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Winning at the Game of Work and the Business of Life
I ncom pl et Ion t r Ig ger l Ist I ncom pl et Ion t r Ig ger l Ist n a t u r a l p l a n n I n g m o d e l® proj e c t pl a n n I ng t r Ig g e r l Is t m a s t e r I ng Wor k F l oW t h e W e e k ly r e v I e W Wor k F l oW proc e s sI ng & org a n I z I ng hor I zons oF Focus gt d - Q —W h at Is you r s? 2 3 4 5 6 8 9 10 12
personnel. evaluations. petty cash. public relations Waiting for information. resume Wardrobe professional Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 2 . . rewrites and edits. fixtures. marketing plans. research. budget. business cards. articles. things ordered Professional development training. e-mails. insurance. objectives. summaries. investors. policies/procedures. targets. faxes. responses to proposals. communication. customer ser vice Marketing/promotion campaigns. staffing. (decisions. vacation Organization development org chart. . reviews. subordinates. replies to communications. travel. databases. office equipment. minutes. etc. firing. computers. conferences. compensation Systems phones.IncompletIon tr Igger lIst What do you have attention on? professional Projects started. answers to questions. other organizations Communications to make/get calls. memos Writing to finish/submit reports. software. training. career research. business plans. pieces of projects. delegated projects/tasks. leads. prospects. asset management Planning/organizing goals. external actions needed to happen to continue or complete projects . staff development. succession planning. printers. credit line. new systems. need to be de-briefed Read/review books. things to learn. submitted items for response/reimbursement. restructuring. meetings. formal education (licensing. instructions. other professionals. training Staff hiring. marketing material. voice mails.). faxes. proposals. payables. morale. upcoming events. P&L. banks. presentations. forecasting. receivables. reviews. conversation and communication tracking Meetings upcoming. financial plans. relationship building. reporting. feedback. colleagues. stationery. decorations. storage. materials. change initiatives. lines of authority. need to be set or requested. seminars. things to find out. others in organization. periodicals. books to read. letters. balance sheet. supplies. customers. sales process. partners. implementations. tickets. status reporting. relationship tracking. personal organizers Sales customers. degrees). not completed Projects that need to be started “Look into” projects Commitments/promises to others boss. changes. leadership. culture Administration legal issues. skills to develop or practice. job descriptions. facilities. filing. articles Financial cash. furniture.
weddings. taxes. sporting events Family projects/activities with spouse. electricity. volunteer. cooking. mortgage. bikes. supplies Errands hardware store. travel. neighbors. construction. diet. maintenance. repair. repairs. reimbursements. spiritual organization Commitments/promises to others spouse. civic involvements Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 3 . specialists. luggage. reservations Clothes professional. faxes. receptions. roofs. ser vice work. loans. vacation. rsvp’s Home/household real estate. information. travel. lights and wiring. banks. web surfing. commuting. anniversaries. filing. relatives Administration home office supplies. videos. career. cleaners. floors. appliances. cards. storage. seminars. driveways.other organizations ser vice. holidays. cultural events. garages. dinners. phones. training. loaned items. photography. landscaping. formal. organizing. bank. furniture. answering machines. trusts. groceries Community neighborhood. utilities. ceilings. walls. tools Leisure books. community. children. pharmacy. thank-yous Upcoming events birthdays. appliances. computers. entertainment. optometrist. legal affairs Waiting for mail order. investments. graduations. decor. heating and A/C. partner. outings. parents. storage areas Health support and maintenance. sports. repairs. sports equipment. friends. malls. places to visit. people to visit. laundry. exercise Personal development classes. parties. schools. creative expressions Transportation autos. department stores. hobbies. accessories. professionals Communications to make/get calls. insurance. education. dentist. motorcycles. stationers. internet. repairs. budget. office supply. DVD. doctors. accountants Legal wills. cleaning. parents. children. coaching. music. TV. places to purge. remodeling. plumbing.IncompletIon tr Igger lIst What do you have attention on? personal Projects started. letters. food. kitchen stuff. estate. landlords. recreation Financial bills. gifts. equipment. casual. tickets. family. partner. tailoring Pets health. e-mails. not completed Projects that need to be started Projects . checkups.
