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A perfect organizational system would have to be:
Project is “a series of tasks linked to a goal, with a deadline.”
Area of responsibility is “a sphere of activity with a standard to be maintained over time.”
Resource is “a topic or theme of ongoing interest.”
Archives include “inactive items from the other three categories.”
A project has a goal to be achieved , this goal has a specific moment in time and a deadline or timeframe
An area of responsibility has a standard to be maintained, there is no end date or final outcome. Your performance in this area may wax and wane over time, but the standard continues indefinitely and requires a certain level of attention at all times.
Projects always fall into Areas. A few examples:
Do you see the problem? Not a single item on this list is a project. Do “vacations” ever end? Is there ever a time when you can cross off “productivity” from your list once and for all? No — these are ongoing areas of responsibility, not projects.
You can’t truly know the extent of your commitments
You cannot know what to change until you know what you’re committed to. And what you’re committed to is not a collection of vague responsibilities, but a short list of tangible outcomes. In other words, projects.
You can’t connect your current efforts to your long-term goals
By breaking these responsibilities into bite-sized projects (as in the list on the right), you ensure that your Project List will change nearly every week. This creates a rhythm and a momentum of project completion to maintain your motivation. It generates the constant novelty that the latest research suggests is essential for satisfaction.
Now imagine if you broke down this “events” area into each individual event that you planned and executed. Not only would this show the clear progression and growth you’ve experienced, each event building on the one before, it would also conveniently provide you with a catalog of outcomes you’ve reached to include in your performance review at year’s end. And you’d have much more than a list — you’d have separate folders for each completed project, with tangible notes, assets, and learnings you’ve produced for each.
These are the two tools I recommend for using this method, but you can use any tool you want.
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