. And blip blip just has the ability to you know have a ding every x time. And so I set it for every 25 and 55 of the hour for to just do a gong, very light, soft Gong. And, and it was brilliant. It just gave me that note, it would wake my screen when it did it, I set Android to do that. And so every 2555 of the hour, even if I was in a meeting, and it was silenced, the screen would just turn on and I would be able to see that. And so if I was in a meeting with a client, it actually helped in that regard also, because I knew like oh, you know, if we have an hour long meeting, we’re halfway through the meeting, in essence. And so it just became very helpful that at the 55 hour, I would see the little screen light up. And I knew that was time to start wrapping up and identifying actions to capture for client and myself. And then we need to close out the meeting. And then that gave me the opportunity to get myself ready for the next half hours worth of work. So it’s very, very helpful for from a technology perspective, that it just kind of is this ongoing? As I said like it’s kind of like a productivity metronome. So, gentlemen, how do you how would you and how do you manifest
Francis Wade 14:12
the principle of managing yourself with the assistance of someone else is one that I have. I’m familiar with the the difference I’ve never tried it with on every half an hour and I think it might not work in my case because my checking every half an hour would get in the way of my flow state. My flow states tend to go for about an hour and a half or two hours or so say go for a go for long stretches. And the interruption it would take to two report and every half an hour would be difficult but the principle is still sound ethic which is that you could do your best work with Your focus. And the best way to be able to get focused is to have someone who you’re accountable to, if you, you’re not trusted to be accountable to yourself, I worked with an organization that had what they call focus mode. And focus mode was when you absolutely had to hit some time based deliverable, like a paper or a sales, certain number of sales. And when you’re in focus mode, what you do is you do exactly what you guys are talking about, which is that you’d you’d call in every time period every half an hour or so. And report to someone else who would be a social accountability partner, just usually your boss, or sometimes a partner, somebody who wouldn’t who wouldn’t let you get away with disappearing and never calling at all. So someone to whom you you made a promise, and you have an agreement with and as a matter of integrity, you’d be in touch with them every cycle or every time period. And in some cases, every half an hour or 15 minutes, in other cases, once a day. And in other cases once a week, it just depended on the the season. And the kind of work you were doing. The kind of deliverables you’re trying to hit the the, the urgency, they all played into it. But the whole idea, the basic idea was is the same, which is that social accountability for someone else works, a that works, and B being in the flow state works. And I can see that we put the two together, you could, you could increase the probability that you’re doing your best work, most of the time, I mean, imagine that, if you want to take a half an hour off, you just take the half an hour off, you let your partner know that the chicken at the top of the or the bottom of your and Allah rested by then. But the accountability and the sprinting, the flow state, I think work we are together really well.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:00
So you bring up a couple of interesting points here, Francis one, I would say that if you believe that you need 90 minutes to two hours and at a at a leg at a clip, then you just need to make sure that your accountability partner doesn’t need the prompting from your messaging at a shorter interval. So if you both are 90 minutes to two hours of focused work, then you’re a good match for touching base throughout the day, right? Because then you’re you’re both that part of choosing the right accountability partners that you’re both in kind of the same tempo, right, so it’s probably the same, same schedule, same type of work, those kinds of things tend to work well for you. Because then you’re able to be in kind of sync and when the other person is out of sync, you’re actually like it’s like bumper bowling, you’re kind of acting as a bumper to help get them back on on the road. So part of this is actually not just accountability, but support in making sure that you are paying attention to what you should be paying attention to. And there’s nothing wrong with instead of 2555 on the of the hour and half hour going to 25 and 55 of the of every two hours or every 90 minutes or whatever, just 25 minutes after every 90 minutes, the 25 after every 90 minutes becomes that moment that you touch base or you know, on the half hour, whatever you want to do, the ability to touch base with with the other person is kind of the point is the is the level of accountability that you need, you should match the system to that. So this is not like some prescription that requires you to adhere strictly to the time signature, just know that you know yourself well enough to find a social accountability partner that’s going to match you in that need, and then push you you know, so to make sure that you keep accountable, really to yourself, on those on that time, on that time signature, or on that time schedule. One of the things that I frequently find to be unique about certainly the 2555 technique, and I have several clients who have adopted it, and then adapted it to their own world. And what they tend to find is that when they have their particular accountability partner, they are finding themselves frequently helping themselves by helping others. That is, you know, how, you know, a doctor is his own worst patient. what they find is that when the when they find their accountability, partner suffering for some reason, they step in, and then they recognize how they suffered themselves, how they really punished themselves, because really, you know, judgment is some kind of punishment for yourself or others. And so someone’s going to be punished yourself or someone else. Judgment always. I think Dr. Bernie brown put that jam into my head. And many times what ends up happening in that process of accountability is that you can actually set aside the judgment and say, Okay, if I just disconnect just a little bit from the circumstance, what is actually happening here? What Why am I doing this? As opposed to how do I feel about this, but what why am I doing this, you get to see that when you see the other person experiencing it, and that by itself ends up being an education process. And then you can start to put in behaviors that help you not not good or bad behaviors, but behaviors that help you be more productive in that environment. And I think that’s really, really powerful.
