to-do-list

Continuing on the “Areas of Focus” theme, today I wanted to share my first of what will likely be many “meta-lists” (or, lists of lists – how dorky is that?!). In yesterday’s post, I shared my Areas of Focus list, which I consider to be one of the simplest, yet effective mechanisms I have for feeling like my life is somewhat under control. Just knowing WHICH aspects of my world are important enough for me to have identified makes me feel just a little more “on top of it”.  So, then what?  Well, I like to rotate through my various Areas of Focus, one area per week, and update 6 separate lists that I maintain for that area:
Projects + Actions
This one’s pretty obvious. As projects occur to me about a particular Area of Focus – either something that I would like to improve or something new that I want to try – this is where I park it.
Routines
These are the things that I find myself doing over and over. Think grocery shopping, housekeeping, doctor visits . . . stuff like that.
Someday / Maybe
This is my “bucket list” – stuff I haven’t started yet and I’m not quite sure when I might get around to it, but that I would like to do eventually. I allow myself to dream big and get really creative.
Goals + Vision + Purpose
This is the higher-level thinking about the area. What is important to me about this? What would my ideal scenario look and feel like? What would I like to be true within the next 5 years?
Words of Wisdom
This is where I keep my favorite quotes that inspire me about this area of my life.
Mindsweep Triggers
This is an outline of anything and everything that I can think of about this aspect of my life. When it comes up in the weekly “rotation”, I review this list thoroughly and dig deep to find more projects, actions and someday / maybes.

Most GTD enthusiasts would argue against having as many lists separated by Area of Focus in favor of longer continuous lists, but the caveat is that my list manager, OmniFocus, allows me to stitch lists together using a powerful feature called Perspectives. So, I CAN pull a consolidated list (across ALL Areas of Focus) for each of the above-listed items whenever I want. But I really love being able to zero in all of the various aspects of one particular Area of Focus.

I love being able to have a visual in plain sight about my personal philosophy in a particular area or to be inspired about motivational quotes on a topic, when making decisions about the projects and actions (or potential projects). It’s sort of like going in to one room of your home and decorating that room instead of buying ALL of your drapes, then ALL of your paint then ALL of your furniture. I dunno . . . maybe I’m a wierdo but I like it!


GTD® and Getting Things Done® are registered trademarks of David Allen & Co.
TO DO LIST IMAGE | © Juhan Sonin | Flickr Creative Commons

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One Response to 6 Worthwhile Lists to Maintain for Each Area of Focus

  1. […] a different perspective, Andreah at Frazz2Fab has a post about maintaining separate NA, S/M, etc. lists for each AoF that you might find […]

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