Apr 272005

none of the above.I’ve just finished a Flash adaptation of my Time Management for Anarchists seminar. I started doing the talk a year and a half ago at Canzine and have done it a half-dozen times since, mostly at infoshops and political bookstores (Austin, Montreal, Berkeley, Vancouver) and also at a couple of events (New Orleans Book Fair, the Vegetarian Food Fair). It’s based on the paradoxical notion that anarchists have to be more organized than average if they don’t want to depend on power structures, and presents some ideas on how to kick the boss habit.

To see the eight-minute presentation–complete with cartoon sounds, fake graphs and historic guest stars–click on. Feel free to add your tips and opinions to the comments afterwards.

Click here for the presentation.

It has a Creative Commons licence, so if you want to expand it somehow or simply improve on my extremely rudimentary Flash, feel free to grab the .fla file and remix away. Let me know afterwards and I’ll be happy to link to your version.

  85 Responses to “Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie”

  1. Sounds kinda like the Hipster PDA. http://www.43folders.com/2004/09/introducing_the.html Pretty much everything else on 43 Folders is also ridiculously useful.

    “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams

  2. Hi Jim,

    This is great. Cool sounds effects. I like the way the agenda eats the anxieties.

    I found the exchanges between mike and emma a little too quick to read.

    I’m gonna put your tips to use in order to get my ttc guide out for the small press book fair.


  3. I have to agree with all of this. A scheduler has made my last several months much more productive for working on my own projects than ever! I could have used this flash five years ago, when I embarked on my personal quest for freedom from job dependency. Hope it helps out some other starving anarchists!

  4. Great introduction to GTD without resorting to the turn-off geekery jargon, working from an excellent ironic and emotive angle. Fuck the system by using a system! Why, hell yeah! 🙂

    There is magic in verbalising and materialising your intentions, explained in this recent excellent post at Creating Passionate Users.

    The designer in me wants to clean this presentation up and build on the 19th century elements and include some delicious iconography of socialist propaganda. Kudos for putting a CC license on your work, only good come from it (if your comrades can manage to schedule time for the remixing, of course) 🙂

  5. Time-management for anarchists from a productive anarcho-geek

    My pal Jim Munroe is the most productive anarchist I know: he writes (great) sf novels, organizes a punk-rock multi-city Vaudeville circuit, makes entertaining text adventures, shoots videos and so forth. He’s produced a slide show that exposes the se…

  6. Jim is my hero. I get a rough time from my activist friends about being a schedule-head, so this presentation was pretty validating. Flaking out is *not* progressive!

    I found the tip of “using other people’s deadlines” (deadlines from the outside world you have to meet in order to make a goal) useful. That will be helpful.

    My biggest challenge is devoting some effort to tracking how long I take to accomplish certain tasks. It sounds like an ugly task, but I’m sure worth it.

    Was this composed with the OpenOffice presentation creator?

  7. Dude, you’re my new personal hero. I’m an anarchist. And I have trouble with time management. What could be more perfect? Thanks so much!

  8. Built-in delay for slow readers is annoying. Just let me click “next” when I want to.

  9. sound optional… cuz if i’m gonna be weaning myself from the man, i don’t want him to hear it.

  10. Are you coming to WisCon?

    Give this presentation!

  11. This made my day. Thank you thank you..

    as a businesswoman/accountant/revolutionary..
    I have to say.. Woohoo!

  12. Bwah-hahahah! Funny meets true, loved it! And the tips seem very sound, I’ll make a point of incorporating them on my practice. I have been using a web agenda for about a year now, and I found that scheduling can truly be an empowering habit. For one thing, planning helps me maing the best of my time: if I get some extra time, I know where to use it, instead of wasting it web surfing.

  13. Entertaining and useful. Thanks.

  14. When the revolution comes…

    Beware, Jim Munroe has released Time Management for Anarchists.

  15. Hurray- i want a sequel. i already have a calendar. my biggest problem is managing correspondence. i get hundreds of emails, dozens of them with requests for my feedback, per day. It is hard to be proactive and do the things i know i need to do when everyone wants you to so something for them. what would emma do?

