In their September 22 episode of the Nested Folders Podcast, Scotty Jackson and Rosemary Orchard discuss the GTD Horizons of Focus. This is something I thought GTD didn’t cover very well when I first started learning the system back in the early 2000s. Coming from Stephen Covey’s system, with its heavy emphasis on roles, I was glad to see David Allen include this higher level of planning. (Perhaps I just missed it the first time around. That’s entirely possible.)
Scotty and Rosemary discuss how we give significant attention and energy to our daily tasks and projects. And they are certainly right about that. But that discussion sparked a thought.
Our attention is driven from the bottom up. That is, the lower the horizon, the more attention and energy we give to it. But, in terms of influence, our focus is driven from the top down. Our purpose and principles (horizon 5) should drive our vision and goals (horizons 4 and 3) which inform our areas of focus (horizon 2) which in turn dictate and guide our projects (horizon 1). When we complete our weekly, quarterly, and annual reviews, we need to make sure what we’re doing on a day-to-day basis (ground level and horizon 1) serves the higher horizons.