In Part 4 of the series, we tagged each item in our mindmap with a horizons of focus level tag and made sure each item was drilled down into 20k, 10k, 5k or 0k nodes.
This is great because it gives us a hierarchical structure to our goals and ensures that there are actionable items for every wish.
This is not so great because the number of items on the mindmap can increase dramatically!
But this is alright… keep going.
Photo courtesy of ©dreamstime
By the time you have gone through each item, you are probably seeing a whole lot of items that simply cannot be accomplished between one weekly review and the next!
This is where the next tag group comes in…
I use the status tag to indicate those ideas – vision, goals, objectives, areas of focus, areas of responsibility, projects, actions, habits, or agreements - I will focus on for now.
Any item in the map can be tagged with a status icon though I tend not to tag any of my 50k items. Those I tend to keep as reminders of what I want to see for that aspect of my life.
At present, I have six (6) different status tags I use:
- In progress: This is an item I am currently working on. If it is a 30k (goal or objective), 10k (project) or 5k (action), it is in my list manager. If it is a 0k, it is on the appropriate checklist such as my morning routine checklist. If is a 20k, I am reviewing it during my weekly review. And if it is a 40k, I double-check that I have sufficiently drilled down such that it is truly actionable.
- Completed: Items do get completed eventually and when they are, I mark them as such. Of course 20k and 0k items rarely get completed and so those are generally either in ‘in progress’ or in ‘someday/maybe’ status.
- Someday/Maybe: This is a familiar status to GTDers. This is an item that maybe, someday, will be in progress but is not at least for this week.
- Cancelled: At times the item may become irrelevant and in those cases, because I want to keep a record of them, I give them a status of ‘cancelled’. This means that the outcome was not reached but the outcome was also no longer desired or needed.
- Trigger: I also use a status called ‘trigger’ which is very similar to the someday/maybe status in that the item is not in progress. The difference is that it will become in progress when a trigger occurs. In other words, it is like a tickler but not necessarily tied to a date. An example could be that I am not planning or going on the huge Australian vacation I’ve dreamed about until I’ve reached the savings target for that trip. In this case, I would set a trigger of ‘Savings target reached’ on the “Once-in-a-lifetime Australia Vacation” item.
- Idea: The last status tag is for those items that are still fuzzy or nebulous in some way. They are just ideas that are even further away than the somedays and maybes. They could be items that I am still not sure would address the item further up in the hierarchy. These items are indicators that more thinking or soul-searching is needed to really define a vision, goal, objective, project, etc.
With these statuses on each item, I can now filter the mindmap during my weekly review to just look at those items that are in progress and make sure they are in line with the runway in my list manager. Or, I can filter by any one of the other statuses to do a specific review or brainstorming.
So now, the mindmap does not seem as unwieldy and overwhelming – I can focus on cross-sections of it at a time.
Give it a go. What other statuses can you think of using and would you need?
Previous Series Post: From dreams to actions … Part 4: Horizons of focus tags
Next Series Post: From dreams to actions … Part 6: Ready, Set, Action!