I wonder if you would agree with this 1-2 years later.Bottom line for me is that contexts save me from re-thinking about what needs to be done, so I can actually get more things done.
I did just add a bunch of contexts to my system, to separate out @computer by application because they were getting lost in my @computer structure. Now when I am in the sheep registry database I can deal with all the issues I have to fix in it at once. When I am working on my Android program I have all the tasks I have to do in one place so I can power through them. When I am working in Lightroom I have not only my hobby scrapbook tasks but also my work for creating ads and some scanning I need to do for the historical society. Why waste time firing up this program or that one or flipping between them when I can be more efficient by starting a program, getting all the things I need to do there done and then move on?
I just finished my weekly review. It took a total elapsed time of 1.5 hours spread out over the last 3 days due to lambing. Review is where I make sure I have clear next actions for the projects I can or wish or need to work on. But for me right now, my life is ruled by work as it appears, not pre-defined work. When a ewe is lambing and needs assistance I must deal with that right then. GTS lets me be in the present to assist the delivery knowing that everything else I need to do is captured somewhere so I won't forget or lose it and I can deal with those things when it's appropriate.
Remember the 3 fold nature of work. Work that is predefined but not scheduled (your context lists) Work as it appears (sheep happens) and Work that is scheduled (a meeting or dentist apt)
Oogie McGuire - Mac, iPhone & Omnifocus
OogieM on Twitter
Paonia, CO USA
But perhaps you're right that I'm deluding myself about the value of contexts, and in another decade or two I'll come to my senses. All I can say is that I'm looking forward to how many new and exciting contexts will show up as technology changes.
I've been using GTD before David Allen was even born.
Interesting that you find contexts less relevant as time passes. My company has found it more relevant. With the business spread over many sites, with a head office in the city, there is increasingly more encouragement towards increased mobility, and people working in different locations. A typical week will have me doing 3 days in the city, one day from home and one day at a field office. Working in two sites in the one day even is common as our meetings tend to set where we are working.
So using contexts has increased my productivity heaps, as you have very different resources available at different sites, and it is important to tailor the work to where you are based on the resources available.
The trend is not just for office staff. For field workers, with mobile computers they are now planning to shift to location based work. The work is going to be allocated to job sites, and the closest competent team will get assigned the work, to try and minimise the duplicate travelling that is going on. If it takes over an hour to drive a team out to the site, you can save time and money by getting the team that goes out there to do multiple jobs in the same location. Previously they might send different teams (from different business groups) to do jobs in the same location, despite the fact that those teams had the same skillset.
Do you really think Steve Jobs had to remember about an oil change in his car or to execute a contract termination details of the Apple store manager in Bordeaux, France?
By answering this question you may find an inadequacy of your example.
But... Steve Jobs wasn't wasting his precious time complaining about GTD. He was making a dent in the universe...
If the idea of GTD contexts resonates with you - use them and tailor them to your needs.
If not - use one big @nextaction context list (plus @errands, @waitingfor, @agenda if you find them useful).
That's it. No need to waste more time on GTD contexts.
No need to discuss the shapes of blades in the hardware store when you have to dig a hole. Just buy the best one for you and start digging. Good luck!
I know this is an old thread but a friend of mine brought up supergtdman's Jobs example of how contexts "no longer apply to us." You don't think Jobs just showed up to those meetings without notes on what he wants to do when he got there, do you? He had to keep that list somewhere and organized them somehow. So even if he did not call them contexts, that's what they were. He then pick a time or day to focus on that context.
Supergtdman may have been a troll but his/her posts may resonate with those struggling with GTD. He misunderstood contexts. If you find yourself agreeing with him, stop and take another look at your life and your contexts.
You have to define your own contexts.