Augusto Pinaud 20:38
One of the things I see with this is various people who have that natural ability to under it is that I have it too. But there are many days where the power of social accountability really come to play. We, we do a co working space. And it is not necessarily an I do a couple of events, one of the events I do, it’s get clear on Thursday morning at seven in the morning, and he’s really, really interesting. Whatever the event is, really, people will come seven in the morning and Terzi with the objective of get clear, let’s process your inbox lead process what you have collected over the week. And that’s really the whole goal of that event. There is no token there is no sharing, there is no nothing but coming to their open your screen. And knowing that there is other people that social accountability component there has provided incredible feedback for me an incredible message of people who Wow, finally I’m getting you know, a consistent, cleaning up a consistent getting clear, I consistently think same thing. When I do the event for weekly review on Wednesday night, I don’t do anything I we just go I interrupt people every 30 minutes, saying, Hey, 30 minutes, go to the next stage or continue what you were doing. But it’s really interesting to people who goes to those events. And then finally the social accountability component help them to finish that weekly review. So I wonder, you know, like that you can see other applications that have come in the market where you can go and have that component, what this produce, for me is a consistent accountability partner, to get this done every 30 minutes to get, you know, that even if I don’t necessarily want to respond, knowing that every 30 minutes, I need to send that text. And sometimes it’s recognized, I have no clue what just happened in the last 30 minutes, that turns into a really, really, really powerful tool to discover what I’m doing what I’m not doing or why I’m not doing today.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:52
I’ll also note that it’s important to recognize that this level of what I consider hyper social accountability, this is accountability on steroids. Again, as I said, this kind of generated from the space of the adult ADHD space. So this is someone who is struggling to keep their mind on things. And this is one of those techniques that somehow came out of that I’m not begin, like I’m sorry, I’m a little muddy on how that all came to be. But the the goal here is not to increase anxiety to the level of pathology, the goal here is to increase it to the level of action, and to some extent reflection and planning. So also take that into account, you don’t want to add distress to your environment, you want to add use stress, good positive stress to your environment to get you to move, get you to act. So don’t, don’t do this, if you feel like it’s going to, in some way, shape or form, provide that level of distress and put more burden on you. It has to be something that you are going to again adopt and adapt as I like to say, so that you’re going to embrace it and use it for its good not for the pressure might build up and cause you to burst. I don’t want anybody you know, getting overwhelmed by a technique. I want them to be utilizing it as a tool to not motivate it’s really not necessarily motivation. But it is it’s motivation adjacent. This is really an infrastructure a system to be able to understand how you’re utilizing your time and to then change how you are, as I said before its course correction and this ability to nudge yourself in that way throughout the day. It really gives you a better understanding of how you’re doing what you’re doing. The other kind of side benefit to this, and I didn’t realize this until much later on was I was having these conversations, in essence with myself. And I could look at the thread of the conversation during my weekly review. And I started doing this just very recently, but copying my 2555 throughout the week and reviewing that during my weekly review. And since I am tracking throughout the week in two different places, in essence, I’m tracking and toggle my time, I’m then also doing the 2555, I can, I’m seeing the data in two different places for two different types of things. And seeing the comparison has actually been really good for me in terms of reflecting. Now I’m an I’m an over capture, in that particular way I like tracking, you know, my time and what I’m doing with it, but not everybody is. So in essence, if you don’t track your time in a tool like toggle, or anywhere else, you don’t track billable hours for work or anything like this 2555 can actually be a really good tool for yourself to look at during your weekly review, and really understand what it is that happened. And really why at the end of the week, you’ve got stuff done or didn’t get things done, and what you can do to optimize that for the future. And I’m actually very pleased with this notion of looking back and identifying gaps. So part of the 2555 technique for me, is looking back and seeing when I didn’t capture. So I look at my calendar, and I look at the timeframes and I say, Oh, you know what I didn’t, I wasn’t 2555 during this period of time, why was it because I was highly engaged in work, or that I was highly disengaged with my work. And I’ve seen both, but then over the over the time, I can start to see patterns. So there are certain times of the month that I’m absolutely, without a doubt, I can see myself consistently not capturing, and why is it that I’m not capturing? Is it because of a particular emotional mindset that just kind of kind of kicks in at that time of the month? Is it that I have a particular project that comes up at that time of the month, every month? And does that those are the kinds of questions that I’m able to answer by looking at this data over the aggregate. And that’s been very, very helpful. And I find it to be very powerful. Who should use this, who shouldn’t use this.
