Prioritizing Your Next Actions Without Having To Drill Down Each Context List...
I have a question about context-oriented task/next action lists. Suppose you have several things to do on your computer. You need to pay some bills online. You need to write a letter. You want to answer some Facebook notes. You also have some errands to run. Let's say for purposes of this discussion, you have to pick up a prescription, you want to get your car washed and pick up a pair of jeans at the dry cleaners. I know that it's most logical to run your errands at one time which would be one list.
But let's say you gotta' pay the online bills now and the rest of the computer stuff can wait. Your other priority is to pick up your prescription 'cause you don't feel well. The jeans and the car wash can wait. In other words, the two things that are important for you to get done NOW are pay the bill online and pick up your prescription. These are on my system, what I'd call "A" priorities whereas the letter on the computer, Facebook, dry cleaning and car wash are not high priority to me at all.
If you're using a context-oriented task list, won't that conflict with your priorities? In other words, why would you want to mess around on Facebook and write your letter to a friend when you really need to get over to the pharmacy?
Yes, I understand that if I'm inputting data on my computer or washing the dishes, you're more efficient if you complete the task. But I haven't figured out how to reconcile my scenario above with context-oriented task lists. Can you help me understand this?
Context are meant to help...
Context are meant to help you to choose the most "profitable" next action but they are not meant to force you to stay in a given context against the common sense.
Stay in context or do what must be done (from other contexts)
Originally Posted by prouddad
I think your are asking "how do I reconcile staying within a context, versus doing things from other contexts that must get done" (i.e. higher priority actions). Just because you are sitting at your computer and have 12 @computer actions, doesn't mean you shouldn't run an errand or make a time-sensitive phone call.
Several good answers have been posted, and I look forward to hearing the coaches' opinions. (Kelly - Perhaps a good topic for a Coaches' Corner?
Julian Hit The Nail On The Head
Thanks to each of you for your responses. Each answer had some valuable insight. I find myself leaning towards Priority most of the time, but the Errands list is critical too.
Do you simply set up each of these lists as separate tabs in OneNote or different categories in Outlook or do you use another program? A friend of mine seems to love Nozbe. Your thoughts?
Priorities not prioritary but...
As someone already wrote, priorities do not get high priority in official GTD but... in my experience I noticed there is already a priority screening when you decide what goes to your NA (or projects) lists, what goes to Someday/Maybe and what to the trash. The assumption is all your NAs are things you are commited to do, so it is more efficient to do them when you already are in the appropiate context. If there is something urgent you may choose otherwise, but that is an exception, not the rule.