Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spheres of Influence

As I've been contemplating the best ways to a more simplified life, I realize that I need to apply some GTD principles. Doesn't hurt that I'm reading David Allen's follow-up "Making It All Work" right now, reinforcing what I know and giving me some new ideas.

At work, I have a list of about 71 items. They are projects I'm involved in, projects I'm leading, things I need to think about/research, and the people who work for me or closely with me, or whom I work for. Every day I try to advance as many of those items as possible by spending some time on them. Each time I update an item, I move it to the bottom. That way, the stuff that's not getting my attention bubbles to the top.

I've come to the realization that I need a similar list at home. I use GMail ( for email, Remember The Milk ( for tracking chores, financial stuff and random deal-with-and-delete emails, we use Wet Paint ( to track stuff about our house and we have a Google Doc ( for actual home improvement projects, but I don't have anything to tie it all together.

What I need is a master list, like I have at work.  It won't have the minutae of chores, but it may consolidate the stuff on Wet Paint and Google Docs into a central location where it can be tracked.  But I realized that currently neither actually is comprehensive.  I need a list covers all of my "spheres of influence" in my life at a high level and then dives down deeper from there.  With any luck, it will actually help me to keep more organized, be better prepared and get more accomplished, all while using the computer less.

So far, these are the spheres I've come up with.
  • Immediate Family and Non-Immediate Family
  • Home/House/Residence
  • Church and Church Friends
  • Community
  • Other Friends
  • Car
From there, it would be easy to further segment each of those areas into particular projects, areas of improvement, things and people to remain in touch with and so on and so on.

I'm excited.  I think this will really help.

I've overshot my goal of being in bed reading by a really long shot.