  16. Like similar things in this vein, it kicked my butt in just the right place. I liked every part of it except the part where I kept having to wait for the right arrow to appear. There should always be the option to go forward. Thanks!

  17. I have been writing my most important dates and ideas on the palm of my hand for years but it’s the obsessive handwashing that’s a killer and SARS really did it in. I lost months of work.

  18. I think this is *great*, and it’s in an easily digestible form.

    My fundamental problem with this,however, is based solely on anecdotal experience.

    Most of the ‘anarchists’ i know aren’t actually anarchists – they’re simply lazy. Further, they’ve found fairly elaborate ways of justifying their inactivity, such as hating ‘the man’, resisting the ‘thought police’ and others.

    Most of the people I know in this regard claim they don’t like a 9 to 5 job because they don’t want to be a cog in the machine – in reality, no one in their right mind would employ them because the employer can see that this person has no drive to do anything, including turning up on time, relating to a co-worker or client, or even sorting out their own lives.

    I believe that the real ‘anarchists’ that see this presentation may reject it, because they already have the drive inside their hearts to figure out what it is they need to do. My concern is that this presentation will work in the same way an exercise infomercial or motivation speaker works: a short-term burst of motivation that, in most cases, will not translate into long-term productivity.

    The problem with trying to fix ‘inactivity’ is that it requires ‘activity’ – essentially, it requries the resulting product at *the beginning* of the process.

    I hope this works, and even if it speaks to just one person, then I’d say it’s done its job.

    This wasn’t meant to be a rant, sorry.

  19. for friends of aaronhz…

  20. was interested, but i quit clicking after about the 6th frame. drives me nuts waiting for the text.

  21. Anarchists need Time Management too!

    got this off Boing Boing : Time Management for Anarchists

    if you are uncomfortable with the word Anarchist just replace it with :

    a) World-Changer

    b) Arm-Chair Revolutionary

    c) any other word you are more comfortable with 🙂

  22. Time Management for Anarchists

    Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie Brilliant…

  23. Glad people are getting some laughs and some use out of this.

    I hope the people who are bugged by the pace of the animation apply their irritation to create a Suprfastreadr version. That’s one of the reasons I CC-licenced it.

    In regards to the comment on people being lazy–I’m glad you brought that up. I don’t really believe in lazy. I think it’s a (kind of lazy) catchall that simplifies a collection of psychological and environmental reasons into an almost physiological condition (“He’s/I’m just lazy.”).

    I don’t know any lazy people myself–I know people who are unfocused, people who don’t have confidence in their projects, people who are sucked dry by their day jobs–but I don’t know any lazy people.

    Productivity is fun, fulfilling, and connects you with other people. To me, people who aren’t productive are missing out, just like people who never read are missing out. But I’m not going to denounce them as lazy, any more than I’d tut-tut at someone who doesn’t read as much as me.

  24. links for 2005-05-02

    Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie Flash based movie of organizational tips for anarchists (or anyone else who wants…

  25. Lessons in time management

    Novelist Jim Monroe has published a fabulous Flash movie called Time Management for Anarchists which covers key concepts in David Allen’s Getting Things Done productivity system without once uttering any of the jargon. Watch anarchists “Emma” (Goldman…

  26. Lessons in time management

    Novelist Jim Monroe has published a fabulous Flash movie called Time Management for Anarchists which covers key concepts in David Allen’s Getting Things Done productivity methods without any of the jargon. Watch anarchists “Emma” (Goldman) and “Mike” …

  27. Lessons in time management

    Novelist Jim Monroe has published a fabulous Flash movie called Time Management for Anarchists which covers key concepts in the Getting Things Done productivity method without tossing about any of the jargon. Watch anarchists “Emma” (Goldman) and “Mik…

  28. Yea Jim! I love your little film. I just mentioned it on my blog, zeugma, or a yoke by any other name…. I hope many people visit your site and watch your nifty and affirming video. It fits my ethic of don’t tell me what to do but give me the framework to do it! Or something like that.

