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  • Renske Ensing

Horizons of Focus

Creating a schedule or a plan for the next week sounds pretty straightforward. But if you are only planning or structuring for the short term, you are missing out. Not knowing what your longer term goals are or what it is that you actually want to accomplish makes your short term planning less effective and puts you in a reactive mode instead of a proactive mode.

Now, I know that not everyone is just as excited about planning and schedules as I am, but there are some really simple, straightforward ways to look at long term planning and how to break it down into actionable tasks.

One of my personal favourite methods is called Horizons of Focus. David Allen describes them in his book 'Getting Things Done' like this:

"HORIZON 5: Purpose and Principles

HORIZON 4: Vision

HORIZON 3: Goals and Objectives

HORIZON 2: Areas of Focus and Accountability

HORIZON 1: Projects

GROUND: Calendar/Actions

Your priorities are determined from the top down—i.e. your purpose and values will drive your vision of the purpose being fulfilled, which will create goals and objectives, which will frame areas of focus and accountability. All of those will generate projects which will require actions to get them done."

Starting with your purpose and principles is very helpful, because if you don't know WHY you are doing what you are doing, chances are that you are doing the wrong things. We are so programmed by our environment, upbringing and other outside pressures to follow a specific route and do the "normal" things, and we usually don't stop and question if this is the route we actually want to take and if these "normal" things are what we want to be doing.

So even if you are not a long term planner, check in and ask yourself a couple of questions like; What is the work you are here to do on the planet, with your life? Is this the job/business you want? Is this the lifestyle you want? Are you operating within the context of your real values, etc? Once you have some clarity on these questions, you can start forming a vision, create your goals and objectives and start working towards them, because now you know that what you are doing is in alignment with your Purpose and Principles.

If you are interested in getting started with these Horizons, I have a great Notion template for you that I am happy to share with you. Please reach out and I can set you up.


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