HELP - AREAS OF FOCUS WITH CATEGORIES

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by lawnwranglers76, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. lawnwranglers76

    lawnwranglers76 Registered

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    I am starting to use the Things App for Mac and IOS and am running into a snag. How can I create and classify certain categories within my areas of focus that are not necessarily projects but are smaller than areas of focus? For example, I have an AREA OF FOCUS CALLED PHYSICAL HEALTH. However, within Physical Health, I have about 6 CATEGORIES that need constant attention but are not necessarily projects that require completion. They are Sleep, Cardio Health, Heart Health, Diet, Flexibility and Strength. None of these classifications are projects per se, and indeed, many of these categories will have projects underneath them. because they are never-ending. However, they all deserve specific and constant attention by me. How can I make these categories something in between Areas of Focus and actual projects? I want to make sure that I am constantly focusing on attaching growth and projects or tasks to these areas of my physical health. What the heck are these categories called, and for anyone using Things, are these headings? Tags? Should I just set up a reminder checklist in my weekly review to make sure I am focusing on all 6 of these things? Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    What do you want to be true about sleep? To reflect weekly on how well you slept? Make that a repeating next action. Want a reminder to go to bed earlier? Set one. All the things you mention define what Physical Health means to you. They clarify how health drives projects and next actions. Put them somewhere you will see them as often as you need to. Try weekly, monthly or quarterly to start.
     
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  3. lawnwranglers76

    lawnwranglers76 Registered

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    I like this. Thank you.
     
  4. TesTeq

    TesTeq Registered

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    I would keep Area of Focus list flat and attach to the "Physical Health" AoF a note or a checklist (Sleep, Cardio Health, Heart Health, Diet, Flexibility and Strength) as a reminder that I would use during my Weekly Review.
     
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  5. treelike

    treelike Registered

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    I am not familiar with the App, but I have found the use of a colon useful when I feel the need to subdivide categories like this i.e.
    Health: Sleep
    Health: Cardio
    Health: Heart
    Health: Diet
    etc

    I've found this useful for subdividing projects too e.g.
    Sleep 8 hours: Reduce lighting wattage in sitting room
    Sleep 8 hours Determine ideal supper promoting sleep
    Sleep 8 hours Purchase blackout blinds
    (each of the above is a subproject of the project "sleep 8 hours")

    Most list managers sort titles alphabetically so this arranges the subcategories next to each other.
     
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  6. RS356

    RS356 Registered

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    I used Things 1 and 2 for a limited period and while a student, so my experience is limited. I found that the added effort of organizing by AOF added more mental friction than benefit. I did not use this feature, opting instead for a task on my Someday list. The notes field listed each area and described an outcome for each. I reviewed this "task" regularly during my weekly review, but also set a quarterly due date to remind myself to consider it more deeply. In my experience, apps that force us to think of our projects as contributing to only one AOF are too limiting.

    For those longtime Things users, has the handling of Areas of Focus changed with the release of Things 3?
     
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  7. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    This is certainly an option, but I have found maintenance of things like this an obstacle to keeping my system going. My goal is the minimum effort necessary to get a next action to where I will act on it. No silver bullet yet though. :)
     
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  8. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    Things 3 has the same basic AoF and project structure as previous versions. However, the navigation tools are much improved, even better than OmniFocus in my opinion. However, I am currently using Things as a list manager, with AoF's representing collections of lists. So my first "AoF" is Next Actions, and the "projects" inside it are contexts. It's a pretty standard, fast GTD setup, but not without its problems.
     
  9. Logan

    Logan Registered

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    Dear lawnwranglers76,

    Using Things 3, too. I would do it like this:

    Putting [] around areas of focus or Areas in Things they are visually outstanding.

    In your case e.g. if I would have an area of focus called [ Physical Health ] . You wrote your sub „areas“ are some kind of an area of focus to you. So you could use areas like [ Physical Health - Sleep ] . If you write them above each other in Things overall list of inbox, today, planned/scheduled, anytime, someday, areas with projects.

    Optionally: Let me assume you are using an iphone, too. In that case I would rather write [ Health - Sleep ] because that is probably more readable on the screen.

    Best regards
     

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