Konubinix' opinionated web of thoughts

Gtd: Dealing With Competing Priorities With Contexts and Horizons of Focus


  • External reference:

GTD® Podcast #45: Dealing with Competing Priorities - YouTube

We have conflicting priorities

This is not that big an issue when you are in a crisis. That’s why I think a lot of people like getting into a crisis. […] crisis get you into your zone. It’s because it allows you to absolutely let go of all those opportunities.

If your boat’s about to sink, you don’t have that many options

When you get into survival mode, in a way, it simplifies your live.

We have two priorities: what you’re doing and everything else.

You have the choice about what you think about. So your making a priority decision to think about something else.

As soon as I decide to take a nap, that becomes my A priority.

When something unplanned comes to you. If predefined work is complete and you don’t have any backlog of undefined work, then you can negotiate the unplanned work much easier. It’s easier to make our priority judgement to spend time with that thing you didn’t expect. Or you can put a placeholder for that in your system and go back to whatever you where doing, because it was a priority.

Most people say “I got these conflicts. I want to get rid of the conflict. I want to feel comfortable that the choice I am making is the right choice, what I should be doing.”

GTD focus in priority in a much different way that most people are used to.

All we have to do […] is to truly empty your head and get every single thing that’s got your attention out of your head and in front of you. And invariably, when people do that, they go:“Ahhh, I know now what to do!” (see gestalt)

We don’t even need to lead any kind of a structure conversation about priorities. If you truly could see in front of you every single thing that you need to do if you have some discretionary time, most of you probably would have a very good intuitive sense of:“Ohhh, that versus that”. (see gestalt)

You cannot do both at the same time, so you have to make a judgment call

Things only happen in the now […] so we have to make sure our choice is the appropriate choice.

There are three limitations that you have to take into consideration in the very moment that we are right now:

  • context,
  • how much time do I have?
  • how many resources do I have to be able to put through this thing?

[…] Assuming that you still have any choices, given these three variables. That’s when the prioritizing framework starts to show up

(see horizons of focus)

  1. purpose and principles. The prime driver
  2. vision, mission, long term goal, wild success. If you were fulfilling you purpose as a human being, what would that look, sound or feel like in the world out there
  3. goals, objectives. In order to make that vision happen, I’ve got some commitments that actually accomplish something, on a shorter term.
  4. roles and accountability. The things that I need to maintain at some level here otherwise I am not gonna achieve goals and vision because I need to make sure I have a functioning entity (body) that can actually get me there.
  5. projects. anything you need to finish about all that stuff by the end of a few weeks or months. Most people have ~30-100 of those. An inventory of what your commitments are at that horizon.
  6. ground level. The real physical/visible action you need to make. Most people have ~100-200 of these.

The why questions are great questions about anything.

The best consultant are sometimes 8 year old kids:“why are you doing that? why are you doing that? why are you doing that?…”

Most people use their psyche as a map and it does not work as a map.

what’s a C priority? At some point, anything you’re doing is a A priority.

What’s a C priority? At some point, anything you’re doing is a A priority.

Notes linking here