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Task BATL Update: A Diamond in Daylight

Sunday October 10, 2021

Happy New-Bond-Film Weekend, everybody!

I just updated a key aspect of the Task BATL Trigram: The Diamond, also noted as V, for Values-driven. Here’s the updated description:

  • DIAMOND Items: Values-driven items—related to personal goals, personal development, and the development of personal interests over time. Usually results are satisfying in the mid- to long-term. In the short term, organized or planned conscious effort may be needed. Examples: Purchase tickets and watch a new film by a favorite director; Finish first aid certification process; Schedule campground for this weekend; Practice the piano.

Why Change It?

For months I watched as my personal list of Diamond items seemed to want for attention. I’d have lots of Circle items on my list, lots of Square items, but the Diamond slots would remain empty, longer.

Diamond items were still important to me, but I recognized that the description and categorization rule might be off a bit.

Diamonds represent values, yet I noticed that I was pushing my values forward in many different ways than I had originally anticipated. These experiences often involved placing Diamond items in the Circle items list. The difference between the Diamond list and the Circle list seemed more like a difference between “work” and “fun,” which I didn’t like.

I realized I was also looking at my personal goals in ways that were less “me”, and in fact it was starting to get a bit painful to work on goals. Almost like I couldn’t recognize a good personal goal to save my life!

An A-ha Moment

In fact the answer was right under my nose: Values-related goals should often be directly linked with the kind of attention that is freely and happily given to personal interests on a daily basis. There should be no lack of energy in the Values system, as a result.

A lack of energy could hint at a lack of stable “connective tissue” between Circle and Diamond items, specifically in the contexts of time scope and interest-development.

This made a lot of sense given the way I’ve accomplished various outcomes personally in my own life, but it also made sense as I reviewed my experiences as a professional coach.

More About What’s Changed

So the new difference between Diamonds and Circles is in placing a bit less emphasis on the two Diamond areas of goals and personal development (developing “who I am” into “who I want to be”), and bringing Diamond items closer to our conscious energy center by directly involving personal interests (“what gives me energy”).

Both Circles and Diamond items can involve interests, but Circle items involve more temporary attention to those interests, treating the interests like a temporary sandbox to play in, for example. Diamond items involve a bit more conscious attention to “the state of a given interest,” and to the structured development of specific interests.

For this reason, I’ve added “the development of personal interests over time” to the list of Diamond-qualifiers.

Some Examples

Examples of this kind of activity could include:

  • Updating my list of favorite foods
  • Making a logbook of my Old Time Radio hobby, including tracking episodes I enjoy
  • Developing a way to keep track of my ongoing online formal education, to include Wikiversity courses
  • Organizing my most-used stationery items so they’re more easily accessible (stationery hobby)
  • Adding new entries to my list of interests (meta-interest)
  • Checking off a to-do list item in my Fantasy Baseball III hobby (logs for hobbies or interests also have to-do lists)
  • Adding more resource link URLs to my role playing game hobby’s character creation section. (logs also have external Resources)

All of this effort may be enjoyable, but its outcomes are also usually more appreciated over the mid- to long-term. It aims at supporting development of specific interests in the long term.

In that way it’s different from, say, listening to an Old Time Radio episode, or using a favorite stationery item, which are both activities that are more “about” the current context, usually.


As usual, there’s much more room for improvement and refinement. Eventually I’d like to reorganize Task BATL itself even more, and I have new modules to add.

But for now—I hope you enjoy the framework and it’s been a lot of fun working on it so far.

Filed in: Productivity /119/ | Interests /111/ | Goals /52/

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