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Level Above Areas of Focus

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  • Level Above Areas of Focus

    Hello,
    I've been working on my areas of focus and I have them set up like this

    Personal
    AoF 1
    AoF2
    etc.
    NHC (my companies name initials)
    AoF 1
    AoF2
    etc.
    I also have
    EMS (no sub AoF's)
    Church
    AoF 1
    AoF2
    etc.
    My problem is that I see most of my life divided into personal and NHC, and that is how everything is divided (with church then being under personal, etc.). My project lists are Projects: Personal, and Projects: NHC. I am wondering if those levels are Areas of Focus or something else. Do most people list all their AoF's without these divisions?

    My second question is: when it comes to something I want to improve on at work (i.e. bring down expenses) does that become a project (i don't think so), or a "temporary" area of focus, or a "goal"? Are goals linked to AoFs, or to the "higher" level I asked about in my first question?
    Thanks
    Last edited by black.rhino; 09-27-2011, 03:49 PM.

  • #2
    I have 7 areas of focus:
    Emissions (work)
    Water & Environment (work)
    Planning (work)
    Health & Safety (work)
    Sustainability (mostly personal but also work)
    Fun & Social (mostly personal but also work)
    Mind Body & Spirit

    As you can see some of them cover both personal and work.

    Comment


    • #3
      A project always has an envisioned outcome

      An area of focus is more like a beam of light--it could be a tight narrow beam or wide beam.

      An area of focus will have one or more projects, none may be active at any given time.

      I think each close family member is typically an area of focus, but maybe if you have several aunts and uncles they might be grouped into one, or you could divide them up by geographic region (aunts and uncles in London, aunts and uncles in New York).

      Your house can be an area of focus; and if you are responsible for the plants and trees, that could be identified as one, also.

      You are just dividing up the parts of your life that you need or want to attend to into manageable pieces. Two people in the same work role and with the same lifestyle may divide it up differently.

      I would love to hear from others about what the results were when they changed how they construct their areas of focus.

      Comment


      • #4
        Similar problem

        I've been working on a similar problem for the past year and a half and I'm certainly not finished but some things I've learned along the way:

        1) areas of focus help you maintain balance in your life. You may very well progress along for months without a project in a particular area but the longer you go the more dramatic the effects and harder it is to put things back in balance. Ex. Health & Vitality–It took seven years of neglect for my body to be in the state it's in and it may very well take that long to get it back on track.

        2) As many as you need and as few as you can get by with. Currently, I have 39 Areas of Focus categorized as:

        Self
        education, friendships, fun&entertainment, GTD&operations, Health&Vitality, Increasing income, parenting, (church responsibilities-2), self expression, self development, Spirituality (how I nurture my own spirit and how I help in the nurturing of other spirits are fantastically different things)

        Family
        Accouting, (child), education, extended family, friendships, fun&entertainment, health&Vitality), home, immediate family, (child), legal, (wife), operations, spirituality

        My business
        accounting, content creation, (secret), HR, R&D, operations, PR

        Main client (roughly 90% of all my current income)
        content creation, operations, PR, quality, R&D

        I started out listing my AoF like Suelin23 but as time went on I realized I needed more structure to keep things out of my head. Not all of these areas have projects in them but since the list is so complete I can quickly review the entire list during my weekly review and do a more thorough review during my monthly review.

        3) for your second question, generation of a new AoF depends on how many projects it generates. So, if reduce expenses generates 30 new projects, I'd make that an area of focus. If it only generates two or three projects, then I might include it in some other AoF with some notes in the project support materials about the end goals and purpose that tie these two projects together.

        Did that help?

        Comment


        • #5
          I used to have lots of areas of focus before I made the distinction between areas of focus and responsibilities. What others call areas of focus I call responsbilities.

          So under the AOF Sustainability my responsibilities include - finances, home maintenance, garden maintenance, etc.
          These then are at a more similar level to the AOFs mentioned previously.
          I like having only 7 AOFs as mentally it is easier to remember them (having less), and it lines up well with the Stephen Covey approach of roles, which worked well for me prior to GTD.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by black.rhino View Post
            Hello,
            I've been working on my areas of focus and I have them set up like this

            Personal
            AoF 1
            AoF2
            etc.
            NHC (my companies name initials)
            AoF 1
            AoF2
            etc.
            I also have
            EMS (no sub AoF's)
            Church
            AoF 1
            AoF2
            etc.
            My problem is that I see most of my life divided into personal and NHC, and that is how everything is divided (with church then being under personal, etc.). My project lists are Projects: Personal, and Projects: NHC. I am wondering if those levels are Areas of Focus or something else. Do most people list all their AoF's without these divisions?

            My second question is: when it comes to something I want to improve on at work (i.e. bring down expenses) does that become a project (i don't think so), or a "temporary" area of focus, or a "goal"? Are goals linked to AoFs, or to the "higher" level I asked about in my first question?
            Thanks
            I think it's fine to organise your AOFs into groups if it serves you in some way that you are clear about.

            The GTD definition of 'organised' is that everything that means the same thing to you when you need to use it should be stored in the same place. So when do you use your AOFs? Do you review them all together or separately in two groups?

            In my own case, my work life and personal life are very separate. So I have two separate AOF lists and they are never reviewed together. I have one weekly review at the office and another at home. For me this facilitates my 'work-life' balancing act.

            Comment

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