current snapshot of my next action balls basket
After taking a class on Stephen Covey’s Focus, I added two plug-ins to my GTD system:
The Time Matrix
The Time Matrix was developed (and trademarked) by Stephen Covey. It uses the concepts of importance and urgency to analyze our activities (we have to do what is important and urgent, we should focus on what is important but not urgent, we probably do a lot of things that are urgent but not important – which we actually shouldn’t,…).
Covey’s overall approach is basically top down (define your values and roles, analyze how you spend your time, recalibrate on the important / not urgent stuff, plan, do, check, act), but I use the Time Matrix in a more lightweight fashion for cross checking what I am actually doing without being obsessed with eliminating all wasteful/useless/not making the world a better place activities. It’s good to be aware of those though.
The Weekly Compass
The Weekly Compass (also developed and trademarked by Covey) is a method for committing oneself to at least one activity each week for refreshing and improving yourself in each of the four basic zones Covey defines (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) and to address important things to be done in each of your roles for the upcoming week. I love this, it’s somehow a higher level next action without adding too much overhead and with frequent (each week) and relevant (what worked, what didn’t) feedback.