Sub-contexts for @work?
Most of my GTD lists hum right along, but one area where I could use the most improvement is @work. I'm trying to come up with a good solution for subdividing this list. It gets a little longer than I would like, which makes me reluctant to add items to it.
I am a web developer. I work in a cube about 10 feet from all of my colleagues and 20 feet from my manager. My phone rings about twice a month, and one of those is a wrong number. Virtually everything I do is on the computer, or if it's a face-to-face thing, my team members are readily accessible to me. Agendas and contexts don't help very much here.
I've thought about breaking the @work list up by applications that I use regularly, but this would honestly be more trouble that it's worth. Firing up my development software or remoting in to a server takes 30 seconds at most, which is minimal compared to the effort required to switch gears and tackle a task on another project that uses the same program. I never make phone calls. I've had an @email list in the past, but I spend so much time in email that it's more effective to use @Action/@Waiting For folders in Outlook.
Which leaves me with a longish @work list. Lately I've found myself going through this list and picking out a few items that I hope to do today. It's not a daily to-do list--more of a light prioritization.
Any suggestions for an elegant method to break this list up?
How about by energy level or brain power needed?
That's a good suggestion. Extending that, I could also use time available...
Originally Posted by malisa
Bonus for using time-available contexts
Time available contexts does seem like it could be a good idea for you.
The bonus to creating and using this kind of context is that you must have actually put some up-front thought into each next action in order to know how long you expect each one to take you. And this is a very good thing.
That's pretty much how Next Action lists work, regardless of their length. You go through the list, you pick something you hope to do, and then you do it. Rinse, repeat.
Originally Posted by joshearl928
i have the same problem as you and i think i will also try the time available context.
I'm working as a software engineer and am facing the same problem, especially since I work on several projects with numerous different technologies.
What I've done is defining a hierarchical division of my projects. For example:
- Work -> MyCompany -> MyProject1
- Work -> Software -> Eclipse
- Work -> School -> DutchTraining
This may be inappropriate for some, but it works for me (until I find something better ). What is important here is to separate professional from personal and transversal projects (that is, projects which are not tied to a particular personal or proffesional project, such as learning a software or programming language).
Hope this helps...
I had the same problem until I was honest with myself about how much I can really have on my plate at one time. My someday/maybe list is now the long one, which is OK with me. Easy to pull from that list during my weekly review to load up my @work when I have been productive.
I would say that you should only use subgroups if you need some more categorizing types. Using to many categories/tags can be overwhelming and decrease your organization of your tasks and increase the mental work that your brain needs to do to be able to know what task to perform.
So, choose your subgroups carefully. Just use them if you really need them.