Francis Wade 27:26
I think for someone who has lots of discretionary time and doesn’t plan to have doesn’t see that changing for very in the near future. I don’t think they need to use this. I think this is for those who, like many of us are in this zone of adding more demands to our time. And therefore we’re running out of free time to play with, we’re pushing the envelope and the edge. And the the kind of the kind of hyper hyper time awareness that you’re talking about is not optional. Once you start to push the envelope, it becomes one of the things that you have to deal with, you have to confront, once you’re sort of it’s a bit like being a professional athlete, there are certain things that you have to deal with as a professional athlete lag nutrition that you don’t care about, if you’re just a casual athlete, that just goes into territory. And I think this kind of hyper awareness, the tracking of the time, the preparation to get into the flow state, the accountability partner that helps you to get into to do your best work, the learning from how you spend your time. The You know, I think there’s so much more that could be done about that. But anyway, you know, I thought it for years myself. And I wish there were way more I could do to to structure the way I do it. So I could learn even more from it. But I still do it because at least it gives me an idea of where my time is going at least at least that. But when you get to that level, you cannot avoid these kinds of concerns. So for people who are at that on the edge in the way, which I think most of us are, who listened to this podcast, this is the most This is not absolute.
Augusto Pinaud 29:14
When I begin doing 2555 I was not sure what was going to be the advantage of that. I saw my process is I have shortcut created on my iPad, and then the shortcut goes and the message and then copy whatever I sent on that message into day one on my iPad so I can go and review. I have not review it consistently, at least not for sure not as part of my wicked review. But I have done that review. And I have, especially those days that you know, you feel that you were incredibly depressed octave, hey, I want to know what I did different. And second those days that you feel you are incredible unproductive what what happening and I, you know, leave myself or tried to leave myself, breadcrumbs of what happened here I was super distracted Oh, I’ve been getting interruptions of Hey, I plan today going this way and I have an emergency with a client. So everything goes throw out of the window, that level of detail of what happened on your day, most people don’t have it. Why? Because you don’t capture, you capture more big things. You know what happened in the morning if you capture anything. So having that half an hour, every hour tracking, really give me a really good idea of what went right, what went wrong, you know, I just replace that chair in my office. And the reason I noticed that was because 2555 I’ve been writing down in there, you know, moving from the desk because of back pain. And I’ve been starting to pay attention Well, why why am having back pain. And then I said oh, because my chair broke, and I have not fixed it. So I went and finally replace it. And this was the first weekend. Or the first last week was the first time that I had the new chair. And I have not been reported or noticing anymore. The back pain, those kind of things, you know, make for me, really worth it. nobody’s seen where, you know, one of the things I’m when I teach them the impact journal that that we have talked on an episode before. One of the things I tell people it is really important when you close your day is to look, what is your What do you feel about the day? The reason of that is because sometimes we have really good days that at the end when out and then we tend to mask the whole day as now that day was awful. Because it closed on a bad note. It’s rare that it happened on the other way. But we are we then humans do. We had a bad thing happened. And then we we label the whole day as a bad day. When you look at the 2555 what allows you to look and identify and even isolate is what was the bad and what was the good out of that day. Now look, the morning was really productive. But then this happened at 2pm on the day. When sounds great, then let’s recognize the morning was really productive, and the afternoon and then let’s focus into how can we fix the afternoon? Okay, how can I after this event happened and derail everything? How can I get back in track? I’m not saying it’s easy. But without any doubt, at least for me, it’s been really powerful, because has allow me to make sure that I go back into that productivity estate much faster. So
Raymond Sidney-Smith 33:03
one of the things that I wanted to talk about as well was how long someone should do the 2555 technique. As I said, this comes from the ADHD world. And so it’s supposed to be a modification to someone who has an ongoing condition, as opposed to those of us who have saved let’s call it normative brains, and therefore do not need this permanently. And while I have chosen to do so, for very long stretches of time, especially when I feel like my world needs it. What do you feel like is the length of time someone should use the 2555 technique if it’s not a permanent choice, but just something that you’re going to do occasionally.
