It’s not just about work

We need to look at life as a whole now we know both the principles and processes of the Red Urchin system in conjunction with what success must look like for highly effective people.

We know the system must be real world effective, holistic and take into account all of our life tasks, strategies, goals, delegations and obligation. We also need to be able to balance all of these competing inputs into our life and effectively process, prioritize, schedule and complete based on our pillars of effective time management. We get inputs for our time from many sources, and as mentioned any effective time management system must cover all of a users life. It is critical to incorporate not just work and personal inputs but scheduling inputs such as physical activity, learning, relationship, spiritual and giving back time.

Red Urchin - Figure 4

To make sense of this craziness, Red Urchin breaks our world into four key quadrants initially segmented by Desire and Need, supplemented by big and small.

Need is generally defined as things we “need” to do, to earn a living, as an obligation etc. In a perfect world you would not choose to “send the monthly sales reports” but you need to do it, to earn an income, to live. Needs can then be broken up into two groups, firstly our small tasks – daily tasks and sub tasks. These are the tasks we are generally familiar with, the ones that take most of our time (although perhaps they shouldn’t) and certainly most of the noise in our daily fare.

The bigger picture around tasks defined by need comes from our overarching strategy and goal objectives. While technically these can fall into both the desire and need category (I have a desire to learn photography by the end of the year), we treat them slightly differently in the desire category. Our goals and strategy objectives produce sub tasks that combine to achieve the larger goal. These are normally the larger tasks, bigger picture items that people have a hard time fitting in between the bustle of the daily tasks. This is why we need a process to ensure that not only daily tasks and noise is managed but we are also meeting our strategic goals and objectives (or our big picture thinking).

It is important to note, the need tasks can come from every identified area and not just work (going to the gym may be a need not a desire depending on your point of view). While our need tasks generally consume the majority of our time and focus it is critical to balance them against our desire tasks. It is this balance that makes us happier and more content people. If we remember our definition of success it is not just being more efficient, it is also having (or creating) more time so we can do the things that we enjoy and this is why we must balance the need vs the desire.

10’s, 25’s, 50’s and 100’s

Desire plays slightly differently in the Red Urchin ecosystem. Desire is driven by exactly that…desire! These are things we want to do for a variety of reasons and we ‘choose’ to do them. There are two components to these desire tasks, one is the tasks themselves and the second is the reasons for doing them. As they apply to the Red Urchin ecosystem we are going to cover the actual tasks. Red Urchin breaks the desire tasks down based on the work of Dr. Fred Grosse who first proposed this classification of tasks based on a persons drivers for happiness, fulfilment and satisfaction.

They are very simply:

  • 10’s
  • 25’s
  • 50’s
  • 100’s

The tasks are grouped around their life frequency and scale but all are driven by the same outcome – “to make your soul smile”. The outcome is the critical driver for these desire tasks. These are tasks/activities/time that make you smile, that make your heart flutter, that make your soul smile. You know the feeling, its that embracing calm, that content feeling, that warmth of love, the sense of pure achievement. This is what these desire tasks are about and we break them down into different levels.

To explain, a 10 is a type of task or activity that you may do at least once a day (or maybe 2 or 3 times a day), a 25 is one you may do once or twice a week, a 50 is something that you may do for yourself once or twice a year. A 100 is something you do for someone else (more on that in another article).

It is a good idea to keep a list of your preferred types of 10’s, 25’s, 50’s and 100’s (this will be included in future versions of Red Urchin). Some examples of 10’s maybe going to the gym (again for some people this may be a need task), having a quiet coffee, reading book for 15 minutes, playing with your kids for 30 minutes etc. Examples of 25’s might be having dinner with a friend, going for a walk on the beach, attending a class, volunteering at a homeless shelter etc. These tasks may be the subtasks of a larger strategy or goal that meets the desire criteria. For example if you have a goal that it to learn Spanish by the end of the year, then one of your 25’s might be to attend a Spanish class twice a week.

These activities are the keys to balance in your life and it is critically important that you schedule them in your planning otherwise they will not get completed. It is important to lock in and schedule this time to complete these activities as not only are they important to you but they make you smile, they are your desires and they make you happy.
Balance! it is the critical component to being a highly successful person. Before you can effectively utilise the Red Urchin app you need to have all your life inputs coming into it and ensure there is balance between need and desire. We know from much real world experience that if you achieve this balance you are not only highly effective but you get to meet your desires (even if it is just having a quiet coffee and watching the world go by for 10min a day) and that is a beautiful thing. In the words of Dr. Grosse, “it makes your soul smile” and that is something we do not do enough.

NEXT – Putting it all together