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What's the difference between 20,000 and 30,000?

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  • What's the difference between 20,000 and 30,000?

    OK, I know that 20,000ft is "Areas of Responsibility", and "30,000" is 1-2 year goals, but honestly, is there that much of a difference between the two? How do you handle the difference between the two levels? Is there a distinction between them?

  • #2
    20K vs 30K

    Originally posted by craigm
    OK, I know that 20,000ft is "Areas of Responsibility", and "30,000" is 1-2 year goals, but honestly, is there that much of a difference between the two? How do you handle the difference between the two levels? Is there a distinction between them?
    They are completely different for me. At work, I have research, teaching, and administrative responsibilities, areas of responsibiiity or roles if you prefer. I chair two standing committees, and that work is *never* done. These responsibilities generate projects (10K) and next actions (0K). Sometimes they cause me to commit to a 1-2 year goal (30K), which in turn generates projects and next actions. 30K stuff typically has a far-off, but visible horizon. 20K stuff typically has a level of activity or quality that I want to maintain. There are certain projects or actions that need to happen regularly, such as employee evaluations and budget reviews.

    The point for me is the frequency of review of the different levels. I need to think about my areas of responsibility roughly every month, but my projects roughly weekly. 1-2 year goals may only need to be reviewed every 3 months, if I have the right projects generated from them.

    You can layer many high-level "systems" or perspectives on top of the basic GTD project/next action distinction. If a roles-based perspective works very well for you, use it. Some people like to make detailed long-range plans. I personally find this counterproductive, but that's me. I do think the distinction between areas of responsibility and goals is real, and the functional differentiation in terms of frequency of review is useful.

    Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Perhaps a better way....

      I've deviated from the GTD canon as defined in David's books and CDs in that my implementation defines Focus/Roles as my 30,000 ft view and One to Two Year Goals as my 20,000 ft view (David reverses this).

      This allows me to

      Define Areas of Focus and/or Roles necessary to support each item in my 3-5 yr vision.
      Define Goals within each Area of Focus or Role
      Define Projects to support each Goal
      Define Next Actions to support each Project.


      Before I made this simple switch I struggled to abstract out the relationship between levels.

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      • #4
        10,000 ...

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