Francis Wade 33:50
So I definitely see the kind of where you’re hit I think you’re headed, which is that there are different seasons in people’s lives. So for example, when we’re putting on a conference, for example, that has its own wicked temple. And the it’s where we’re at where I find myself at the most stretched, was preparing for for something I’m putting on that multi day effort. multiple skills required lots of stakeholders, a lot at stake, deadlines that I can’t move. So that that that is for me like the Olympics of what I do as a consultant when I’m doing something else, that doesn’t have a sharp deadline, but it’s still important like writing a book, or writing a paper. I think that’s where a technique like this is useful because I don’t have the life or death feeling. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t hit the deadline. But at the same time, the end of the line is really important. So it’s important but not urgent. I think it’s that particular zone where this particular technique would find itself His biggest purchase, I
Augusto Pinaud 35:01
have said that productivity is about tips, tricks and habits and juicing technology to support it. I think this is one of those habits that the more consistent you are, the more honest you get today. And the more strong it gets for both partners, you know, it this technique, for me, at least did not work on a silo, I try a version of this, okay, let’s, you know, base it on, on Peter Drucker book that fail miserably. What has made a change or a difference for me, is that social accountability component. And I think that, the more the more consistent is, the better the results are for the power for the for the parts, because sometimes I don’t want to report that I just waste the last half an hour the last hour, because I got distracted or because I went into a rabbit trail, and I just find a shiny object. And the next thing I knew is on our path, going into write that text, give two things, one, really acknowledge what you did, instead of diversion that I will otherwise sell to myself. But number two, it gives the other person the seal of relief that okay, it’s not me, the only one who get lost into rabbit trails, hey, that happen to most of us. Okay, I am sure there’s people that never happen, I haven’t met them yet. But that that exchange, even if it’s not meant to be a respond is just meant to do and give a lot of accountability to what you are doing what you are trying to do what and what is not happening and, and sometimes even feel free to just let the frustration go. I’ve been trying to do this. And I’ve been distracted and interrupted, and you know, phone has ringing client emergencies and all this and I have not done this and I have been trying for the last two hours, that is not that the distractions, change those distractions are going to come to interruptions emergencies will come is the acknowledgment of the why the things has not get to the point that you want them to get. And I think that it’s really important and really powerful.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:26
I think you both make really great points. And my only addendum to that is to remember that you’re in partnership. This is an accountability partnership program. And so therefore, you need to think about the 2555 technique as a time to not just a dialogue about what you are doing, but how you’re feeling about the utility of the technique with that particular accountability partner. So if you feel at some point, that it’s not working, you need to kick the tires on it, you need to you need to open up a dialogue and say, Okay, this is not working, how can we modify this to make it work, or maybe we have reached the the usefulness of our accountability partnership, and maybe we need new accountability partners. This has happened in other accountability partners, partnership programs that I’ve been, that I’ve developed over the past, you know, 1012 years, and I’ve had folks come to me and say, you know, I’m, I’m kind of like in a rut with my accountability partner, you know, we just kind of going through the motions, and I’m not feeling great about it. And what I’ve told them is to kind of take a break, it’s kind of like a marital separation, you know, just like just a short period of time, where you both separate and go with, go to other accountability partners, and see how that works. And then come back, and and so on, so forth. And remarkably, what I find is that accountability partners that leave their partnership and go just for a short period of time, and do that with others, tend to gravitate back toward each other afterwards and say, Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe that I ever left you. Why? Why did I ever decide to do that? Let’s get back and do what we were doing. We have learned how to work well together, let’s just figure things out. But it could be that at some point, your accountability partner no longer needs the 2555 technique, or you no longer need it, or your work worlds have changed. Remember, every time a major life event happens, and any