natur a l pl a nnIng model® 1. 4. lower the level of your focus. • What needs to happen to make the whole thing happen? • Create outlines. If it’s still on your mind. Brainstorming • What are all the things that occur to me about this? What is the current reality? What do I know? What do I not know? What ought I consider? What haven’t I considered? etc. or or ga niz ing charts. 2. open. raise the level of your focus. • Be complete. How much planning is required? If the project is off your mind. and/or priorities. Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 4 . Purpose/Guiding Principles • Why is this being done? What would “on purpose” really mean? • What are the key standards to hold in making decisions and acting on this project? What rules do we play by? • The purpose and principles are the guiding criteria for making decisions on the project. • View from all sides. (see Project Planning Trigger List). nonjudgmental. bulleted lists. Organizing • Identify components (subprojects). If your project needs more to be happening. planning is sufficient. sequences. Shift the level of focus on the project as follows if needed: If your project needs more clarity. and resist critical analysis. Mission/Vision/Goal/Successful Outcome • What would it be like if it were totally successful? How would I know? • What would that success look or feel like for each of the parties with an interest? 3. 5. (What should be done next. as needed for review and control. determine the next action to get that to happen. Next Actions • Determine next actions on current in de pen dent components. and who will do it?) • If more planning is required. then more is needed.
to whom. or input that you haven’t done yet? What’s the worst idea you can imagine about doing this project? (What is therefore the best idea. Who would have concern about the success of this project? What are the potential payoffs (profit)? Who signs the checks? Operations What is the timing? Hard deadlines? What might affect timing? Who’s going to do the work? How do you ensure complete delivery? Quality How will you monitor the progress? How will you know if the project is on course? What data do you need. when? What reports.project pl a nnIng tr Igger lIst Resources Whose input do you need? Whose input could you use? Has anything like this been done before? What mistakes can you learn from? What successes can you learn from? What resources do you have? What resources might you need? Executive issues How does this relate to the strategic plan? How does it relate to other priorities. directions. con sul tants? How do you get involvement? What skills are required? Who needs to know how to do what? What training do you need? How do you get it? What other communication do you need? Who needs to be informed as you go along? What policies/procedures are affected? What about morale? Fun? Finance What will this cost? How do you get it? What might affect the cost? Might you need additional financing? Public Relations Is there value in others knowing about this? How do you do that? Risks What could happen? Could you handle it? Creative thinking . . . ask. which is its opposite?) What is the most outrageous thing you can think of about this project? What would make this project unique? What haven’t you asked yourself about this yet? Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 5 . goals? How will this affect your competitive position? Administration Who’s accountable for this project’s success? Lines of communication Methods of reporting What structures do you need? What planning is still likely to be required? What regrouping will you need? How often? What people do you need? Current staffing? Hiring? Subcontractors. when? Politics Whose buy- in do you need? How can you get it? Stakeholders’ Considerations Board Stockholders Employees Vendors Customers Community Legal Issues? Regulations? Space/Facilities/Equipment What requires room? How do you get it? What tools do you need? When? Phones/computers Research What might you need to know? What would they say.
voice mail. org charts. Errands. e-mail. Collect • Capture anything and everything that has your attention in leakproof external “buckets” (your in-baskets. The four key action categories are: Projects (projects you have a commitment to finish) Calendar (actions that must occur on a specific day or at a specific time) Next Actions (actions to be done as soon as possible) Waiting For (projects and actions others are supposed to be doing and which you care about) • Add subcategories of these lists if it makes them easier to use (Calls. etc. • Maintain support information files for projects as needed (can be kept in reference system or in pending area).). “tickle” it for possible later action. At Computer. If one action will not close the loop. event- trigger lists. 3. • Maintain an “on- hold” system for triggers of possible actions at later dates (Someday/Maybe lists.). by pro cessing and or ga niz ing (see below). Get them out of your short-term memory (use the Incompletion Trigger Lists to keep yourself “downloaded”). decide the very next physical action: do it (if less than two minutes). Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 6 .). notebooks. • Empty them regularly. At Home. or defer it (put it on an action- reminder list or in an action folder). • Add checklists that may be useful as needed ( job description. specifically). • Add lists of longer- horizon goals and values that influence you. Organize • Group the results of pro cessing your input into appropriately retrievable and reviewable categories. etc. then identify the commitment as a project and put it on a reminder list of projects. or file it as reference. • Maintain a general-reference filing system for information and materials that have no action but which may need to be retrieved. 2. tickler). • Have as few of these collectors as you can and as many as you need. • If it is actionable. calendar. Process • Pro cess the items you have collected (decide what each thing means. etc. delegate it (and track it on a “waiting for” list). toss it. • If it is not actionable.m aster Ing Wor k FloW 1.
