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  • The concept of control

    I just came across Terry Miller's amazing set of notes on the GTD Roadmap workshop here: http://pointreyes.net/notes/gtd/

    One of my favorite hightlights is this one:

    Matrix of self-management: vertical axis is "Vision" - top is the visionary, bottom is the "don't know what's going on". Horizontal axis is "Control" - at left is "out of control", at right is "in complete control". Quadrants: lower left: the Victim. Lower right: the Compulsive. Upper left: the Crazy-Maker (implementation is for schmucks!). Upper right: the Commander. Allen works with a lot of Crazy-Makers.
    I find great value in this quadrant map. I can see when I've been in each of the 4 quadrants!

    My question: what do you think is meant by the concept of "control?" I get the idea of "out of control", but I'm struck by the realization that I don't really know what "in complete control" means. Where does control come from?

  • #2
    Off the top of my head, I'll define my successful outcome for "in control" as "always able to react gracefully to any surprise."

    In other words, can you handle anything? Are you juggling all your responsibilities successfully? When something unexpected happens, can you adjust the rest of your life accordingly?

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    • #3
      I like "in balance" better than "in control." To me, control implies stasis. Balance implies dynamic equilibrium.

      Katherine

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      • #4
        Heh. Interesting; I dislike the term "balance," because to me it suggests that you're devoting a certain amount of time to each aspect of your life. My life isn't balanced in that way; I often have to give a lot more attention to one thing than others (say, an intense project at work or a family crisis). And that's okay. One of the things I like about GTD is that it supports this constant re-organizing of priorities.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Brent
          Off the top of my head, I'll define my successful outcome for "in control" as "always able to react gracefully to any surprise."

          In other words, can you handle anything? Are you juggling all your responsibilities successfully? When something unexpected happens, can you adjust the rest of your life accordingly?
          I would adjust your definition to "always able to react gracefully to any situation...while progressing on specific goals"

          In otherwords, control = "gets things done", not "is well balanced". So...

          Commander - has a useful vision and progresses towards it
          Compulsive - Get's lots done, but what is accomplished it isn't inspired (running on a treadmill--lot's of action, but little forward movement)
          Crazy-Maker - Has great ideas, but has difficulty getting anything implemented
          Victim - uninspired and lethargic

          C

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Brent
            Heh. Interesting; I dislike the term "balance," because to me it suggests that you're devoting a certain amount of time to each aspect of your life.
            A Calder mobile is also balanced, though the size of the individual pieces may vary enormously, and their relationships to each other may shift with the air currents. That's the sense I have in mind.

            Katherine

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            • #7
              Control.

              Control = to know what to do and what not to do in 99% of the contexts and circumstances.

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              • #8
                Control is Not the Goal

                A guided missle is off course or "out of control" 90% of time. How does it stay on course?

                Answer: It's goal is hard-wired in.

                The goal is not control. The goal is not balance.

                The goal is satori. Satori is a state of mind, emotions, and body the samurai warriors had to achieve or be killed.

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                • #9
                  As I understand it, Satori means long-term enlightenment and understanding.

                  That is not my goal in learning GTD. I want to have skills so that I can react to things I don't understand.

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                  • #10
                    How can you sensibly react?

                    Originally posted by Brent
                    I want to have skills so that I can react to things I don't understand.
                    How can you sensibly react to things that you don't understand?

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