That Six-Level Model

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My dear friend, Leslie A., made this. She's very creative, isn't she?

GTD Day 22 (The end of Chapter 9) – The Six-Level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work

Referenced in Chapter 2 (pages 51-53), the six levels of work may be thought of in terms of altitude:

  • 50,000+ feet:  Life
  • 40,000 feet:  Three- to five-year visions
  • 30,000 feet:  One- to two-year goals
  • 20,000 feet:  Areas of responsibility
  • 10,000 feet:  Current projects
  • Runway:  Current actions

Working from the top down, first off, decide why you are on this planet.  Figure out what kind of life and work would best serve you and the future you want for yourself.  “What kind of job and personal relationships would support that direction?”  What can you make happen right now to get there?  “What could you do, physically, as soon as possible, to kick-start each of those?”

Working from the bottom up is the most practical approach to gain “control of the details of” your “current physical world, and then elevate the focus from there.”

Runway – Most importantly, “make sure your action lists are complete.”  Making sure it’s “up-to-date, set aside some time to work through chapters 4 through 6 in real implementation mode.”

10,000 Feet – “Finalize your “Projects” list.  If you make a complete list of all the things you want to have happen in your life and work at this level, you’ll discover that there are actions you need to do that you hadn’t realized.”

20,000 Feet – “Current job responsibilities.”  Professionally, this relates to your current position and work.  Personally, it includes your roles in your family, your community, and with yourself.

Keep a list called “Areas of Focus.”  Separate into “Professional” and “Personal” sublists and review, consistently.  This checklist should be used as a trigger for potential new projects every one to three months.  Key areas of responsibility in your work may include things like staff development, long-range planning, marketing, quality control, etc.  Personal life may include things like “parenting, partnering, church, health, community service, home management, financial management, self-development, creative expression,” etc.

The “Areas of Focus” list is for ensuring that you have all your projects and next actions defined, so you can manage your responsibilities.  When you “evaluate them objectively, in terms of what you’re doing and should be doing,” you may “uncover projects you need to add to your “Projects” list.”

30,000 to 50,000 Feet – If you could picture “what you think you might be doing twelve to eighteen months from now, or what the nature of your job will look like at that point, what would that trigger?”

On a personal level, you might want to consider things like:  “My career is going to stagnate unless I assert my own goals more specifically to my boss.”  Or “What new things are my children going to be doing next year, and what do I need to do differently because of that?”  Or “What preparation do I need to ensure that I can deal with this health problem we’ve just uncovered?”

“Through a longer scope,” you might ask:  “How is your career going?  How is your personal life moving along?  These are the one-to-five-year-horizon questions.”

With “anything that has a future of longer than a year (marriage, kids, a career, a company, an art form), think about what you might need to be doing” or planning to manage those things.  There are many questions you can ask yourself along those lines on pages 208 and 209.

“At the topmost level of thinking, you need to ask some of the ultimate questions.  Why does your company exist?  Why do you exist?  What is the core DNA of your existence, personally and/or organizationally, that drives your choices?  This is the “big picture” stuff with which hundreds of books and gurus and models are devoted to helping you grapple.  If you are the slightest bit off course in terms of what at the deepest level you want or are called to be doing, you’re going to be uncomfortable.”

Now, if you’ve had some ideas pop up in your head through reading this chapter, jot it down in those lists of yours.  You might want to reference the last three paragraphs on page 210 under Getting Priority Thinking Off Your Mind to help you through this process.

Tomorrow:  Chapter 10 – Getting Projects Under Control.

I’m still working on the Processing phase, so I’m still at the beginning.  It really is a process!  Going through years of papers and stuff you’ve collected really is quite the chore, but I’m doing it.  Slowly, but surely.  I have found tons I could live without and thrown away; and found items I’d forgotten about that I needed to preserve or take some action on; and some stuff I just need to read when I have time.  I’ll keep you posted on my productivity and improvement.

Remember, One Month to Live starts March 10, so 4 more days to go.   

Let me know if you have any ideas for future book studies.  Still not decided on the next book.  Wanted to do a cookbook with Hallie, since she wants to learn to be a better cook.  Don’t we all?  However, I don’t think my being laid off work is a good time to do the cookbook just now, as that would entail lots of special, specific ingredients. 

Maybe a fitness book, to train our brains to get our rears in gear?  I’m getting a little too big for my britches and need to slim down, so unless you have some better ideas for me to consider, that may be our next subject after One Month to Live.  Maybe not so much about what to eat, but eating a certain number of calories and working out, with the types of workouts you can do at home.  I have a treadmill, but you can not only walk in place but take a walk outside.  I also have some dumbbells that I use for arm exercises and tons of dancing and aerobix tapes/dvds, jump rope, etc. 

Does most everyone out there have a road they can walk on?  Dumbbells or free weights?  Jump rope?  Space on a floor to do situps?  Pushups?  Leglifts?  And a tree to do pull-ups?  You can throw a rope (even your jump rope) over a limb and either pull yourself up from a laying position or standing position.  What about good, supportive fitness or walking shoes?  Let me know.

Hope y’all are making it a splendorific Sunday and I’ll chat it up with y’all tomorrow.  Love ya!  *hug*



About Carol B Sessums

Writer, Editor, Coffee Addict, Lover of Mountains. Lives to shrink the planet, one story and connection at a time.
This entry was posted in Body, Mind and Soul, Book Study, Books, Self-help, Self-improvement and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to That Six-Level Model

  1. Dan says:

    For implementing GTD you can use this web-based application:

    You can use it to manage your goals, projects and tasks, set next actions and contexts, use checklists, schedules and a calendar.
    Syncs with Evernote, and also comes with mobile-web, Android and iPhone apps.

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