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Blocking time for Areas of Focus

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  • Blocking time for Areas of Focus

    Last night I had an AHA! moment Going upper attitudes I "splitted" my life into areas of interest: Daughter, Wife, Work, Personal Development and Health. I still need to make goals for each of the focus areas. But what I got was: "I want a balance between these areas so I don't spend too much time in any one and I don't want to decide what is bigger priority i.e. Personal Development or Daughter". All the areas are important and as such they should be "balanced" using Time Map or Time Schedule method. I wonder why David Allen didn't put that into his book and how he suggest to balance activities then?

    Regards,

    Eugene.

  • #2
    I think it is in the book. It just isn't a major part of the book. After doing GTD for over a year, I had the same ah-ha moment. It's in the book with the 10,000/20,000 etc. foot planning. I've gotten really good at getting the day-to-day stuff done with GTD, but asking myself questions like, Are the things I'm spending my time on really what I want to be doing? belong at the higher levels. When I look at my lists from those higher levels, some things get trimmed, other things get added. But I think a good proficiency of the basic system of projects and next actions is necessary before you're ready to look down from the higher levels. If you don't know what you're doing and aren't keeping good track of it, it's hard for you to make informed decisions about how you're spending your time overall.

    Comment


    • #3
      Pageta,

      I think that 10K and 20K views define what you need to do but not when. I didn't find anything in the book that says to put hard edges (or schedule) your focus areas in your calendar (I'd appreciate if you send me a page number in the book). In the moment you will always choose the most important Next Action from your list. Thus it could lead to you will always be choosing Next Actions that belong to your most important Focus Area. For me it means that whenever I have a discrete moment after work I'd be choosing some sort of my daughter related projects as she's #1 for me now. But that means that other Focus Areas like Health or Self-Development, or Home could be stoped in the state they were before. I want to develop all of my interests and focus areas and do not prioritize NA between but inside of them.

      PS Work is a Focus Area almost everyone has and that's scheduled for us by our employer or common sence (people usually work from 9 to 17 or close to that after that it would be hard to work, only in self-mode Why didn't put hard edges for the rest of our Focus Areas?

      Regards,

      Eugene.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Borisoff
        Pageta,

        PS Work is a Focus Area almost everyone has and that's scheduled for us by our employer or common sence (people usually work from 9 to 17 or close to that after that it would be hard to work, only in self-mode Why didn't put hard edges for the rest of our Focus Areas?

        Regards,

        Eugene.
        Fiore writes very eloquently about the benefits of this in “The Now Habit”.

        Dave

        Comment


        • #5
          The book suggests a review of 20,000 feet (areas of responsibility) during the weekly review. That's a time when you can see whether you're neglecting some of your areas of responsibility and adjust your projects accordingly.

          I'm intrigued by the idea of scheduling times to act within those areas of responsibility. This could be helpful, I think, in making sure that urgent work stuff doesn't always trump relationships with family and friends.

          Comment


          • #6
            Madalu, not only urgent work but prevent choosing between family activities and friends, or children and personal development etc. I hope David Allen will clearify why that's not covered in his book. Maybe that's outside of the book in his seminars?

            E.

            Comment


            • #7
              Borisoff, I think you may be making things too difficult for yourself by over-thinking this. I write out everything that I think of that I need to do, and then when I review the higher levels - 10,000 all the way up to 50,000 ft - I make sure I have NAs for the areas I've covered.

              For example, if I'm exercising regularly and that's my goal for fitness, I don't need any specific NA's in my system. But if I think I will be more motivated to exercise if I'm working toward a specific goal such as running a marathon, the marathon may become a project with specific NAs being landmarks in my training as well as finding and registering to run in a specific event.

              I don't have NA's for spending time with my husband unless I need to do something specific like get tickets to an event. But when I review my life at the upper levels, I ask myself whether I'm happy with the amount of time we're spending together as a couple or if there is something specific I need to spell out for myself to do in order to improve in that area.

              You don't have to have NAs for every area of your life, but it is important to review on a regular basis to see if you're giving sufficient attention to all of the areas that are important to you and make any necessary NAs for making adjustments, if applicable.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by pageta
                I don't have NA's for spending time with my husband unless I need to do something specific like get tickets to an event. But when I review my life at the upper levels, I ask myself whether I'm happy with the amount of time we're spending together as a couple or if there is something specific I need to spell out for myself to do in order to improve in that area.
                Pageta, let's assume you are not happy with the amount of time you're spending with your husband. What do you usually do to guarantee more time with him in the future?

                Regards,
                E.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Borisoff
                  Pageta, let's assume you are not happy with the amount of time you're spending with your husband. What do you usually do to guarantee more time with him in the future?

                  Regards,
                  E.
                  I agree with Pageta, you are overthinking this. Not everything in your life has to be in your GTD system. If that were true, I would miss the spontaneous baseball game with my 4 year old, getting some ice cream for doing good in school, etc.

                  Michael

                  BTW: If I was unhappy with the amount of time I was spending with my wife, I would quit worrying about scheduling everything and go spend time with her.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mramm
                    I agree with Pageta, you are overthinking this. Not everything in your life has to be in your GTD system. If that were true, I would miss the spontaneous baseball game with my 4 year old, getting some ice cream for doing good in school, etc.
                    I don't think I overthink. If I don't schedule time for my focus areas like work, chlidren, home, personal development and health then work tends to take almost all of my time. I have a lot of sales appointments that are scheduled in advance. If there're no edges where works ends then I tend to fill all the time with it. That's why I think scheduling helps to feel the edges.

                    Regards,

                    Eugene.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Set strict limit of your worktime.

                      1) Set strict limit of your daily (for example 10 hours) or weekly (for example 50 hours) worktime.

                      or

                      2) Get rid of the family.

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