I am a huge fan of dividing one's life into areas, which I call "spaces". It allows filtering the information one receives in order to avoid distractions from at the moment unrequired items.
Objectives & Key Results
Let's now delve into the sketchy world of setting goals. And trust me, you don't wanna do this the wrong way.
Allow me to start with ultra long-term goals. My suggestion regarding them is simple: ditch them altogether, they don't work. The problem when setting goals that long is that you are ever-changing whilst those are fixed. And if you are always modifying them, that is very unproductive. Instead of that, I adapted to my system CPG Grey's "themes". Click here to view it first-hand. Simply, make a list of the things you want to focus on, and fill the rest of the system based on that. That way you embrace change, rather than fighting it.
After trying many methods, the one I currently favor the most is the OKR system; it turns out that it is the simplest amongst what I've ever seen. Yet, it allows us to set goals for the most complex realities that we may be experiencing.
Now, there is this page "What Matters" by John Doerr, whose goal-setting concepts I'm taking and implementing in an integral more concrete way. The idea behind this section of the manifesto is to state how I implement those concepts rather than explaining what they are. Of course, I will briefly glimpse them, but you would make more profit out of reading them from him directly before continuing to my take on them. Click here to do so.
OKRs, explains Doerr, are twofold based: O stands for objectives and KR for key results. The former is the what whilst the latter is the how.
Following that, I would have to explain what an objective actually is. Nevertheless, for the sake of simplicity, the common definition of the word should do just fine. What I will do, however, is to give you Doerr's insights to make effective ones. His main point for having a good objective is that it should be disruptive. It must lead to a change from what one is at the moment. If a goal doesn't appeal to change, it should not be in the category of goal, for it is self-evident that one should maintain progress. Lastly, for Doerr, it is essential that you keep your goals simple, understandable and concise. Those tips will make the difference between a good and a bad objective.
In order to create objectives, Doerr suggests for them to be within a 30-90 days lapse, and that is the reason for the timeframe database. The idea is that you can filter your objectives by the specific timeframe contained there. Of course, it's optional, you could instead use a simple due date for your objectives, but doing it the way I propose makes it even more comprehensive.
Regarding key results, a more thorough definition is adequate; For Doerr, they are what measures the advancement towards accomplishing an objective, for that reason they must be highly measurable. The Elear Productivity System's key results are composed of 2 instances which allow a key result to be assigned to another key result if it is necessary.
Allow me to explain this last remark with an example.
In the space "Intellectual Affairs" I have the following goal: enter a foreign university. For that, a key result could be: pass the IELTS. Presupposing that I'm not able to do the writing part well enough yet, the second instance key result would be: summarize 5 academic texts. The databases would look as follows:
- Objective: Enter a foreign university.
- The instance I: Pass the IELTS.
- Instance II: Summarize 5 academic texts.
In the last place, I have the resources, which are the assets, the means by which everything above can happen and more. They can include for example finance tracking, an e-book database... Things of that sort that one requires for maintaining productivity. Here you are free even to store stuff that does not necessarily attain to change what and where you are right now.