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  • more than one job/work/company

    hello again!!

    I'm starting to get the feeling of GTD and I'm becoming addicted haha
    another question please:

    I'm managing 3 companies (small companies) from the same office, and like most of us now I'm there 90% of my working time, where I have computer, internet, phone, etc.

    do you think is good idea to make context for each company?, maybe is not really a context per se, but I feel (and that's why I think this is a mistake, GTD is changing everything I "felt" was a good way of organizing for something that is much better) that is important to separate this tasks/actions/projects.
    can you please tell me about this from your experience?

    thanks in advance!!

  • #2
    Contexts are meant to group Next Actions by required resources (tools).

    I do not think it would be in the GTD spirit to create separate context for each company. Contexts are meant to group Next Actions by required resources (tools) - not by Areas of Focus (companies).

    If you are using a software tool to manage your GTD lists you should both link Next Actions via Projects to Areas of Focus (companies) and directly to contexts.

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    • #3
      not per se contexts

      I don't think you need to define a context per company, but I do think you need to find a way to easily group/filter/show all next actions related to one company. As a consultant I have one long list with all the next actions of all my projects/clients on it. But sometimes I just want to see everything related to this one client. In that way it is a little bit like your situation. I work in Excel, and that allows me to filter for whatever I feel is an important caracteristic of a next action.

      greetings,
      Myriam

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      • #4
        Every company is an Area of Focus

        The three companies you have are all Areas of Focus (20,000 level). So it might be good to group the projects you have (10,000 level) on company level. This is easily done by starting the project name with the company name (abbreviated). This helps to get the right focus during your (weekly) review moments. On Next Action level (runway level) I would stick to the different contexts. If it helps you can add the company name in the next action description if you have context with lots of N/As.

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        • #5
          Here's what I do...

          Hi siirick,

          I'm the controller for four very different companies - a heating oil company, an internet start up, a restaurant, and a real estate trust. As you can imagine, it's hard to bounce in and out of the different companies all day, every day.

          I have one email inbox, one main paper inbox, and four smaller paper inboxes, one for each company. I print out every email that requires some thought and "file" it in the appropriate inbox. (The big inbox is for stuff others give to me. That gets processed into the four inboxes when I get a chance.) Once the emails are printed, the digital copy gets dumped in that company's folder. That's all the email sorting I do - when I'm ready to reply to that specific email, I search for it. If it's REALLY important, or it's someone I don't email often, I leave it in my inbox so I can find it easily. I know - that's against the rules, but it's easier for me.

          I work in terms of companies, so I guess you could call that my context. (I've also tried categorizing them as projects. I don't have an answer as to which is best.) What matters to me is that when I'm in "Heating Oil" mode, I know what my next actions are. Most of my tasks are the same ones every day, so I don't really have lists of next actions or true contexts. When I do need a task list, I use OmniFocus on the iPad. I live in the forecast screen and ignore the rest of it.

          I tend to spend my mornings on the "easier" companies and my afternoon in the heating oil world. I don't always get through all the companies on a daily basis, but I rotate the smaller ones and I always have a note somewhere to remind me if I HAVE to do something company specific by a certain time. (Outlook calendar, OmniFocus, index card, email from micromanaging co-worker )

          All my handwritten notes, file folders and binders are color coded to a specific company, so if I should misfile some notes I've written - which happens too often! - I know within seconds where it is. (Blue paper sticks out in a yellow file folder.) Unfortunately, to keep life a little simple, everything gets printed on white paper. If I had a printer with multiple paper trays, I'd be printing on the appropriate colored paper!

          The nice thing I've found about GTD is that you don't have to "do" GTD to reap the benefits of having its structured system.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by moosie View Post
            I print out every email that requires some thought and "file" it in the appropriate inbox.
            Hurray! I thought I was the only person who did this. I think it's a worthwhile thing to try, at least, for everyone who might be struggling with email.



            Cheers,
            Roger

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            • #7
              MANAGING ATTENTION POOLS - Irony 'Inbox almost full at David Allen Company Forums'

              Right now I am in the process of consolidating my activity.
              I believe its something that happens as you free yourself from runway and get to spend more time at the higher altitudes - a fuller life reorganisation.

              I have a non-profit (brokerage model)
              - Associated development of software package which may result in a different company

              A freelance consultancy/coaching career

              Am in discussions with another sales system consultancy about joining their team
              - But am doing straight sales work for them in the meantime

              And as none of the above is hitting my desired income mark I'm applying for a more secure role (contract based) that can anchor me a few days a week.
              --
              That's FOUR discreet activities - that may branch off into more.

              Managing the correspondence/interaction (and next actions) related to each of those is a challenge.

              Testeq offered valuable advice in the recognition of 'RESOURCE REQUIRED' being the definition of context - however I'd say that would relate to time (being a resource) and the agreements set.

