I’ve mentioned that I am a top down planner who has a problem with the down part. I’ve also mentioned that I can’t wrap my head around bottom up planning because it seems like busy work to me. So, that still leaves me with a problem with the down part. I came across middle way planning and it might change things for me.
The first time I came across this idea was a few years ago when I first decided to make my own planner pages. You can read the articles I originally read here, here, and here. I didn’t quite get it at the time. While I understood the concept, implementing it in my own life never quite happened, most likely because it is still really close to GTD. I just don’t relate to these kinds of productivity systems.
Recently, I came across a blog post titled, “I’m A Hot-Frazzled-Mess! Where Do I Begin?” Of course, I had to read it. I regularly feel like a hot frazzled mess these days. I guess that one hot frazzled mess can break down these planning systems for another hot frazzled mess better than anyone else. I really connect with her version of middle way planning and am going to experiment with it.
So, in this experiment, the first step is to break down my areas of focus. Depending on who you are, that might be the first step for you too. Since I’m a top down planner, I already know my goals, vision, and purpose. If you are a top down planner like me, figuring those out would be the first step. Otherwise, figure out your areas of focus. It will help you identify your purpose, which will then help you identify your vision and goals. Areas of focus have many names in different systems but the one I relate to the most is roles as Steven Covey calls them. You might remember me mentioning roles in my Plan With Me Part 1.
So the three questions that need answered are:
- What are your roles?
- What are your vision and goals for each roles?
- What actions and projects will lead to achieving those goals?