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How You Can Build Perspective – Your Most Valuable Resource


Evolution is all about competitive advantage.

Through the ages, different currencies of influence have allowed people to emerge stronger than others.

Once upon a time, it was land. Those who had lots of it never starved. They could grow their own food.

Fast forward to the late Eighteenth Century and machines were the emblem of power. They amplified productivity. They ushered in prosperity.

Then it was the turn of information and attention. Knowledge was power. For a while.

But the internet changed the rules. There was so much know-how flying around that attention became scarce.

If you could make people pay attention, you could turn that attention into clicks, purchases and ultimately money.

That’s phasing too!

Simply paying attention is no longer enough.

There are myriad of apparently urgent items on an average person’s radar and the only result is analysis paralysis.

We’re entering a new era, where perspective is our most valuable resource.

What’s Perspective & Why Is it Our Most Valuable Resource?

In layman’s terms perspective is our attitude or point of view towards something.

It is the filter we view events and information through.

Even though the perspective isn’t tangible – you can’t touch it or see it, it is the difference between success and failure.

Let’s show you why….

Imagine you receive a letter from the IT Department. They want to audit your accounts as a routine check.

Some people may see this notice as a terrible setback.

Their perspective is that of disappointment and frustration. They have a hard time accepting the fact that the audit will happen. And it will! Whether they like it or not.

Others may see it as an opportunity to straighten their records and even find ways to save money.

They have a perspective of positivity and acceptance. Because they don’t waste time struggling against something inevitable, they have the energy to prepare for the audit and emerge from it more organized and streamlined than before.

Another great example is the Big Data hype. Have you ever questioned why analytics is such a compelling investment for businesses?

The answer is – it is perspective-as-a-service.

Analytics tools help you see your customers, your transactions, and your operations differently.

They spot trends and patterns that you may not notice because you’re so used to wearing a certain pair of glasses.

 Getting Things Done® is all about creating the right maps in your life, so that you have the right perspective, at any given moment.

What would happen if GTD® was a 3 step process covering – Capture, Clarify and Organize? You’d still have neat lists of Next Actions by context.

But without reflection and prioritization, you would be swimming in a sea of tasks. You’d be staring at dozens of Next Actions in each category with no clue as to what’s truly important.

You’d hop from one urgent thing to the next, doing what’s latest and loudest.

How to Get Perspective Using The Horizons of Focus®

David Allen fully realizes the significance of perspective.

And he’s baked it into the Getting Things Done® model with the steps Reflect and Engage.

In particular, the Horizons of Focus® model help practitioners develop perspective by getting clear on their commitments on each of the horizons.

Perspective is our most valuable resource

You can read more about the six Horizons of Focus® here.

When people get clarity on their commitments on each of these horizons they know why they have certain projects on their to-do lists, how these projects are related to their long-term goals and if their ultimate purpose is being fulfilled by their day to day actions.

They have the perspective needed to view each task, each disruption, each surprise appropriately – in terms of their end goal – and are not drawn into unnecessary drama or indeed unwanted commitments.

Perspective lets you make sense of chaos. Without it, stuff keeps happening to you instead of through you.


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