GTD Horizons of Focus Part 2: How to get started

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This is part 2 in a series about GTD Horizons of Focus. Part 1 is GTD Horizons of Focus – A framework for success. Part 3 is GTD Horizons of Focus – How I manage my Horizons of Focus in Todoist.

Getting started setting up your own GTD Horizons of Focus can be a challenging task. Here are some examples and advice to get you going.

For an in-depth description of the GTD Horizons of Focus concept, read my blog post Horizons of Focus – A framework for success.

So, you have read about GTD Horizons of Focus and decided that it’s time to get started. You have several options on where to start; it all depends on your situation and your ultimate goal. Let me give you some examples.

Horizons of Focus
If your purpose is to be the world’s best golf player, then everything you do have to lead to that. (Picture: Stocksnap)

GTD Horizons of Focus – Example 1

You are young, still living with your parents, and want to become the world’s best golf player

Given that you have some talent and that your parents are able and willing to support your daily needs, your GTD Horizons of Focus could look something like this:

50 000ft – Purpose, Principles, and Values:
Purpose: Be the world’s best golf player.
Principles and Values: Whatever works.

Since you are living with your parents, you can focus most of your energy on one goal. To achieve this, you have to have something like the following visions:

40 000ft – Visions:
1. Reach <the decided level> in golf.
2. Have won <insert number> tournaments.
3. Have sponsors for equipment.

To achieve your visions you have to set the following goals:

30 000ft – Goals:
For vision 1: a) Have a stable handicap on <insert number>. b) Have a part-time trainer.
For vision 2: Win <insert number> championships.
For vision 3: Have been featured in one national and one international golf magazine.

To meet these goals you have to focus on the following areas:

20 000ft – Areas of focus and Responsibility:
AoF1: Eat healthily.
AoF2: Exercise.
AoR1: Training a minimum of four hours daily Mon-Sat.

10 000ft – Projects and Outcomes:
P1: Find a local health club that let me exercise for free in exchange for promotion.
P2: Network with local sports clubs and golf clubs in order to meet and be inspired by talented people.
P3: Set up a training schedule.
P4: Find a local trainer. (For V1)

Runway: Next actions
This is all the hard work you need to do.

(Note: I do not think that you can succeed in becoming the world’s best golf player by following the above list.)

 

Picture: Stocksnap

GTD Horizons of Focus – Example 2

You have just turned 40 and find out that you will try to get somewhere before it’s too late.

You have a wife, kids, a dog, and a bank loan. You are working in a company with 400 employees and want to keep on working in the same line of business.

Here, as in most other cases, you will have to separate between work and personal goals and ambitions.

50 000ft – Purpose, Principles, and Values:
Purpose: ???
Principles and Values: Have time with my family. Focus on a few things and do them well.

40 000ft – Visions:
1. Be responsible for <insert important department> in the company.
2. Buy a house in Spain before I turn 60.

To achieve your visions you have to set the following goals:

30 000ft – Goals:
Vision 1: Improve sales of <product> with 25% compared to 2016.
Vision 2: Get competitor A’s biggest customer to favor us in their next big project.

To meet these goals you have to focus on the following areas:

20 000ft – Areas of focus and Responsibility:
AoF1: Build networks, both internally and in my business segment.
AoF2: Keep an eye on competitor A.
AoF3: Exercise and stay healthy.
AoR1: Be a good husband.
AoR2: Be a good father.

10 000ft: Projects and Outcomes:
P1: Yearly competitor analysis. June 2017-2019.
P2: Gather public information
P2: Use LinkedIn to expand my network. Target: 600 contacts by the end of 2017.

Runway: Next actions
This is all the hard work you need to do.

Notice that this guy managed to fill in all lower levels of his Horizons of Focus without having defined his life purpose. This can work well, but he should be prepared to re-arrange his focus horizons if he one day stumbles over his purpose in life.

Horizons of Focus
If you only see your life from this perspective, your options are very limited. (Picture: Stocksnap)

 

 How I got started

There is another angle to this: When I started filling in my Horizons of Focus I chose to approach this from two sides. To find out how – read my next post: GTD Horizons of Focus Part 3: How I manage my Horizons of Focus in Todoist.

 

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