Perspective Matters. A lot.


…perspective is why a Floridian puts on a sweater when it’s 50 degrees out while a New Englander would relish the chance to walk outside in his t-shirt.

…perspective is also what makes that new TV that’s on sale instantly seem more attractive than it’s counterpart.

…and similarly lack of perspective is what keeps a frog in a warming pot of water until it starts boiling and the frog dies (or so the store goes).

Having a good sense of relativity and being able to see things with respect to both each other and the whole is tremendously powerful.

Things are what we compare them to.

– Rory Sutherland, TEDxAthens

A Great To-Do List Must Have Perspective

As I planned out my Sunday I realized one of the flaws in most to-do list apps: they lack the ability to provide perspective.

When prioritizing what to work on next you want to see the whole picture, everything relevant that’s on your plate. This lets you focus on the more important items and ignore the ones that aren’t applicable now.

To be sure, too much perspective can be dangerous. If you want to truly see the whole picture, and assuming you’re a diligent GTD-er – breaking down your projects into individual tasks, you quickly get overwhelmed with the flood of information.

So how do you maintain perspective while only surfacing what’s relevant now?

Right now I’m using Trello with multiple boards setup for work, personal, etc. I then have lists within those boards generally arranged by timeframe (e.g. Today, This Week, Future, etc).

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Admittedly it’s not a great solution though.

On the one hand I struggle to get perspective on a day like today, when I’m working on a wide range of both personal and work projects.

But on the other hand, Trello doesn’t let me easily hide things that aren’t relevant now, like the fertilizer I won’t need to lay down for another month still.

Which leads to the question I’m faced with now…how do you maintain perspective while only surfacing what’s relevant?

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