how to interact with Action lists on daily basis?
Although I've read about GTD for some time now, I'm a relative novice (and first-time poster here). All my attempts at implementing GTD for myself have been only half-hearted so far, but now I'm trying to go "all in", so to speak.
However I am running into a problem: I find that having all my next actions in lists partitioned by context does not give me peace of mind, and I cannot rely solely only on them.
First, I like to start off each day by having and monitoring a small list of "things I would like to get done TODAY" (because it is the appropriate time to get them done, or there is benefit to doing them sooner, etc). These will be dispersed across a number of contexts / action lists, and thus I find that my efforts for the day are not as focussed this way, as when I have the explicit list in a single spot. Anyone else have this problem? Suggestions on how to adapt?
Second, my impression of action lists split out by context is that, if you are in context A, you work off action list A, which corresponds to that context. This seems to tacitly assume that you have no control over what context you are in, or at least that each of them will get hit sooner or later. But what about when this is not true? E.g., I might have a context for @basement, which mostly will have clean up and re-org tasks, but I might find myself not having any reason to be in that context for a month or more. I suppose this will be noticed during the Weekly Review; is the solution then to then set a goal of "work on @basement" during the Review? How do others handle this?
"Today' tag and planning you day based on contexts
On your first question about using a 'today' list - what software are you using? or are you using paper? I for instance use Evernote and I have a separate tag that I add onto any next action that needs to be done today. That way, I don't lose the context for the next action but I can still easily pull up just the list of actions I need to get done today. Once those are done, I can then move onto the full next action lists.
And on your second part, I absolutely use my action lists to plan my day. I'm looking right now at my lists and I see that my @email has over 60 items on it. This means that I need to create about 3 hours in the next day or two to get to everything on this list. No way that's happening if I don't block time off my calendar to sit and get through it all. And similarly with @home, @office, @errands, @internet, and so forth .... I plan my day based on what's happening in my context lists.
Filling your head during Weekly Reviews.
In my opinion a good Weekly Review done weekly is part of the answer since during this process you review all the lists and learn what's on them. No, you don't have to remember every item but during a mindful review you notice the important Projects and Next Actions.
@Today list is useful but optional. It can be created during short daily review of your @context lists.
I think that GTD is not about emptying your head (it's just the first part of the workflow). GTD is about filling it again during Weekly Reviews with knowledge that helps your intuition to work properly.
Pozdrawiam i życzę sukcesów.