Let’s dig deeper: The two most important channels for me are Areas and Projects. An area of responsibility is “a sphere of activity with a standard to be maintained over time.” Examples of this are Sport; money; travel; friends; health and work areas such as my freelance business; contacts; I need to maintain; and writing. A project is “a series of tasks linked to a goal, with a deadline.” Examples include: Writing challenge; Develop project roadmap; Current book I am reading; Finalize product specifications; Plan holiday.
Projects vs. Areas of Responsibility
To understand the difference between projects vs. areas let the master himself explain it best:
Tiago Forte: “These definitions seem fairly straightforward, but I want to zero in on the difference between projects and areas of responsibility. After much trial and error, and seeing many people struggle to differentiate between them, I’ve come to believe that even the smallest confusion between these two categories is a deeply rooted cause of many personal productivity problems.”
A project has a goal to be achieved. A clear outcome with a set date. An area of responsibility, by contrast, has a standard to be maintained. And there is no end date or final outcome.
Take for example your friends. A relation doesn’t have a deadline and is something you just have to maintain. But you can still have projects together with your friends. Planning for a vacation with your friends will be a project. Projects will always fall into Areas: Doing sports will be an area, whereas preparing for a triathlon will be a project. Buying a new sofa will be a project whereas your own home could be an area. Understanding the difference between the two is thus really important. More on this when I will dig deeper on projects but let me first explain how I defined my areas.