how much time you have. • Stay flexible by maintaining a “total life” action reminder system. . (“What is the value to me of doing X instead of doing Y?”) Revisit and recalibrate your commitments at appropriate intervals for the various levels of life and work (see Horizons of Focus): • Runway .career. . • Review the longer- horizon lists of goals. how much energy you have. . and then your priorities.000 ft.do work you have previously defined or 2. Review • Review calendar and action lists daily (or whenever you could possibly do any of them).take time to define your work (You must sufficiently process and organize to trust your evaluation of the priority of the ad hoc.) • Ensure the best intuitive choices by consistent regular focus on priorities.current responsibilities (monthly) • 30. and get creative (see Weekly Review).4.1–2 year goals (quarterly) • 40.do ad hoc work as it appears or 3.3–5 year goals (annually) • 50. .000 ft. Do • Make choices about your actions based on what you can do (context). always accessible for review. values.current actions (daily) • 10. • Choose to: 1. lifestyle (annually +) Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 7 . • Conduct a customized weekly review to get clean. get current. trusting your intuition in moment-to-moment decision-making.000 ft.000 ft.current projects (weekly) • 20. .000 ft. and visions as often as required to keep your project list complete and current. purpose. 5.
waiting-fors. support material. completions. Empty Your Head Put in writing and process any uncaptured new projects.. Review Any Relevant Checklists Use as a trigger for any new actions. get creative Review Someday/Maybe List Review for any projects which may now have become active and transfer to “Projects. Browse through project plans. waiting-fors. thought- provoking. and miscellaneous paper-based materials into your in-basket.and short-term). Be Creative and Courageous Any new. wonderful. Review Project (and Larger Outcome) Lists Evaluate status of projects. ensuring at least one current action item on each. etc. voice mails. hare brained. Review Waiting-For List Record appropriate actions for any needed follow-up. and e-mails. Review Previous Calendar Data Review past calendar in detail for remaining action items. receipts. Review Upcoming Calendar Review upcoming calendar events (long. etc. etc. and any other work- in- progress material to trigger new actions.the W eek ly r ev IeW get clear Collect Loose Papers and Materials Gather all accumulated business cards. risk- taking ideas to add into your system? Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 8 . goals. dictation. reference data. journal and meeting notes. action items. and outcomes one by one. creative. Check off received ones. and transfer into the active system.” Delete items no longer of interest. someday/maybes. get current Review Action Lists Mark off completed actions. Review for reminders of further action steps to record. Get “IN” to zero Process completely all outstanding paper materials. Capture actions triggered.
Wor k FloW pro cessIng & or ga nIz Ing Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 9 .
