I I use MLO's Goals field in a different way because I find it helpful - 
I'll share it in case it helps you find a new perspective but I am not 
necessarily suggesting that this approach is better than any other or that 
it will work for anyone besides me.

One of my highest objectives in task management is to spend less time doing 
it (and more time on task execution). One of the most effective steps in 
achieving this objective is to avoid scheduling tasks that don't need to be 
scheduled, thereby taking back all of the time that I used to spend on 
rescheduling tasks that remained open after they were scheduled to be 
completed. But task management often involves taling an open task and 
saying "not now, come back later" to it. The challenge is to do so without 
ending up inadvertently scheduling the task. I use the "Goals" field to 
make this happen.

My purpose in using goals is to control when and whether a task shows up on 
my daily to-do list. If something is a weekly goal, that means that I have 
a goal to get this thing done in no more that approximately a week. If 
something is a monthly goal, that means that I have a goal to get this 
thing done in no more that approximately a month. I use the star to mean 
"daily goal". And I don't have any yearly goals, so I use the Yearly Goal 
value to actually mean Quarterly. 

My daily to-do list includes any active task with a star, any task with a 
weekly goal whose date of last modification is more than 7 days old, any 
task with a monthly goal whose date of last modification is more than  30 
days old, or any task with a yearly (i.e. quarterly) goal whose date of 
last modification is more than 90 days old. If a goal task pops up in my 
daily to-do list it means that this task is not getting done in the time I 
set for it. Ideally, I will get the task done when it shows up. If I cannot 
allocate the time to get it dome then I must have been mistaken in thinking 
that it needed to be finished in a day/week/month/quarter. In that case I 
should lower the goal, for example by changing a starred task to one that 
has a weekly goal. If something has a quarterly goal and has to be lowered 
it goes to "someday" with an annual review. Once in a while I am not ready 
to postpone a task so seriously but I also cannot get to it today. In this 
case I make some tiny edit to the task, usually adding or deleting a space 
from the caption or note, which resets the modification date and gives me 
another week/month/quarter. If I find myself doing this a second time to a 
task I try to have the discipline to drop the goal level at that time.

So, what do I do about visions, principles, objectives and all of that? The 
first thing, in line with the need to spend less time managing tasks, is 
that if I find myself spending actual time debating with myself as to how 
to categorize something I will try to change my process to make the 
question moot. So I reject any process that calls for me to treat an 
objective differently from a goal or a vision. I don't track stuff like "be 
a good father" or "save for retirement" because they are not actionable and 
there is no danger that I will forget to do them. If a thought crosses my 
mind like "hey, it would be cool if I could speak the Twi language" I will 
create an uncategorized task called "learn Twi". Tasks can only stay 
uncategorized for at most two or three days, so it will get a context, 
probably Someday. In my next quarterly review I will see whether I can 
identify a next step, like chose classroom versus online training, which 
will probably get defined as a project with no subtasks, or maybe there 
will be a few subtasks for getting started like a task with >Online context 
to find and evaluate Twi classes. There may be sub projects within this 
project. If I find myself taking Twi classes and having Twi-speaking 
friends over for dinner and conversation I will probably check the parent 
"learn Twi" task as completed, which does *not* mean that I speak the 
language perfectly but does mean that it's not something I need to track 
any more.

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