              In forty minutes I enter a window where I can communicate with Singapore and manage the current sales role. Outside of that time it is not possible for me to Skype them or richly manage/forecast tasks..

              The sales consultancy is with the main team that is in the UK that I have filtered off to a different e-mail environment, and thus a dashboard I keep seperate..
              And I leave my phone open for urgent calls.

              My non-profit also is managed through that dashboard but I keep the client work of the sales consultancy within a separate dashboard.

              And the freelance consultancy is relatively easy to manage but I set up a BOLD label so I notice when new client contact occurs (mainly I track that in my diary).
              --

              I use:

              Thunderbird
              Zoho
              Gmail

              I could filter all of these into Thunderbird BUT I find the psychological lens of a different interface allows me to bring a different mental energy and internal awareness frame to the work in front of me.

              I guard my phone with something close to aggression.
              I have recently pushed most of my outbound calls to Skype - and requested anything inbound come through e-mail and then we schedule any inbound calls.

              That's because my phone is my interface for my partner. She can send me kisses and grocery lists and request a lunchtime chat whilst she is at work.
              And in the evening that largely becomes my mother's interface - and she is one of the few people that bypasses any of that inbound scheduling rule.

              Any friends I tend to manage via Facebook - but when it moves to scheduling I request we organise by e-mail as that then becomes a meeting rather than preference discussion and criteria for activity negotiation.

              Anything that goes in my paper diary I attempt to keep as hard landscape but I do have a notes panel at the base of each week for floating things.

              I do use Google Tasks and Google Calendar but only for events - so that I get e-mail reminders.. and mostly that's for events that I've paid under £50 for and would be okay to drop in the light of other priorities. Other stuff I schedule.
              --
              ATTENTION POOLS

              A dashboard is an interesting metaphor but much too mechanical for my liking.
              I prefer the idea of sitting in the centre of a series of pools.
              Varying sizes and with alternate liquids in each.

              My capacity remains relatively solid - but in general the 'stuff' in each pool remains undefined. The three-fold nature of work comes in handy here where I can flip between DOING - DEFINING - (and that other thing, oh dear...)

              But essentially I'll dip into a pool and define stuff and mould into an object which then floats and due to the fact it has been articulated it is easier to reapprehend - doesn't require more splashing about.

              The weekly review allows me to stand up and look down at the objects in relative clarity, seeing whether some objects need to be disregarded, some more stuff is needed in a particular pool, or some of the projects (floating objects) need to be stretched into next actions and acted upon.

              My analogy of the pool feels better as it isn't as hysterical..
              I can move the pools closer and further from me (or move towards that particular pool) when I have committed to doing so.. a dashboard somehow implies a fixed facade to the operations of a single vehicle..
              Something amongst my peers (mostly multiple SME/community managers) is rare.

              So the idea that you may be beside one pool and an object start to amass algae or cluttering stuff around it as it floats in another pool is helpful - because it doesn't DEMAND your attention like a flashing fuel light.. but it is something that you can recognise will be a challenge to redress the longer you leave it.

              And then of course there is always the possibility that the phone in your pocket might go off with your mother checking that you've sent off your passport for the 15th time just in case it lapses and you have to go through the system all over again.. Just a hypothetical scenario of course

              The irony of me writing this today is that after 2months with empty e-inbox in two of my interfaces.. I received the notice:

              'Inbox almost full at David Allen Company Forums'

              I hadn't labeled or filed a single message or thread notification from the forums.
              Thus, the first piece of stuff in my GTD cleansed inbox was a message from GTD Connect informing me that another of my contexts/areas of focus (the place where I go to seek coaching on my areas of focus) was covered in algae.

              Time to step toward that pool and ensure my strategic arena doesn't become a site of attention dis-ease.

              Right - Quick text to partner - Mobile on vibrate. Skype headset on. Open Thunderbird. Shift Gmail and Zoho into another workspace on the Ubuntu interface (with various tabs open around it as R&D/project support materials)
              Paper pad on the desk next to the laptop. Bottle of water..
              And in case I want a pool of reflection - big window in front of me to watch the squirrels chasing magpies.

              Good day to you all.

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              • #8
                I'm using Pocket Informant on the iPhone to manage my next actions, and I've started using tags to create sub-contexts. So when I go to my @computer list I can filter by tag to Network, Offline, MapInfo, etc. I like filters better than separate contexts because you can turn them on and off depending on whether you want to see all the tasks together or whether you only want to focus on a subset.
                I would recommend trying filters for the different companies if your system will allow it.

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                • #9
                  What matters to me is that when I'm in "Heating Oil" mode, I know what my next actions are. Most of my tasks are the same ones every day, so I don't really have lists of next actions or true contexts

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The weekly review allows me to stand up and look down at the objects in relative clarity, seeing whether some objects need to be disregarded, some more stuff is needed in a particular pool, or some of the projects (floating objects) need to be stretched into next actions and acted upon.

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