major work life event happens. You must look at all of the systems in place. That is the time to do it and decide whether or not it still fits the the tenor and the categories of work that are necessary. So just remember that this is a this is an ongoing process. You need to experiment with what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. Okay. There are a couple other things that I wanted to talk about which was just in final kind of discussion about it and I’m curious about your thoughts. Just comment on it, which is one is automating the 2555. There are tools like rescue time and in your case gousto, the use of iOS shortcuts, there’s a lot you can do here, where tools, you know, I use instant on my on my mobile devices, which tracks a whole bunch of data in the background, and rescue time, which tracks everything you’re doing on desktop and mobile. In essence, it can probably get a good idea of what you just did. And what do you think about something else? 25 at least what you did that part. And then you planning. The other part? Do you think there are some advantages and disadvantages to automating 2555? In terms of the reporting part,
Augusto Pinaud 40:50
for me has not been the reporting what has been powerful as I said before, I tried to follow Peter Drucker’s idea before, where I have tried software to, to track what it is iOS track software, not really what that is where at least at the end of the week, I get a report of how many hours I have on what applications and what pieces of software, they, but I have never got the interest to look at that data, analyze that data. And look, okay, what happened in the last seven days and how I get my time, productively or not productively use or how to track back and figure it out the detail of that. As I said, I don’t review necessarily more than maybe today, or maybe the last hours of this messages, even that I have access to the, to the last day to the last, you know, more than 90 days of information, what does for me, it’s more a point correction. During the day, it’s what works for me is knowing that I need to write to somebody that social accountability, hey, I’ve been fooling around the last hour or and sometimes he’s you know what I’m taking a break. Okay, that is good to taking a break is good. But he’s acknowledging that because what happened is our conscious and subconscious tend to get stuck on what you said you were going to do, and not necessarily on what actually happening. Being able to bring that level of accountability to my own self, has been powerful, and is what is powerful about this. What Give me what make the difference between doing this with software or doing this, just for me is the interval on which I’m looking, or I’m sending the data, it is not the same when you get a text of this what you’ve been doing the last hour, half an hour, then when I need to force myself to write down what I’ve been doing on the half an hour, it’s really that process, even if the person the other partner never read it, it makes you stop in a way that the automated process or even just journaling about it will not produce, at least for me,
Francis Wade 43:12
I love the idea of automation, I think, I think it’d be awesome, I use active track a combination of active track, which takes pictures of my screen and stores it on this database. And when I want to go back and review how I spent my time, I go back and use that. And I use malloc time to the to enter the actual time that I spent each day. I use it the two of them in tandem. And it’s not a great solution. I wish there were a whole lot more intelligence built into the process that I use. And I at one point, I even came up with a game that I wish I could continue. But the software that I use doesn’t doesn’t work any longer. So I can’t use can’t play the game any longer. But it had to do with being on calendar at any point in the day. And what the software would do is send me a random ping a random check on my on my device on my Android phone. And it would pop up a question. And it would say are you on track or something like that? Are you doing what your calendar says you should be doing? And I would respond to either yes or no. And it kept track of that throughout the month. And I created a game around trying to hit a particular calendar metric. Let’s say it was 60% or 60% of the time whenever I was doing upon these random pings, I would be doing what I had planned to do. At the beginning of the day, I learned a heck of a lot about scheduling myself and time blocking from this little game that I came up with. And I’m only sad I had an accountability partner which helped as well. But I’m only sorry that I can’t keep playing it and that no one Apparently sees the value enough to develop an app to do this, because I found the experience to be tremendously useful. And I would definitely i would i would buy an app to do something like that. I would also buy an app to set up some kind of testing, hypothesis testing, I get to see, am I spending too much time doing this not enough time doing that? If I could set up that test at the beginning of a week and have it just gather information, and then give me the answer, at the end of the week, I would be overjoyed. These are the kinds of things I longed for and keep looking for, but kind of a fan.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 45:39
