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I listen now Stephen R. Covey's audio book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People". And I am little bit shocked how well it integrates with the David Allen's GTD process, it complements it and shows some other areas where your software could develop. Especially at the end of the Chapter 6 where Steve talks about Quadrant 2 activities (personal relationship and life purpose improvement).

Quoting that chapter's ideas: Daily planning limits the vision, focuses on "now", it helps to order activities, but doesn't question their essential importance in the first place: roles and goals. No tools to manage in the balanced way, taking into account life values, life priorities, etc. We need to start things by seeing where they lead and end. Focus just on activity causes strain in relationship, and doesn't help to build relationship.

Good planning tool needs to help you develop coherence - harmony, unity and integrity between your Vision, Mission, Roles, Goals, Priorities and Plans, Desires, Discipline. There needs to be a place for your Mission statement, a place for short term and long term goals (at work, in family, for personal development, etc.).

In my opinion recently announced application Things has one small advantage at this point - it's section called AREAS. It's taken directly from the David Allen's lectures about the "flights" at different altitudes:
Runway-10k feet: Daily tasks,
20k feet: Focus Areas,
30k feet: Short Term Goals,
40k feet: Life Vision.

Could OmniFocus also focus more attention to the whole balanced life planning? Add Mission Statement at the very top of the Projects list, above the Inbox. Add Roles section, add Areas of Focus, Goals.

According to Covey's book, there could be another view mode: Weekly view. It's important to see all my tasks and activities in some time context. Week is a good period of time to plan something. I could see all my Due tasks for each day, and if I could attach color to the Areas of Focus actions, those could be in different color, to help me visualise how much time I've scheduled for my family, how much for work and how much for community services. That would lift up OmniFocus to the whole new level! It wouldn't be just get this done, get that done, but would set all those tasks in the context of different areas of my life.

What are your opinions about these ideas?

Last edited by Guntis; 2009-02-02 at 09:00 AM..
 
Quote:
In my opinion recently announced application Things has one small advantage at this point - it's section called AREAS.
As far as I can tell, Areas in Things is really no different from Folders in OmniFocus. Some people use them as Roles, some use them as context areas, others use them as the GTD 'Flights' metaphor. I think you have a lot of flexibility to configure OmniFocus as is now to model some aspects of the Covey system.

Want a Mission Statement area? Why not create a single action list or a project that contains your statement in the notes area? Then you could create goals and action items relating to your mission within this project.

Create folders for your Roles areas and nest all the projects related to each specific role. Enter time estimates for the actions and use the sum time estimates script in the Extras forum here to calculate the totals, then compare the totals among your Roles areas/folders.

Quote:
According to Covey's book, there could be another view mode: Weekly view. It's important to see all my tasks and activities in some time context. Week is a good period of time to plan something. I could see all my Due tasks for each day, and if I could attach color to the Areas of Focus actions, those could be in different color, to help me visualise how much time I've scheduled for my family, how much for work and how much for community services
I hope you understand that this is where Covey and Allen go in completely different directions. There is nothing GTD about planning out a week's activities in a time context, complete with daily to-do lists. However, if you are assigning hard due dates to all your actions, the Due Soon perspective should give you a fair idea of how you have allocated your time between your roles in the next few days.

As another thought, you might also want to take a look at the Zen-to-Done concept on the zenhabits.net web site. Zen-to-Done is heavily GTD influenced with enough of the 7 habits thrown in that you might find it interesting, and more easily worked with in OmniFocus.
 
I've always looked at the runway being nested in an outline.

40k feet: Life Vision
-30k feet: Short Term Goals
--20k feet: Focus Areas,
---Runway-10k feet: Daily tasks,

In order to come up with each level, a person asks the question:
what things do I need to do to move the parent item forward.

Example:

40k: Bring Joy to the world
-30k: Nurture my family
-30k: Give to the community

What things do I need to do to nurture my family

40k: Bring Joy to the world
-30k: Nurture my family
--20k: Spend Quality time with family
--20k: Provide for my family
-30k: Give to the community

what things do i need to do to provide for my family

40k: Bring Joy to the world
-30k: Nurture my family
--20k: Spend Quality time with family
--20k: Provide for my family
---10k: Work in the factory to bring home a paycheck
---10k: Move to better house / location
-30k: Give to the community

what things do I need to do to work in the factory
40k: Bring Joy to the world
-30k: Nurture my family
--20k: Spend Quality time with family
--20k: Provide for my family
---10k: Work in the factory to bring home a paycheck
----5k: work project1: fix broken machine
----5k: work project2
---10k: Move to better house / location
-30k: Give to the community

What thing do I need to do to move work project 1 closer to completion
what things do I need to do to work in the factory
40k: Bring Joy to the world
-30k: Nurture my family
--20k: Spend Quality time with family
--20k: Provide for my family
---10k: Work in the factory to bring home a paycheck
----5k: work project1: fix broken machine
-----Action: call joe to order broken part
----5k: work project2
---10k: Move to better house / location
-30k: Give to the community

Whether or not this can be done in software without being unwieldy is another matter.
 
A weekly view would not have to be too complicated. Instead of the "Due Soon", "Due Within the Next Week" filter result, the filter groupings could be: "Due Monday", "Due Tuesday", etc. or "Due DD/MM/YY"

Applying the filter could yield:

"Due Today"
"Due Tomorrow"
"Due Tuesday"
"Due Wednesday"
"Due Thursday"
"Due Friday"
"Due Saturday"
"Due Next Week"
"Due Next Month"

or something like that.

This would make OmniFocus even more useful for calendar actions.
 
You can actually sort items by due date to get a sense of time.

But oftentimes I have a lot of tasks that don't need to get done on a particular date. But then I'll either flag it or put a due date on them to schedule them into my life. Otherwise I'll just pick and choose from my daily lists.

I also saw Covey's 7 Habits as a great GTD companion to explain higher elevations whereas the first GTD book handled more of the runway stuff.

David Allen's new book "Making It All Work" also dovetails nicely and further expands on the higher elevations.

Those are a great trio of books to have in any library
 
 


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