096 – Catching Your Time Dragons

096 – Catching Your Time Dragons



Process engineer with a day job consulting in the oil and gas industry, but secretly a time-dragon catcher at night. I am using my project management and time mastery skills learnt in the engineering world to help online business people find the time they need to get their most important work done. I’m on a mission to help those who want to become time jedis to catch, tame and train time-dragons, and by doing so, empower them with the magic to command time, space and money.


Main talking points include:

Most of Brett’s career in chemical engineering has meant that he’s spent all of his professional life in major organisations doing the 9-5. He’s balanced this with a side hustle and further education. Managing time and massive scale projects became second nature to him. 

Working in large institutions is normally great for job security, but when economic downturns happen, it can lead you to be unemployed. Diversifying your portfolio of income streams becomes a very attractive option very quickly. 

Time management vs time mastery

George Leonard’s Book on Mastery – you never actually get to the destination. 

The art of time mastery is not about fixing it all quickly, but about not taking on too much at the same time. Work on one area, and once you’ve refined it, then move on to the next. 

The process of making things efficient is mastering the routines that you use to complete a task. 

The difference between projects and routines:

  • Projects: occur once, and have a defined end, but they are all different
  • Routines: are repeatable processes that happen again and again

The difficulty most people face is that they have far more projects than routines. 

What is a time dragon? 

  • They eat up time in your day
  • They create distractions
  • They add tasks to your todo list
  • They create overwhelm
  • The create interruptions

Time dragons are a way of externalising time management, so that you can “blame” it. 

How do you catch a time dragon? 

You set a trap for it! 

Catching the overload (overwhelm) time dragon

Using a gate (or series of gates)

Use a number of lists, with criteria for for each gate to move items through the lists. 

  • List number 1: the infinity list

    • Gate: am I ever going to have time to do this?
  • List number 2: the maybe list (up to 150 items)

    • Gate
  • List number 3: the next up projects list (no more than 12 items)

    • Gate – this is where you catch your time dragon!
  • The Work Zone:

    • Detailed Planning Area (1 or 2 projects)
    • Action / Execution Area (no more than 5 projects)
    • Holding Zone (no more than 2 or 3 projects)

The only way to get work off your list is to: 

  1. Complete it
  2. Move it back up the list
  3. Remove it from the list all together (least efficient)

Trello Tutorial Available here: catchyourtimedragon.com/peteeveritt

Personal Website: brettdawson.com


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