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GTD and goal-setting

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  • GTD and goal-setting

    I would be interested to hear how folks link GTD with goal-setting.

    For example, if I set a five year goal, I would then naturally chop it down into a series of yearly goals, then chop those into quarterly, then monthly, then weekly goals.

    From there, I've been thinking about just allocating a "next action" to that weekly goal (perhaps with a due date) and then moving forward on that goal by doing the action in the right context (e.g. @work, @home)

    The problem here, it seems, is that you might not do enough context-based "next actions" on that weekly goal to actually reach the goal within the week.

    It seems you would have to plan out the goal steps in detail and then allocate specific tasks to specific days to make sure you do enough to meet the deadline.

    But going into that much detail seems to go against the intuitive GTD approaches of "do it when it feels right" and "only plan as much you need for the next step".

    How would you suggest linking GTD and goal-setting?


  • #2
    I think that eventually, one of those chopped-down levels would be a project. For me, weekly or monthly goals would tend to be definable projects. So add them to your projects list and they will come up in your weekly review, then add one or more next actions for those projects to your next-action list. If there is are deadlines, you will need to put them on your calendar.

    I would also add your longer term goals to the trigger list that you use during your weekly review, so that you make sure to set your monthly/weekly goals (define new projects) on a regular basis, all as part of your GTD review process.



    • #3
      I'm not big on goals, so one of the things I like about GTD is that is operates at the runway level of life. I don't have to have a goal of maintaining my dog's health to know I need to get his allergy pills refilled. I don't need to have a goal of living in a nice house to notice the garage door needs repainting. And I don't need to have a goal of keeping a good job to know I'd better get things accomplished at work. GTD brings it down to the next action or the related project and that is where I want to function. Talk about 5 year goals and big rocks and I just tune out.


      • #4
        Originally posted by TPorter2
        Talk about 5 year goals and big rocks and I just tune out.
        I guess that's one point of view. But as Stephen Covey says: what's the use of climbing the ladder of success if it's leaning against the wrong wall?



        • #5
          Goals? a matrix

          Timeframe Review
          Hi... I did a martix of various 'goals' type structures that the gurus comment about. Seems that they all have a 5 level pattern.. The review time is averaged (by me)... just sharing... (sorry the formating)
          • Timeframe..Review
            ....................Annual+...50,000...Vision....L ife..............Overall Goals
            3-5 years......Annual......40,000...Mission..Category. .....Strategic
            1-2 years......quarterly..30,000....CSF......Opportuni ty...Operational
            Quarterly......monthly....20,000...Goals....Respon sibility.SMART Tactical
            Monthly.........weekly.....10,000...Projects.Proje ct..........Projects
            weekly..........daily..........5,000...Action....A ction...........Actions
   it........Ground...Routine...Routine........Routin e


          • #6
            GTD & Goals


            I think we'll just have to agree to disagree here. In the helpful matrix posted by jfm, I really only concern myself with the bottom three levels. I think I just have a block about goals. Should I be doing more visionary high level thinking? Probably. Am I capable of doing it without driving myself to distraction? No.

            And if someone is running around with their ladder from wall to wall they are probably not getting much hammering done. Just another way to look at things. Thanks for not denigrating my opinion though.



            • #7
              Here's how I've been thinking about roles and priorities and long term goals. If I know that I have an action item on my @Errands list to pick up oatmeal shampoo for my dog and that this is related to a project on my Projects list, the successful outcome of which is Isaac's itchy skin problem is cleared up, I can know by extension that I have a role of Doggie-Daddy and that one of my values is that I care for my animals or for my family. If I have a project "Enrolled in classes at ACC" I can know from looking at this that I have a longer term goal of attending school or of continuing my education or of getting a degree in mathematics. If I'm on the way home and I only have time to do one thing and it's either pick up doggie oatmeal shampoo or register for classes, Isaac won't go without his oatmeal shampoo. My action lists and current projects reflect all of this higher level role and priority thinking. If I feel like I want to get it off of my mind I can make a list at any time. The priority of my doggie-daddy role over my student role is implicit in what I'm doing at the runway level. If I didn't get it to my action list in the first place, my dog would still be itchy


              • #8
                avanderbilt - dog/school???

                Shoot the dog!


                • #9
                  Well, he did get an allergy shot


                  • #10
                    Re: Goals? a matrix

                    Originally posted by jfm
                    Timeframe Review
                    Hi... I did a martix of various 'goals' type structures that the gurus comment about.
                    Thanks - that's a very useful summary.

                    I think I remember reading somewhere on the old forum that David Allen was producing a new book (?) which covered how to handle the "high level" part of GTD - dealing with above-runway matters.

                    Anyone got any further information on this?



                    • #11

                      David said at the seminar the other day he is working on the new book that will deal with leverage and focus on more long term goals, visions, etc. His one day seminar also deals with this subject.


                      • #12
                        Re: Goals

                        Originally posted by pstmstr
                        His one day seminar also deals with this subject.
                        Does that mean it is on the 8 hour session that you can buy from the website on tape and CD?



                        • #13
                          Re Goals - question re Leveraging seminar

                          No, the CD/tape set (I bought the CD set) contains David's entire two-day Managing Workflow seminar. It does not include the one-day Leveraging Focus seminar.

                          Randy Stokes


                          • #14
                            Managing vision and focus

                            For now, perhaps the best materials available are included in Chapter 13 of David's book, "Getting Things Done."

                            In our two-day seminar, we spend time talking more specifically about individual project planning, and some of the "best ways to think" about projects. We usually don't present that information in our one-day seminars.

                            Personally, I knew for a long time that I could more or less effectively think about something. As a matter of fact, many years ago I was one of the only ones taking class notes in multiple colors. I found over time that one of the ways I learn the best is through visual variety.

                            Likewise, making goals attainable, attractive and fun in the process has taken work and focus. I've tried a few things, including making collages, writing affirmations and creative visualization (all topics included in our Leveraging Focus and Vision seminar).

                            Finding what will work for you will ultimately be a process of trial and error. Try something; if it works...keep on doing it!