Paradigm shift alert: Your true currencies are energy and attention, not time or money.

🤗 I’ve been on a wonderfully interesting journey down the rabbit hole of ‘what is time?’, ‘Who are we?’, and ‘Why are we here’, and I want to surface in order to share some of my favorite discoveries—and a product solution for the new paradigm 😜

Flow like an Ocean —The Ocean pays no mind to Time. She simply lets her energy flow —OnPrio

Autonomous Time

The trigger that began my dive into this wormhole occurred during a two-year span while I was working with Volvo as an Interaction Designer to communicate the value of time an autonomous vehicle would save drivers. With the average American commute time of 26 minutes, the project shipped under the title, “Concept 26’ (or C26). So I got to spend a lot of time designing time visualizations for Volvo’s interior dashboard and touchscreen, as well as an accompanying phone app. But for me, it lead down a path that went far beyond trying to sell luxury cars to people tired of being chained to the wheel in LA traffic.

Volvo Concept 26
From Volvo’s

Natural Time Alternative

For one, I discovered an infinitely better alternative to the Gregorian calendar of 12 months. The 13 moon calendar, espoused by, presents a consistent measure of time (28 day ‘moonths’, exactly 4 weeks each) that corresponds with a natural cycle — the moons orbit around the earth, which has, of course, an enormous influence on all of life.

For at least a few moments, I considered that my my Swedish co-workers, and the Volvo brand, steeped in Scandinavian design principles, an ethos of innovation, and a delightful taste for natural solutions, might want to embrace the call for a new global timing standard — but it became clear that this would remain out of scope for a concept car project that had quite a number of moving parts as it was.

Current Law of Time Website

In my own time, I dove pretty hardcore into the Law of Time material, absorbing three of the late José Argüelles’ books, which largely surface insights he uncovered from the ancient Mayan perception of time. The deeply thought provoking works gave me pause to consider the paradigm of ‘time management’ in which our modern society exists. As well, it was obvious to me that a more business-professional presentation of ‘New Time’ material would be needed if it was to gain any kind of mass adoption—and that was something I felt I could provide.

The Web is Young

We are not yet at the 30th birthday of the web (measured from when Tim Berner’s Lee launched it in 1989). And in this time, many people have moved from writing events and schedules on a printed wall calendar, into digital forms visualized largely in the same way — a square grid of unevenly lengthed months. Digital calendars do offer some very handy benefits, such as reminders, but fundamentally, they are the same thing as their old-school printed counterparts.

The software we use for managing time — mostly, calendar apps — has barely evolved in decades. — Ev Williams, co-founder of Twitter, Blogger, and Medium

In some of my research…or maybe it was just while surfing on Medium, I came across an early post from Ev Williams, ‘Budget Your Time, Design Your Life’, about a product he wished existed. The article resonated deeply with me, and thus was born a rabid desire for me to answer the call for this product (Thanks Evan!).

The Hunt

The hunt began to discover/uncover the perfect human-centered design for tracking and visualizing our time. Early on, my beautiful and marketing savvy-Advertising-Account-Director-Powerhouse-Bride, Brooke Lawler, validated some of my insights, and conceded that her daily grind in Outlook and iCal was ripe for improvement. We felt there had to be a better way to visualize and facilitate focused engagement with your top priorities, which we had dubbed ‘Prio’ in it’s early stages.

For quite a while, my design exploration revolved around visualizing time, at any length, around a circle. It felt wrong that the archetypal symbol of wholeness — a circle — was being used to visualize only half a day (12 hours) on the standard analogue clock.

One of many time visualzation for OnPrio, plotted on a round 24 hour day.

In addition, the model for visualizing a day was disconnected from the more gridded, but uneven months that make up the year. I explored visualizing months in circular form — and this may yet bear some merits, but it is difficult to fit textual content inside of small circles. I came to realize that strong-arming people into looking at their day, week, or month as a circle, was likely not going to be the feature to hook people. And certainly, asking people to adopt a new global timing standard of 13 moons instead of 12 months was going to create some friction, to say the least.

Early Interaction prototype for OnPrio

Oh what to do!

It took some time for me to let go of my obsessions with circular time and my passion for disrupting the shitty Gregorian calendar, which bears no good intentions for humanity whatsoever — but I was able to let go and realize what needed to be done: Help people be more effective in what they are trying to accomplish.

Specifically, I wanted to help people, like myself, who are right-brained thinkers with a vision for how life on this planet can be better. People who endeavor to think different. And I knew that the standard tools for project and ‘time management’ just didn’t fit how our brains work. To this day, my iCal and Google Cal are just obtuse, unwelcoming, almost alien creations to me. But us right-brained thinkers still need to organization and structure to ship our creativity to the world.

You can only manage your attention, your actions, and more fundamentally — your energy.

That’s because they ask you to manage time, which is a misnomer — time is not something you manage. You can only manage your attention, your actions, and more fundamentally — your energy. Time is simply part of the environment in which your energy exists.

Too Abstract?

We’ll be sharing much more very soon about our how OnPrio will welcome you into the paradigm of energy and attention management…Time is still involved, but you’ll certainly find it a lot easier to create forecasts of how it will be spent—based on your established personal and team goals.

My excitement for releasing OnPrio into the world is ENORMOUS. We have an incredible team onboard at Mojo United Inc developing it now, and the product vision is getting sharper every day. I hope you’ll consider joining us in our early beta release, to be a part of shaping this into an extremely human-centric tool that removes clutter and provides clarity in your life and fits you like a glove.

I believe we stand a chance to catalyze a paradigm shift—but we need you on board to make that happen.

Thank you so much for your attention!

Related Reading:

The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal —by Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

The Productivity Project: Accomplishing More by Managing Your Time, Attention, and Energy by Chris Bailey