The GTD’s Six-level Model for Reviewing Your Own Work allows you to know what is the basis of your personal life and your work and, thanks to this, be clear about the priorities that should govern your decisions.
It is a hierarchical model of priorities in which each level should enhance and align with the ones above it.
Defining these six levels of perspective will help you understand what is important and what is not, to spend your time productively on the things that are worthwhile, and ultimately, to get you where you want to go.
At each level you will find additional information to help you understand correctly what it refers to (1).
Purpose is what gives meaning to your life, although it is not easy to discover. It requires reflection and self-knowledge. It is not necessary to define it perfectly the first time, but you can start to think about it and give a brief description that you can shape over time until you feel totally identified with what you have written.
Everything else—vision, goals, projects and actions—derive from this purpose and should lead you towards it.
To support your purpose, at this level you have a Principles and Values section so that you can express and always keep in mind the principles and values that will determine how you do things. They will guide you when making decisions and facing any problem. Use the button (2) to add principles and values that support your life purpose (use the “save” button to save the data later).
Vision is the image you have of yourself in the not too distant future, three to five years. Based on this vision, your brain will establish the goals needed to make it a reality.
Defining the vision involves thinking about how you want to be in the future, both personally and professionally. At the very least, you will need a couple of statements for this.
You can create a new vision statement with the button (1) and edit the existing statements by clicking on an item in the list (2). When you have turned a vision into reality, you can mark it as “achieved” (3). The visions already achieved will appear in the list (4).
The number of Goals related to each Vision is displayed. By clicking on that link (5) you will be able to see those goals in detail (at level 3).
Goals are the achievements you want to achieve in the medium term, usually one or two years, both in your personal life and at work. Your goals should be aligned with your vision, so try to link each goal to a higher vision.
Goals are shown grouped by vision. Each goal shows the number of projects and single actions associated with it. By clicking on those links you can see the projects (at level 5) and actions (at level 6) in detail. The goal deadline is also shown, if there is one.
4. Areas of Focus
Areas of Focus are the different facets of your life that you want to improve or maintain at a good level. In your work, they may be the different roles you have acquired, like customer service, planning, design, management, etc. In your personal life, they can include family, health, finances, self-improvement, etc.
Although they are ranked fourth in this 6-level hierarchy, actually there is not hierarchically dependence on the upper level. An Area of Focus can affect multiple Goals, and a Goal may involve several Areas of Focus.
This section works exactly the same as the Goals section, except that the Areas of Focus are grouped into two types, Personal and Professional, and some colors show up.
Areas of Focus cannot be “achieved” like goals and visions, as they are not temporary. But you have the possibility of disabling them, in case one of them gets out of your life and you don’t want to eliminate it completely.
You can assign to each area what type of area is—personal or professional— (1) and with what color you want to represent it (2).
All actions related to an Area of Focus will be shown in the lists with their color. It is important that you choose colors that fit well with you and are similar for related areas, so that your brain establishes patterns with respect to colors early and you can locate actions quickly.
A Project is any result that requires more than one action to be performed.
Thos section shows you all the active projects (in progress or waiting) and a filter tool at the top so you can see which ones have an Area of Focus and/or a Goal assigned. Make sure everyone is associated with at least one higher perspective level.
In each project the percentage executed so far is indicated. You can mark as “completed” those that have no pending action. You can also edit any project by clicking on it.
This section shows you all active single Actions, that is, those that do not belong to a project and that are in the Calendar (1), Next Actions (2) or Waiting For (3) lists. The icon to the left of each action indicates which list it belongs to.
Make sure your actions follow a higher level of perspective.
Once your Perspective levels are defined, you can filter all your lists of actions, projects, etc. by Goals and Areas of Focus. Or, at a higher level, by Vision and Personal/Professional stuff.
To do this, click on the target-shaped icon you have in the top navigation bar and select the concept by which you want to filter your data.