Goals and areas of focus - a need for greater clarity
*Which comes first goals or areas of focus?
I'm in the process of taking my gtd understanding to the next level. I've always had a niggling doubt that my understanding of goals and areas of focus could do with greater clarity.
Defining goals first then working on areas of focus feels uncomfortable. To my mind the more logical approach is the other way round. Having a solid definition of the areas of focus and then working out the goals you want to achieve in them.
I really don't want to miss something fundamental about the overall approach or logic.*
Grateful for other peoples experience and views in this area.*
Many thanks in advance
I totally agree! "Areas of Focus" don't fit in the Horizons of Focus.
I am aware this is an old thread but it is the first one I've found with someone having the same struggles as me. I totally agree that the 20k level of focus seems inconsistent with the other levels.
I see the horizons of focus as a way of specifying a life purpose (How you would like your life to be) and then having a cascade of visions, goals and projects down from this. Having a traceable path from your projects right up through to your life purpose seems logical and makes sure your projects are building towards your goals and higher. The 20K "Areas of Focus" seems to break this chain.
I'm glad that someone else is on my wavelength as I had assumed that it must have been my lack of understanding.
My thoughts on this situation are:
"Areas of Focus" seems more like an abstract grouping (or additional source) of your projects and thus does not sit nicely in the hierarchy.
Therefore I might keep it in the "horizons of focus" but not as it's own level but as a grouping at the project 20k ft level. The areas will not only group projects for logistical purposes but also inspire projects themselves.
This fits nicely with several GTD software packages eg. Things, Nirvana etc.
Goals will now relate directly to projects.
Hope this makes sense. I would love other's feedback on this.
Perspectives and Hierarchy
Very nice subject and points of view. Thank you! I would have 2 comments on this very interesting issue.
Originally Posted by soilboy
1. I really don't think hierarchy is the way to go here. It would be great to have everything linearly organized, but that would be reducing the richness of perspetives to mere grouping folders. And in my opinion it's much more than that.
Each perspective is a pair of glasses on its own. A different view of your life. It's not just up a level, it's a different filter. And its richness lays in how this filter relates to different sets of values behind the goals. Giving an example: imagine one of your important values in life is your relations to other human beings and how you feel you would want to positively relate to and influence them. That value can be expressed in all your projects, regardless if it's under the hobbies area, your family area, your professional area or whatever division you have. There's really no hierarchy there. Or better said, it could be, but it would be a waste of all the rich multiple dimension evaluations you can get from switching glasses. It may be called Getting Things Done, but it's not just about executing stuff, is it?
2. Though it would be wonderful to push all the perspectives into our GTD linear system, I was way more pleased to find the power of a separate approach about perspectives: I draw them! I make schemes (with date), with the freedom of representations. The idea is to clear up the desired DIRECTION, and linear systems/ lists don't really help me that much as to see I may me lacking some inner sense of overall tranquility, for instance... I enjoy organizing, but this one is more about a tool for reflection!
Hope it's a valuable contribution.
Once again thanks for the strong theme.