Yeah, on the topic of automation, I think that it is useful for you to actually in the, in some way, shape or form, have variability that if you are automating, you’re still having some prompt to check in. Because it’s very easy to check out of the data and not reflect upon it. And for me, for example, I would love the idea of the what I did the past half hour to be automated, because in my weekly review, I’m then going to be looking at it more thoroughly than not likely throughout the week, I’m not going to pay attention to it pretty much at all, I’m only going to pay attention to the planning part. And then I would do my reflection during my weekly review, by having that read of what did I do, then in Confluence with my toggle data, right, the time tracking of the individual particulars, because in my 2555, I’m just giving high level, in my toggle, I’m doing the detailed work of identifying what I actually, you know, did in that timeframe. And so that would be helpful to me to automate one part. If I have a strong review and reflection practice, which I happen to on the other side, then the planning part still needs to be me, I think that that’s the part that you couldn’t, couldn’t remove, because I have at least I believe I have a choice.
Raymond Sidney-Smith 47:08
And as long as I have that choice, then I should be using it wisely. And so I think that’s the that’s the overarching practice. In closing out the conversation. Thank you, gentlemen, for this, I this was a lot of fun. One of the things that I wanted to note is that even if the 2555. So say, Take my example, where I am actually actively tracking my time in much more detail than the average person 2555 may not seem as useful. Because I’m already doing that work elsewhere. One thing that you might think about doing is modifying the whole system to track positive and negative effect. In essence, what are your emotions that are happening throughout the course of the day, and or focus or just distraction, you can literally note, you know, in the past 30 minutes, I was focused in the past 30 minutes I was distracted. and things of that nature can be really useful, especially in times where I have a client who does very high level work and cannot expose the work that this person is doing to the world. And so their review of the past half hour is just identifying that they were on task. And so this person only messages, what they perceive success is and that is focused, or on task or on project or you know, focused session, whatever that term is for you. Or I was distracted, I was off task, I was not doing what I said I was doing. So you can actually broaden the statements generalize the statements, so that you can feel good about sending this personal data to someone else without feeling compromised in that regard. So just know that you have some flexibility there in all kinds of ways to make the the 2555 technique work for you. And so, with that, thank you, gentlemen, for this conversation. This was a lot of fun. Of course. While we’re at the end of our recorded discussion together, the conversation doesn’t end there. If you have a question or comment about what we discussed today on the cast, please visit our episode page on ProductivityCast dotnet there on the podcast website at the bottom of the page. For every episode, you can leave a comment or question and we read and respond to all of them if you require a response. By the way to get to any ProductivityCast episode quickly, simply add the three digit episode number to the end of ProductivityCast dotnet forward slash so Episode One would be ProductivityCast dotnet forward slash 001. Episode Two would be ProductivityCast dotnet, forward slash 002. And so on. If you have a topic about personal productivity you’d like us to discuss on a future cast, please visit ProductivityCast dotnet forward slash contact You can leave a voice recorded message, just click the little recording icon. it’ll prompt you to get access to your webcam or to your phone’s microphone. And then you can record us a message, I think you have up to a minute or 90 seconds. And or you can type us a message and type that into the message box and send that along to us. And maybe we’ll feature it on a future episode, I want to express my thanks to a guest to pronounce Francis Wade, and our absent our dellux. Today, he’s actually on vacation for joining me here on ProductivityCast. Each week, you can learn more about them and their work by visiting ProductivityCast dotnet as well. I’m Sidney-Smith and on behalf of all of us at ProductivityCast here’s to your productive life. Take care everybody.
Voiceover Artist 50:44
And that’s it for this ProductivityCast, the weekly show about all things productivity with your hosts, Ray Sidney-Smith and Augusto Pinaud with Francis Wade and Art Gelwicks.