Fast Company’s Dialed section has an article on “Priority: Productivity Czar David Allen’s Secret To Getting Things Done,” that explores the importance of mapping to support your priorities.
“Until you have the whole inventory of everything you need to do,” says productivity guru of gurus David Allen, “it can be tough to prioritize.”
Allen, whose Getting Things Done system is certainly the stuff of best sellers and may qualify as a quasi-weird movement, emphasizes the inventory-taking aspect of productivity.
To be able to trust–rather than hope–that you’re prioritizing in the right way, Allen says, you need have an articulated sense of how the tasks at hand fit into the whole schematic of your life. That schematic can be rooted out by asking a few crucial questions, Allen says:
- why are you on the planet?
- what’s the vision you and your partners have in where you want to be?
- short-term, what do you need to accomplish to make the vision happen?
- what are all the parts of your life that need to be maintained so that with your house and your health and your relationships, you make sure that the whole engine gets there?
- what are the 50 to 70 projects you’ve got about all that?
- and what are the 250 action items you need to do?
This is heavy–but necessary–stuff, he says. These are the discussions we “need to mature” before we can trust that we know the best thing to do when we’ve got a spare 8 minutes free. If we’re not connecting our long-term view to our present activities, we might have the sensation of busyness, but we’re not getting anything meaningful done.
This brings to bear to prescient points: that our decisions get better when we map them out and that the work we’re flying at presently needs to be grounded in long-term thinking.
Read the full article here.