  29. Excellent presentation!
    I have downloaded a copy from your side with the hope to add few things. I will let you know when done, linkback and all 🙂

    I had an article on a sub-topic:
    How to stay focussed (on a task). Let me know what you think.

  30. You’ve explained how to “manage” time in a way that I could never do. Beautifully done. I’m off to blog this.

  31. Lessons in time management

    Novelist Jim Monroe has published a fabulous Flash movie called Time Management for Anarchists which covers key concepts in the Getting Things Done productivity method without tossing about any of the jargon. Watch anarchists “Emma” (Goldman) and “Mik…

  32. WOW \o/… i love this… i will translate to Portuguese…

  33. time management for anarchists: the movie

    Yes. Creative Commons licenced, with source. Mix away….

  34. Lovely. And I share your view of laziness. It’s a symptom, not a cause.

  35. wow its almost like this was made for me at this exact point in time. there is no such thing as a coincidence, that much is becoming clearer and clearer…

    thanks Jim!

  36. Yes! Finally!

    I’ve been telling people about the “rage” graph forever now.

    It’s so nice now to be able to forward it to people so they can see what I’m talking about without all the insane giggling that usually accompanies my explanation.

  37. so very impressive! my only constructive criticism would be there was no wind-up at the end, so it seemed a little abrupt, but it’s a small thing. I am new to GTD and this helped me understand it better.

  38. çœ?æ??—2005.05.03

    Ping Back来��www.donews.net

  39. Time management for anarchists

    I found a great little fake powerpoint presentation called Time Management for anarchists (the movie). It’s really good and quite funny. Non-powerpoint version here. Non-powerpoint version http://nomediakings.org/events/time_management_for_anarchists.h

  40. Great stuff! I model ideas like this in my mind all the time, but it is good to get reinforced as I am time-blind and easily distracted. I try to peer into the future but it’s just blank. My past is all non-linear, in no temporal order or perspective. I loose things easily, like paper agenda books, so I keep mine on my website (wrote it myself in PHP happy to share it). I have to give more thought to assigning deadlines and blocking out tasks though. Nice concept about using other people’s deadlines. I have no idea how long it takes to do anything because I have no sense of time, so that makes it hard for me to plan effectively – any ideas on how to help the time-blind like myself do this? Multiple timers or some such thing, some kind of timer software? Are there drugs to improve my time vision? Exercises? Calendar wallpaper? Audiotapes?

    Also, I’d love to colabourate with you on a movie on quitting smoking for anarchists. It’s something I became very good at over the 9 years I was quitting (from 21 to 30, I’m now 38). If being an anarchist is doing what you want, when you want, then we’d do well to be very real about what we want.

  41. Should be able to do this entire presentation using html and style sheets (free, open source) instead of flash (corporate, proprietary).

  42. Good point. I’m not really comfortable with the proprietary nature of Flash, esp. now that it’s owned by Adobe (nothing in particular against Adobe, just the concentration of power). I certainly could have done the modest animation/sounds with an open source app, but this project was actually a way for me to learn the basics of Flash–my friends made a great Flash game called N and have offered to teach me how to make games with it. So to the people who’ve asked, I don’t know about an open source editor/equivalent to Flash, but I’d love to hear about it–I run a Linux desktop myself.

  43. Mimosa Morning Meeting Shotgun

    On busy weeks (as this one has been) I do less surfing and seeking out fun links. So you’re more likely to get the techie and boring stuff that I’m looking at. Just so’s you know. Tips to Buy a…

  44. Generally this is way cool!

    One criticism: doing your creative tasks for two hours at a time may make your work less efficient, or lower the quality, because it takes most people time to get back into a task each time they pick it up.

  45. hi this is good stuff. but i need some ideas about TIME MANAGEMENT.

    I would like to do some trainings. Pls let me know thru email if available.


