Personal Productivity

The Personal Productivity Map

AUTHOR: Francisco Sáez
tags Focus Work & Life Decision Making Organization
"I wisely started with a map" ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Personal Productivity Map

A map is a visual representation of a geographic area that is a great help when you are somewhere you don’t know very well. Maps let you know exactly where you are and how to get where you want to be from there. They also help you if you need to take a detour for any reason and show you what interesting places are on your route.

In short, a map offers peace of mind when you are in an unfamiliar place.

It is also easy to feel a bit lost in life at certain times, especially when you have a wide range of responsibilities and interests (work, family, community, yourself), with constant changes and shifting priorities.

This is common and unavoidable. However, what you can do is try to spend as little time as possible in this situation. You can regain control and feel almost immediate peace of mind with a personal management system that offers the same functions as a map. That is, a system that tells you

  1. where you are,
  2. where you are going,
  3. how you can go where you want to go,
  4. how to make a detour if something unexpected happens on your route, and
  5. all the possible combinations—some more interesting than others—to reach your destination.

Just as you pick up a map to regain control when you feel lost in a big city you don’t know well, this other type of map would help you stay focused in your life and regain your balance when you lose some perspective.

The GTD methodology offers this kind of “map for life”. The goal of having this map is to reach a state of overall balance that brings clarity, direction and freedom. This is no-nonsense; achieving this kind of balance in life is a great thing that everyone should experience.

Even if you think you have already achieved an adequate balance in life, a deeper reflection on the different levels of perspective will likely make you aware that certain areas of your life, perhaps the less conspicuous ones, do not yet have the level of clarity that you would like.

Such a map will guide you in any task, from preparing a week’s vacation with your family to launching a marketing campaign for your new product.

And just as you don’t visit all the places on a map, you don’t have to do everything in your personal management system at this point in your life. You may not be interested in visiting an area on your map today, but you may want to in the future.

One of the main features of this map that GTD proposes is that it doesn’t separate the concepts of personal life and professional life. You can reach a creative state of productivity and calm whether you are working on the next improvement of your app or you are out on a Sunday ride with your motorcycle.

In GTD, the definition of the word work is anything you need to do—it’s not restricted to the tasks of your professional activity. When we consider all the things that need to be done equally—everything is "work"—it makes no sense to talk about work-life balance.

The challenge is not to separate both sides of the same life, the challenge is to reach a point where you are confident, at all times, that you are doing what you really should be doing, with all your attention and energy.

But neither your work nor your life will often “tell” you what you should be doing. That’s why you need a map to guide you in those decisions, a map that shows you where you are (what am I doing?) and where you’re going (what’s next?)

Francisco Sáez

Francisco is the founder and CEO of FacileThings. He is also a Software Engineer who is passionate about personal productivity and the GTD philosophy as a means to a better life.

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Commented 3 months ago Dan Mojica

Thank you for a Very motivating and uplifting email

avatar Dan Mojica

Thank you for a Very motivating and uplifting email

Commented 3 months ago Francisco Sáez

You're welcome, Dan!

avatar Francisco Sáez

You're welcome, Dan!

Posts are closed to new comments after 30 days.

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