View Full Version : 4-creteria model for choosing what to do question
12-14-2010, 11:21 AM
4-creteria model for choosing what to do. I think I don't understand this model. Let's say I have 'Call My brother re: organizing a party for mom' at my action list. I'm at my office without access to the phone. Why should I think about the context creteria (@office) where I can't call my brother if I know that's the most important thing I have to do? I mean if I follow this model I would call my brother only when I have access to the phone. And what happens if I don't?
I'm a relative beginner, but I thought I'd jump in on this one.
If calling your brother is a high priority and there are consequences to not doing so promptly ( or you just really want to ), then this belongs on your calendar.
In GTD, you work off your calendar first, then fill opportunistically from your contexts.
12-14-2010, 01:44 PM
I mean if I follow this model I would call my brother only when I have access to the phone.
How exactly did you want to call your brother without a phone?????
Seriously: contexts don't work for "urgent, must-do-now-or-something-bad-will-happen"-things. They work for "mmm, I've got time now, what could I do that would be useful"-things.
12-14-2010, 02:20 PM
Call brother - this would be on my home context list.
So if I'm at my office, I check my Office context list, and think about how much time I have. I'm lucky, today no meetings until afternoon. Ok, so my context list is sorted by time (short, medium, long), so I decide to tackle a long task cos I have plenty of time.
Energy - it's the morning, I'm feeling great so I'll try something that needs lots of focus.
Priority - try a high priority action first.
Looking at my list, the action 'Plan risk assessment project' is listed as being long, high energy, high priority, so I'll do that.
When I get home at the end of the day, I check my home context, and see 'Call brother'. do I have time? Not much, I need to get dinner on, I also need a rest. After dinner I have time, I feel rested, so I check my list and decide to call my brother.
12-15-2010, 01:42 PM
There seems to be a lingering issue around what happens when people have a choice in what context they could be in, in contrast to the more GTD-default assumption that people have context thrust upon them.
Arguably all context-specific Next Actions have an implied preconditional Next Action (which itself is context-free, or anywhere): Get into that context. It might be useful to extract that into its own actual Next Action for situations such as this.
12-17-2010, 02:10 AM
If by "Most important thing I have to do right now" you mean that it is too important to wait, then you renegotiate. To heck with where you put the next action on your list a week ago. Change it.
If you need to call your brother now-as-in-now, and you don't have a phone, then your next action isn't "Call," it's "Go get my phone or find a payphone, borrow a phone or build one out of scrap metals like E.T." You have to change the next action in out-of-the-ordinary circumstances, and also if you renegotiate the agreement and outcome.
The trick is it's a lot easier to change the next action from the wrong one to the right one than if you have no action defined at all. You're not going, "What am I going to do about that situation with my brother?" for two weeks.