  46. Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie

  47. Search Spam, Marketing, Artificial Intelligence & Search Query Refinement

    White papers from AIRWeb. Seth dishes criticsm back at negative book reviewers. Google buys Dodgeball.com. Marrissa Mayer parody blog. Search query refinement and artificial intelligence. Parody SEO press release. Questioning the concept of relevance. …

  48. Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie

    Fantastically fun little flash movie for the unorganized rabble rouser in your life. Time Management for Anarchists: The Movie. Not a specific endorsement of GTD (Getting Things Done) but in that direction. You can find more of that at 43Folders.

  49. Thank you for an excellent presentation.


  50. New tires for the Bianchi

    Note to self: New Vittoria Diamante Pro 700×23 220TPI tires at mileage 572. (and at a hefty $44.95 ea)…

  51. Watch this NOW

    If you’re an anarchist, ordering you to do something probably isn’t a fantastic way of ensuring you’ll do it, but seriously – I can’t think of anyone I know who wouldn’t benefit from clicking through to Time Management for Anarchists….


    Very nice idea, just like all the others here i DO have a time management problem and TV, the Web and the sweet leaf all don’t really help in improving that particular weakness….lol 😉

    One thing though, i am half french and i would like to point out, not because of some cheap chauvinism or whatnot, that although we work less than most occidental countries (35hours per week) this is a good thing, because :

    -hierarchical work always sucks, the legally less the better
    -nobody gave us those advantages, some people fought some didn’t.
    -french workers have the second-best productivity efficiency in the world, second only to Belgium’s (no im not joking this is WTO figures!)

    So yeah we have it good but that doesnt make us lazy or unproductive….! 😀

    Peace to all and remember:

    “Power is damned, that is why i am an Anarchist”
    Louise Michel, 18th-ish…

  53. Hello!

    Someone sent me the link to this movie a while ago, but I’ve only just got around to commenting!

    Anyways, I think it’s great. I’ve read up quite a bit on procrastination, and this really is a nice summary of the kinds of things you can do, and also has a few ideas that are new to me. Great job!

  54. I *Loved* this! I teach time management in the Federal Public Service of Canada and this web site is going on the Recommended Resources list. It covers at least a half day of much less exciting lessons. I am also editing self-study guides on the same topic – the reference will be there, as well.

    Marion V

  55. Thank you very much.

    It’s good to watch a presentation such as this before you go to bed, especially when you can view work appearing quickly just around the corner.

    It is true that faith is an important attribute of any writer, however it is also true that many of us procrastonate to such a great degree that we make Hamlet look like an incisive leader.

    Although I would never consider myself an Anarchist, I still feel that your lecture, and the rest of your site, does deal with an important subject regarding the human sprit: Fulfilment is a far greater reward than cash.

    I’m working at the moment, but that’s because I need cash. Money will enable me to do things in the future that I find interesting and exciting. It’s not a means in itself.

    I feel that your work on this site enables all artists to understand to a greater degree the need to not become dispirited and to work hard in pursuit of your own fulfilment.

    So, all-in-all, thanks.

  56. love it, do more stuff like this

  57. You obviously don’t have kids.

  58. This is a very good presentation and I found it is useful to me.

  59. Time Management For Anarchists? Here’s a slogan for it: “Blow it up, not off.”

  60. LOL Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! That was great!

  61. Los amo. Acaban de salvarme la vida.

  62. I’m just starting to get really serious about organization (its been a long time coming). I’m sure I’ll be refering to this many times, thank you and great job!


  63. liked the message, but the flash is WAAAAAY too slow– both in terms of the loading and clicking involved and the pacing of the presentation. remember– just because you CAN use flash doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. plus, if you’re gonna ask us to sit through the flash, at least make the design better (waiting for times-freakin-roman font to load in flash? wtf?) quicktime, animated gifs, and even html would probably be much faster and more accessible to more people.
    i watched the piece because i already agree with your basic premises. people who really need to hear your message won’t be so patient.

  64. This is a wonderful little presentation. I get money by doing management consulting and spend some of my off-time with friends doing activism.

