From the “Vision” Level
I’m a longtime (over 20 years) user of a set of principles and processes commonly known as GTD or “Getting Things Done.” It keeps me focused and aware of all of the worlds I fly through and the commitments I make. It’s simple and straightforward, just enough to leave my mind free for more creative activities. It works for me.
I had the good fortune of working with the author David Allen when he was refining all of these ideas in the early 90’s. This guy practices what he preaches and is now on a bold new adventure in Amsterdam with his wife and soul sister Kathryn Allen.
The book outlines how to engage with the various levels of life and work. I was inspired by my recent annual review at the “Vision” level.
40,000 level — Vision
3–5 year goals. What it will look, sound and feel like with successful implementation. Long-term outcomes and ideal scenarios.
As is the practice, I keep this list as a quick reference that I check in with regularly to stay on track throughout the year. It manages my urges to be seduced by the new shiny preoccupation of the moment. These visualized goals point UP to the higher levels of my values and purpose. It’s an easy check to see that my planning keeps with what’s ultimately most important.
When I start the exercise, I review where I was at a year ago and think about what has changed. Then I draw my roles and areas of responsibilities which usually triggers some big projects that may not be in my system but are absolutely in motion. It looks like this.
I grab what is revealed from this exercise and plug it into my system and remove projects that have cycled out of relevance. I have to go through this a few times as more is revealed with each refinement.
This time around I spent a day alone in my office — just me, the drawings, a white board and my lists. Zooming in and out, pruning and planting.
I always walk away from the exercise with my busy mind much more at peace, which rewards me with a lot of flexibility to take chances and evolve.