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Fitting study in horizons of focus

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  • Fitting study in horizons of focus

    Hi,

    I have something that is refusing to show up cleanly in my system, and its the area of my life where I am doing a degree. I cant work out where the pieces go in terms of horizons.

    I am doing my degree (remaining duration 2.5 years). There are some things that need to happen related to that level (focusing on things like subject selection, enrolment and so on).

    Within that degree I do subjects. Each subject takes essentially 3 months, and they are so far one at a time. So right now I am starting subject X. (I am waiting on results from the subject before that, so I suppose there is overlap)

    Looking at subject X I see several things I need to do:

    * Pre-class reading
    * 2 assignments have already been given, an individual one and a group one.
    * I expect that sometime over the next week or 2 I will need to organise picking up the notes (which is a hour long trip).

    From what I can tell the degree itself is an area of focus. I have difficulty working it out for the rest.

    - Is there a project "Pass/complete subject X"?
    - Does it have contained or separate projects for the assignments?
    - Because pre-reading is going to take a while (the reading is about 300 pages) is that a next action or a project in itself (With read section 1, section 2.... as NA's)?
    - Picking up the notes is a project support item (its a note for something in the future), where does it belong?

  • #2
    I'd say getting degree is a goal
    all subjects are Areas of Focus

    "Is there a project "Pass/complete subject X"?"

    It's just a more granular Area of Focus

    I mean you could have Areas of Focus
    Subject X
    -Pass/complete subject X
    Subject Y
    -Pass/complete subject Y

    and etc.

    separate projects for the assignments are just separate projects.

    pre-reading could be both a next action or a project, depends on what would be enough for you to get it done.

    Picking up the notes belongs to project support if it's a future action and you want to keep it

    Comment


    • #3
      Lots of ways to do it

      There's lots of ways to do this, and probably many people will say each assignment is a project.

      The way I like to do it is a project is generally defined by the natural planning model. If it were me I would have study as an area of focus, and one plan per subject, so each subject would be a project. Each assignment would be a subproject, and the details of the assignment would be stored in the subject project plan. In the natural planning model, the organising step is where you identify all your subprojects.
      There are also open loops in projects. These are multi step actions within a project, like pre-reading or getting the notes. To me the difference between a subproject and an open loop is a subproject is substantial enough that I need a place to store support information about it, whereas an open loop is simple enough that all I need to store is the actions.
      I would then have at least one next action for every subproject or open loop (you can have more as long as they can be done in parallel).
      So my next action list might look like:
      - read section 1
      - organise mtg for group assignment
      - brainstorm ideas for individual assignment
      If I know there is an open loop that is due to start in the future but not now, I would put that in my Word project plan, and a reminder in my tickler file.

      Comment


      • #4
        > From what I can tell the degree itself is an area of focus. I
        > have difficulty working it out for the rest.
        >
        > - Is there a project "Pass/complete subject X"?

        I don't think so - I think that there would be multiple projects, and "Subject X" is an area of focus, or it just vanishes underneath the "Degree" area of focus.

        > - Because pre-reading is going to take a while (the reading is
        > about 300 pages) is that a next action or a project in itself
        > (With read section 1, section 2.... as NA's)?

        I'd have a project "Complete pre-reading for Project X by Date" and it would contain repeating actions: "Spend X hours reading" where X is an amount of time that you can complete in one sitting, and "Evaluate reading progress so far." If the reading progress is going badly, maybe X becomes 2X.

        > - Picking up the notes is a project support item (its a note for
        > something in the future), where does it belong?

        I'd probably make it a project. It might accumulate actions like:

        Project: Pick up notes for whatever
        Next Action: Call Jane to schedule pickup of notes.
        Next Action: Arrange a ride for note pickup.
        Next Action: WAITING FOR date

        I also find myself wondering if the notes could be faxed.

        To manufacture another project:

        Project: Complete Project X semester paper
        Next Action: Spend two hours brainstorming topic ideas.
        Next Action: Schedule appointment with Professor Smith to discuss topic choice.
        Next Action: Spend two hours in library researching preliminary sources.

        and so on.

        Gardener

        Comment


        • #5
          Completing your degree is a goal. Each class is a large project. Each assignment is a subproject.

          In this case there's no need to invoke an Area of Focus because there's nothing to "maintain". Every assignment you do moves you one project closer to the goal of graduating.

          IMHO, AOFs and Goals exist on the same level. They are things you want to achieve and things you want to maintain. It is not always necessary to have them connected to each other.

          Comment

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