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GTD®: 6 Horizons of Focus by David Allen

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GTD®: 6 Horizons of Focus

"Work" can be viewed at different altitudes or horizons of focus. Use 6 Horizons of Focus to frame your conversations, questions, and tasks to define your work.
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Defining work

Since “work” can be viewed from many different altitudes, knowing the right altitude of the conversation, task, or question is important to help you frame how you approach the work. Often times, you are not able to resolve an issue or complete a task if you are not viewing the item at the appropriate level. By defining your work along these six horizons, you can get a better grasp on the work to be done.

The six horizons and this template

As you add items, conversations, and questions to your list in this template, decide which horizon or altitude to best view the item. As you start classifying the items, you will begin to see the items fall into their respective horizons, giving you a better sense of how to mange your work.

The six horizons:

Ground: Calendar actions - The ground floor. There is a large volume of next actions, e-mails, and calendar invites for you to organize. Try using the to help organize these items.
Horizon 1: Projects - Anything that takes more than one next action to complete. Most people have between 30 and 100 projects.
Horizon 2: Area of focus and accountability - At this horizon you define what your job is. New projects can be created and old projects are eliminated at this level.
Horizon 3: One to two-year goals and objectives - What will your job look like in 12-18 months?
Horizon 4: Three to five-year vision - At this level, the goals and directions of your larger team or company influence how you get your job done.
Horizon 5: Purpose and principles - The ultimate “big picture” question to be answered. What is your purpose? What is the job and lifestyle you want?
Read more about the here. Learn more about Getting Things Done on their website
Your thinking and commitments at each horizon will differ. Here is a definition with examples (using Gracie's Gardens as an example) of each horizon:
Horizon Detail

5: Purpose and Principles

Ultimate intention for doing something
Initial discussion for launching projects
Life planning
Whenever additional clarity, direction, alignment, and motivation are needed
Provide the highest-quality landscape and garden materials to delighted retail and wholesale customers

4: Vision

Long-term ideal outcomes
Annual revisiting of enterprise direction
Whenever additional clarity, direction, alignment, and motivation are needed
Recognized as the #1 garden and landscaping store in the Tri-County district

3: Goals and Objectives

What to accomplish in the next 12-24 months
Strategic planning
Annual goal-setting
Annually; quarterly reviews and recalibrations
By year-end, 15% sales growth, 20% profitability, wholesale business established and in the black

2: Areas of Focus and Responsibility

Important things to do to "keep the engines running"
Job descriptions
Org charts
Employee manuals
Performance reviews, monthly personal check-ins
Executive, administration, PR/marketing, sales, finance, wholesale operations, retail operations

1: Projects

Outcomes that require more than one next action and can be completed in 12 months
Overview of all projects
Project plans
Weekly review
Set up wholesale division, get the books current, hire Director of Marketing

Ground 0: Calendar/Actions

Next physical/visible single action or next action on a project
Next action lists
Multiple times daily
Draft plan for wholesale division, email Sandy re: bookkeeper recommendations, etc.
There are no rows in this table


1️⃣ Add items to your list in
2️⃣ Decide which horizon these items belong to and see them

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