You have a lot on your mind! We all do. Here’s a simple way to keep what’s important in focus. It’s a method that David Allen talks about in Getting things done called “Areas of Responsibility”. This is a method of grouping your projects so you can narrow your field of view. Remember a project is any task that requires more than one step to complete – most things are projects.
Area’s of responsibility allow you to filter your projects and focus them in one concise list.
As much as I would like to I just can’t take care of the projects under way at my home when I’m sitting in my office.
Also, I wouldn’t be a very productive employee if I did that anyway. So when I’m scanning my projects lists I filter only the ones related to the office.
On a daily basis I really don’t want to see all my projects. What I want is a short list that I can scan.
I use Area’s of Responsibility to narrow the focus. It’s a simple method, you break down your life into area’s that you have responsibility for.
Most would have at least a work, personal and a home area. You need to make this as complex as necessary but yet as simple as possible in order for the system to work.
Here’s how I break it down:
Consulting – This is mostly blog related. I have many blog related projects and i like to keep them separate..
Home– These are projects related to my “home”. These could range from getting the lawn cut to buying a new sofa for the living room.
Home-DIY – These are specific to projects that I’m working on around the house. These projects have different criteria than the normal “Home” projects so they have their own category. Mostly they require tools and a lot of time!
Personal – These are projects that I’m doing for myself. Sometimes I put projects in here that are hobby related or personal development related.
Work-Delegated – I have a list of all the projects I’ve delegated. I also tag the projects with the person’s name. When I meet with them I can filter the list then scan it and get an update from them.
Work-Office – I have several projects that are office related projects. These include things like IT upgrades or HR related tasks that fall on me. I keep them separate.
Work-Clients – These are specific projects for a client. The ultimate goal for me as an architect is to design and oversee the construction of someone’s project. In order do that there maybe hundreds of projects along the way.
These are my base Area’s of Responsibility for my life. It’s a simple system that allows me to breakdown the big areas of my life into smaller chunks that can be more easily reviewed.
Let’s talk more about this on Twitter.