    Something alluded to in the other posts that I think is true is that some people who gravitate to anarchism are congenitally disorganized. But I think that a different way of viewing it is to say that their personalities are such that they are unsuited to becoming cogs in the big machine. I know that in my case I have been able to exist within the system because, by nature, I’m more able than some others to tolerate the living hell that is an office. But not everyone can stand that level of coercion and idiocy: some reject it because they analyze the situation and intellectually reject it; others just cannot make themselves fit and they know it. They’re not wrong, it’s just 21st-century capitalism that is inflexible.

  65. I gave up on your Flash presentation after about 30 seconds. I can’t deal with text that is presented on screen so slowly, forcing you to read it in the timing the author demands. I kept waiting for the Next Page arrow to appear, waiting, waiting, oh what the hell, I give up.
    You should learn to practice what you preach. Controlling someone else’s time usage is for control freaks. Allow the user to go through the presentation at his own speed.

  66. That was fun. Thanks for sharing the *.fla.

    One thing that’s working for me now is adding a “reward” component to the list.

    1) Set Objectives
    2) Meet Objectives
    3) Receive Reward


  67. The ‘reward’ system works for some folks. I’m not one of them. I’m what the Church of the SubGenius calls a “Rewardian”–someone who rewards themselves for what they’re -about_ to do.

  68. This is really handy advice…

    We did an English version in comic book format for our ‘Independent Renaissance?’ issue of MEAT magazine (www.meat-mag.com)

    check it out here.


    It was pretty fun to do- although the irony of getting the mag to print one week late wasn’t lost on us…


  69. Hi,
    it was fun and informative

  70. As someone who has just come to realise that I am an anarchist, I found your flash film witty and informative. I’ll get my self an agenda book right away. then I might actually get some stuff done.

  71. I am a legal worker in Portland Oregon, a place where I would suggest you should be careful about what your writing down, depending on what you are doing in terms of your political work. If this book is always wih you, it could get arrested with you, then the cops have it.

    Most of our anarchists are more political than just making art.

    It is important that some things not be written down.

  72. You just saved my life, buddy! HOLY COW!

    Thanks a million. Day two of my appointment book and I’ve already become far more “productive” than I ever could have hoped.

  73. Amazing work, inspiring, really.

    first thing I’m gonna do today is buy an organiser.
    if it works out and my life is saved, I’ll buy you a house.

  74. Thanks a million – this has changed my life (really – I’m writing this one or two years after watching your presentation for the first time).

    I used to think that only the Living Dead, i.e., the job-oriented people, could want to be organized; not so anymore…

  75. Beautiful work: clever, funny, righteously written from a creative person’s POV, and damn useful information. Bequeath to us your wisdom, O sagacious one!

  76. P.S. – I forgot to mention, I bought an agenda book a few years ago and promptly lost it in the field. So I think I’ll go with one I can leave at home as a master, and use index cards as daily-updatable pages to carry in a breast pocket. Not quite as enviro-friendly (more paper), but I think it’s probably the best way for me. If it works out, I’ll let you know. If not, I’ll hide my head in mortified shame and never show my face online again.

  77. sure, i understand the whole concept, and it seems okay i guess, but its a little hard to understand. escape the structure and formality of a job and into a planned agenda demanding an interary for the next month?
    does that seem a little..anti-anarchist?

  78. This is brilliant! I downloaded the flash version, thank you so much for making it available.

  79. This is great, I’ve found breaknig tasks in to smaller managable tasks is really good for those easily distracted such as myself.
    If you are usnig linux, but want to do stuff in flash, i can suggest synfig. its a bit weird at times, but once you get used to it its really easy to do things.

  80. Hey everyone–

    Marc Ngui and I have done a comic book adaptation of my Flash animation:


    You can download it for free!

  81. radical, i say radical in influencing us nowadays in the time of great pressures, especially cause i have this martyrdom habit and the last minute crap. i really do hope i could organize myself better so state smashing would go easy. haha by the way buy nothing day’s up folks

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>