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  • Why are Areas of Responsibility at 20,000ft?

    Surely what we are and what we believe are reflected in what we have to focus on every day and what we are responsible for. And surely our purpose flows down from this. Therefore shouldn't Areas of Responsibility/ Focus be at 50,000ft and Life Purpose be relegated to 40,000ft, with the Three to Five Year Visions and One to Two Year Goals also moved down one level.

    The thing which made me wonder about this is that I can never decide whether "be a good partner" is in my Life Purpose list or my AOR list. It usually ends up in both, which doesn't seem quite right.

  • #2
    It can be in both if you want, why not?

    You can also have horizons of focus for each area of focus.

    I have defined my principles, purpose, vision and goals for each area of focus, too, not just for my "overall life". What do you believe about your health? What does your ideal health level look like and why is that important? How can you get there? What areas of focus do you have inside "health" (exercise program, meal planning, etc.)

    I don't think there are any hard rules here, since everything is so interconnected. It's all just different ways of expressing your intention, which then informs how you act in the here and now.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by treelike View Post
      Surely what we are and what we believe are reflected in what we have to focus on every day and what we are responsible for. And surely our purpose flows down from this. Therefore shouldn't Areas of Responsibility/ Focus be at 50,000ft and Life Purpose be relegated to 40,000ft, with the Three to Five Year Visions and One to Two Year Goals also moved down one level.
      Whatever works for you, but "surely" is a rhetorical device more than a compelling argument. The structure David Allan proposed reflects how often things get reviewed more than intrinsic importance, because they are all important and much of our understanding of these issues is bottom-up rather than top-down. My areas of focus do change with time as my responsibilities change. Frankly, I have responsibilities I would prefer not to have, but I do have them. I don't have principles I would prefer not to have.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by oliver_r View Post
        I have defined my principles, purpose, vision and goals for each area of focus, too, not just for my "overall life". What do you believe about your health? What does your ideal health level look like and why is that important? How can you get there? What areas of focus do you have inside "health" (exercise program, meal planning, etc.)
        Thanks, I'll have a go at that (although I might not bother defining all the levels for housework/ chores ). I think this might help me discover some new goals.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
          Whatever works for you, but "surely" is a rhetorical device more than a compelling argument. The structure David Allan proposed reflects how often things get reviewed more than intrinsic importance, because they are all important and much of our understanding of these issues is bottom-up rather than top-down. My areas of focus do change with time as my responsibilities change. Frankly, I have responsibilities I would prefer not to have, but I do have them. I don't have principles I would prefer not to have.
          Yeah, it was more of a "why am I wrong?" question than a proposal for a change to GTD. That makes sense- the levels are based on frequency of reviewing. I can believe that I need to review my AOF more often than my life goals.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by treelike View Post
            (although I might not bother defining all the levels for housework/ chores )
            Just for fun, I'm imagining what that might be like.

            Action: Wash the dishes.
            Project: Tidy the kitchen.
            Area of focus: leaving a clean house for myself and family members.
            Goal: Buy a dishwasher.
            Vision: Renovations that make it easier to move around between the kitchen and dining room and arranged to make it easier to tidy up -- shorter distances for common tasks
            Purpose: Good health, and providing little gifts (such as a tidied kitchen) to self and others

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            • #7
              Originally posted by treelike View Post
              The thing which made me wonder about this is that I can never decide whether "be a good partner" is in my Life Purpose list or my AOR list. It usually ends up in both, which doesn't seem quite right.
              This is so juicy... ok, maybe that's not the best characterization, but you get what I mean...! I totally see where you're coming from, and thank you for the challenge of thinking through this.

              My 50,000s (Purpose) are all phrases, like your "be a good partner" or, in my case for example, "have a loving commitment to my family" or "live debt-free in comfort". These are all phrases that come out of my heart and my spirit... things that represent the core of who I am and why I'm here.

              The 20,000 level (Areas of Focus) is a method of organization... of categorization. I have tons of projects that involve my family, for example, and I have to group them somehow. My Area of Focus for them is "Relationships".

              Seeing my Areas of Focus regularly lets me focus on those areas, generating great brain dumps of projects and actions in my weekly reviews.

              Seeing my Purpose phrases periodically reminds me of the bigger picture, helps me to realign if I've strayed off-purpose and allows me to modify and adjust as my life evolves.

              So, thanks, treelike! Taking the time to think about this was a good grounding experience for me today... and a little overdue, frankly. Great to see you on the forums!

              Dena

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