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  • #46
    Refining my contexts to improve my efficiency is what makes them valuable.
    Are you sure in that? What if instead of refining contexts you'd spend the time to actually get things done?
    Think about it. Steve Jobs wasn't refining his contexts to improve his efficiency... I doubt Tim Cook does either.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by mark1968 View Post
      Kelly - David's quote reminds me of a cultural/religious shift in the Jewish community. In general, the Chassidim - the folks who wear black clothes, furry hats (shtreimels),etc - are seen as rigid, overly litigious and somber. Yet their origins were full of life, creativity, song and vibrancy - ecstatic even. It was the members (combined with powerful historical events) that created much of the Chassidic world we see today (though there are still elements that are very joyous, etc).
      Yes! David Allen as the Besht- I can totally see it. Or maybe Orthodox, Conservative and Reform GTD'ers?Reconstructionists too! Perhaps we can have sectarian discord too!

      [The Besht was the Baal Shem Tov, the Master of the Good Name, the founder of Hasidism.]

      Comment


      • #48
        For those of you who find value in contexts, one of the most creative approaches I've ever heard to contexts is from one of our GTD ambassadors, Oogie McGuire. I did a 'Slice of GTD Life' podcast with her for GTD Connect where she describes the most creative contexts I've ever heard, like "Chores" and "Chores - When I have help". For those of you who want to listen to that, you can find it here: http://www.davidco.com/connect/audio...0&trackid=1049

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        • #49
          Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
          Yes! David Allen as the Besht- I can totally see it. Or maybe Orthodox, Conservative and Reform GTD'ers?Reconstructionists too! Perhaps we can have sectarian discord too!

          [The Besht was the Baal Shem Tov, the Master of the Good Name, the founder of Hasidism.]
          I did not think anyone would catch the reference. Color me impressed! During The Besht's time, things seemed much more spontaneous and joyful.

          Whenever I hear D. Allen talk, I get a sense that he's a passionate guy, who does not spend his days obsessing over his lists or contexts.

          Mcogilvie - anywhere to reach you outside of these parts?

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          • #50
            Contexts work superbly for me

            Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
            Are you sure in that? What if instead of refining contexts you'd spend the time to actually get things done?
            I am absolutely sure. I have measured it. I spend no more than 5 minutes a month refining contexts, as a natural result of doing the weekly review. Last time was a couple months ago, when I added a new context having to do with some software I use. That took less than a minute, most of which was thinking, and a few seconds to make the entry in my digital system. Having efficient contexts saves me many times that investment. If I did not have clear and relevant contexts, I would spend 5 minutes several times a day looking through lists.

            Working within contexts also lowers my time-cost for switching between tasks.

            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.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by mark1968 View Post
              Mcogilvie - anywhere to reach you outside of these parts?
              Hi Mark, I sent you a private message with my contact info. Not that I'm hard to find

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              • #52
                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 wonder if you would agree with this 1-2 years later.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                  I wonder if you would agree with this 1-2 years later.
                  Not the person you are responding to but yes, contexts have made huge difference and I can see how it has worked years later. I work on projects that can span months, years, decades and in some cases even multiple lifetimes. When you are trying to organize, document and improve something where you won't live long enough to see the final results you need a clear roadmap for what you CAN get done when and where you are with the tools available.

                  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)

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                    I wonder if you would agree with this 1-2 years later.
                    Again, you may be making an assumption. How about 15-16 years later? That's how long I've been using David Allen's productivity approach, from before the Getting Things Done book was even written. I've used and adapted variable contexts since at least 2001. I'm not a newbie to GTD or to the study of productivity. I'm the kind of nut who chooses not to post all kinds of digressions about Frederick Taylor and W. Edwards Deming.

                    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.

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                    • #55
                      I've been using GTD before David Allen was even born.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        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.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Inadequacy of the "Steve Jobs example".

                          Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                          Yeah, you could say that everything in Steve Jobs example could be organised by contexts. In fact, you can organise anything according to GTD by the book.

                          But you're missing the point.
                          Steve Jobs wasn't working on unrelated projects or from context lists. He set aside a whole day to focus on some single area of responsibility, regardless of contexts, time, energy. He didn't try to fit his life into a stereotype system. Yes, could use contexts but it wouldn't be worth it. And that's my point. Organising everything by contexts is a point of friction, it takes a lot of work but it's useful only when you do cog like work, e.g. to batch process unrelated actions.
                          Since you like the "Steve Jobs example" very much I would like to ask you once again:

                          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...

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            "FRESHLY SQUEEZED" look at contexts.

                            Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                            This is a FRESH look at contexts, no need to re-read gtd book like some sort of bible.
                            We often invent FRESH looks when we forget what the original idea was about.

                            You called the thread "Forget about contexts" so I think the proper name for this new approach is a "FRESHLY SQUEEZED" look at contexts.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              No need to discuss the shapes of blades in the hardware store when you have to dig...

                              Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                              I've been using GTD before David Allen was even born.
                              OK, it was great to make fun of GTD contexts, argue just for the sake of arguing, troll a little but now it's time to focus on helping people to Get their Things Done.

                              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!

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Steve Jobs' Contexts

                                Originally posted by supergtdman View Post
                                Monday morning Steve would meet with his top management team. Wednesday he would be meeting with marketing team. Friday (before he sold Pixar) he would drive up to Pixar’s headquarters and spend the day working on Pixar. And Sunday evening (according to Walt Mossberg’s accounts) he would frequently set aside to call up his contacts in the press.
                                @Agenda-Top Management
                                @Agenda-Marketing
                                @Pixar
                                @Calls-Press

                                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.

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