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Trouble with 20,000 feet and beyond

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  • Trouble with 20,000 feet and beyond

    Good afternoon! First post here!

    A brief intro before getting to my issue/problem:

    I'm a twenty-something In-house Art Director for a local health food store. I do just about all of our print advertising and some of our web advertising. I am largely responsible for the entire production process on any given print piece (layout, assets, spelling, grammar, delivery, proofing). Of course, being a one-man-art-department means I'm juggling just about everything that gets printed or has graphics.

    I've built a pretty comprehensive foundation from ground-level to projects, but getting past the Areas of Responsibility is proving to be very very difficult. Much of the trouble comes from never having gone to school for my line of work (I come from a family of printers and typesetters, it's in my blood); I have essentially taught myself the entire process from start to finish.

    Part of my upcoming 2012 resolution relates to the Quantified Self concepts, and I'm very excited because QS and GTD seemed made for each other.

    My question, then, is thus:
    How did you get through these higher-level planning stages? How did you organize them while you constructed yours? Tips and tricks are very much welcome!

    Many thanks,

  • #2
    Making It All Work

    If you can, I'd grab a copy of "Making It All Work" - it's a great resource for those upper levels, and even includes recommended frequency of review at each horizon, as well as what the "output" at each level might look like (i.e. straight list, mindmap, etc.)

    I've found it really depends on what you've going on at each horizon. For instance, I used to have a mind map (in MindManager) for all my Areas of Focus, and now I've got a hand-drawn mind map and affirmations for each area in my paper planner.


    • #3
      I have trouble getting to the higher horizons of focus, too. Here's a thought:

      Going to sleep is like going to a higher horizon of focus. If I'm able, every day,
      to clear away all other responsibilities, worries and thoughts like
      "I'll just quickly do this now", in order to go to sleep, then maybe
      (just maybe) I can occasionally clear all those away in order to spend
      some time thinking about a higher horizon of focus.

      Maybe spending part of the workday or week re-prioritizing is analogous to
      spending part of the 24-hour period sleeping.


      • #4
        Originally posted by TheMumm View Post
        How did you get through these higher-level planning stages? How did you organize them while you constructed yours? Tips and tricks are very much welcome!
        I had a very tough time even approaching the higher horizons. It was like I was trying to walk through a doorway that was completely blocked by a large white marshmallow. It was pliable, but it completely obstructed any progress.

        I've been working with a coach to flush these things out, though, first with Julie Ireland at the David Allen Co. and now with a business/life coach.

        I think it's interesting that you're relating the QS movement to the higher levels of GTD. If the core of the Quantified Self is to gather and track your personal data to draw conclusions about your health and welfare from that data, I would be curious to know what data you might track to help with identifying your life goals, purpose and vision.

        What I've found more than anything is that I can't think my way to the answers. No amount of cerebral gymnastics works. These are heart choices that show you the way; it's your intuitive compass that always points north, if only you could read it!

        My tip and/or trick would be to mind map all three on one big piece of paper. Don't make judgements. Don't over organize. Don't over think. If your first three thoughts are puppies, peanut butter and brussels sprouts, go with it. Put it on the page - without judgement. And, like with a good, old-fashioned brain dump, just keep going until you're empty... then write down another three things.

        Let us know how it goes!