which will frame areas of focus and responsibility. Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 10 .hor Izons oF Focus The altitude map “Work” is defined and managed from at least six different horizons. Priorities are determined from the top down—i. To do all this you need to maintain a rigorous training program (area of focus). with yourself and others. Why are we doing this? What are the critical behaviors? Formats: Off- sites with partners. well-supported staff”. might have the most value. or life—to the most mundane—the next physical actions required to move them forward.. Clarity is enhanced and distraction reduced when the multiple levels with which you are engaged have been assessed and the commitments emerging from each one have been appropriately identified. Alignment of the various levels produces maximum productivity.Purpose and core values. As your world and your awareness of it change. board. for which you will achieve a starting line-up position on a national team (goal). and implemented. It could be at any level or include a combination of them. for which you need to call your college coach (next action) to get his recommendation. – Vision. and the content of your thinking and commitments will be different on each level. “Strong and lasting customer relations. initial discussions for launching projects. enterprise. You realize you want to get a new personal trainer (project).000 ft. You may know the long-term goal but have yet to identify the projects needed. An altitude map can be used to identify which conversation. meetings. at any point in time. which will create goals and objectives. You may know the vision but not the actions and who’s doing them. family. your purpose and values will drive your vision of the purpose being fulfilled. team. with typical formats and suggested frequencies of visitation. however. All of those will generate projects. Each horizon is equally important to clarify. captured. sound. corresponding to different altitudes of perspective.e.000 ft. . Keeping your thinking current at all horizons is a dynamic process. environmentally friendly products.) 40. feel like with successful implementation. etc. What it will look. at what horizon. These range from core intention—the understanding of the purpose and values of an undertaking.Gracie’s Gardens) 50. (Samples given from a hypothetical business . whole enterprises. Ultimate intention for something and the standards for its success. life planning Frequency: Whenever additional clarity. and motivation are needed (Gracie’s Gardens: “Provide the highest-quality landscape and garden materials to delighted retail and wholesale customers”. so must these arenas of your focus be continually updated. which you will express by becoming a world-class athlete and spokesperson (vision). Et cetera. A key driver for your life may be to assist others in achieving their dreams (purpose). direction. alignment. Following is a general list of the levels of focus. which will require actions to get them done. to get things done. Long- term outcomes and ideal scenarios.
creative. interesting. personal trea sure maps Frequency: Whenever additional clarity. Next physical.000 ft. whenever job or life changes require reassessment of responsibilities (Gracie’s Gardens: “Executive. wholesale business established and in the black. attracting discriminating clientele who love to spend time and money on an on-going basis. team. family. PR/marketing. retail operations.” etc. What do we want and need to accomplish. whenever next- action contents are not current (Gracie’s Gardens: “Set up wholesale division. project checklists Frequency: Per for mance reviews. or ga ni za tion charts.) 10.) 20.g. calls. a fun. annual revisiting of enterprise direction. annual goal- setting and broad planning sessions.” Formats: Job descriptions. wholesale operations. bills to pay) Frequency: Multiple times daily. . initial discussions for launching projects.” etc. whole enterprises. finalize Acme contract. ).” etc. any single action to take about anything Formats: Calendar. surf web for competition ads” etc. specifically. board. Important spheres of work and life to be maintained at standards to “keep the engines running.) Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 11 . at home. family. finance. informative place to browse and shop. get the books current. board. at office. hire director of marketing. and motivation are needed (Gracie’s Gardens: “Recognized as the #1 garden and landscaping store in the tricounty district. ideal scene development. – Projects. — Areas of focus and responsibility. e-mail Sandy re: bookkeeper recommendations. read/review.” etc. personal lifestyle checklists. quarterly reviews and recalibrations (Gracie’s Gardens: “By year-end.000 ft. upgrade HVAC system. visible actions to take on any project or other outcome. Formats: Overview list of all projects. . life planning. project plans (defined subprojects) Frequency: Weekly review. strategic planning. review Acme purchasing history.) 30. errands. 20% profitability. family responsibility designations. administration.Formats: Off- sites with partners. call Brandon re: lunch meeting. action lists (e. to make the vision happen? Formats: Off- sites with partners.) Runway – Actions. sales.g. Outcomes we want to achieve that require more than one action and which can be completed within a year. talk to boss about . employee manuals.000 ft. meetings. action folders or bins (e. team. monthly personal check- in’s. life and family planning Frequency: Annually. 15% sales growth. whenever a question about what to do next (Gracie’s Gardens: “Draft plan for wholesale division. alignment. within the next 12– 24 months. direction. – Goals and objectives.
Notice what changes and what remains consistent in your scores over time. gtdIQ.com and in less than five minutes you can get valuable feedback and specific recommendations. If you have interest in implementing any of the powerful ideas and practical techniques in Making It All Work. You can take this assessment anytime.com and follow the simple instructions for your free GTD-Q assessment. com is a great place to start! Go to gtdIQ. The gtd-Q tool and its related support and educational materials is a success builder that will continue to assist you at the game of work and the business of life. Your results will be available immediately. and as often as you like.GTD-Q—What is Yours? Take the free GTD-Q assessment and discover where you are right now on the control and perspective matrix! Visit www. for the best techniques to move you further into “Captain and Commander” mode.gtdiq. Making It All Work by David Allen—Enhanced CD 12 . tailored to your assessment score. at no cost.
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