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GTD for all the Areas of Our Lives

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  • GTD for all the Areas of Our Lives

    I work from home, so I really only have two contexts DA style - Home and Errands. Since my life is not very segmented according to context, I keep wavering back and forth on the idea of segmenting it according to similar items. Such "contexts" would include Homekeeping, Cooking, Hobbies/Crafts, Business - Executive, Business - Customer Service, etc.

    I keep thinking it would be immensely useful to have all such NA's, projects, and Someday/Maybe's grouped accordingly. That way when I had time to, say, knit, I could see the knitting projects I have in progress including the next step on each, I could see the ones I have materials for, and I could see the ones I think I might like to do at a future date.

    Such an arrangement might also help me ensure I maintain balance by devoting a certain amount of time to each area of my life. For instance, I would devote a certain amount of time every day to cleaning and maintaining my house, but once I had invested that time for the day, I would move on to something else rather than spending the entire day feeling obligated to spend more time cleaning my house.

    I mean, DA gives a great amount of freedom by defining the work and knowing what the next step is, but some areas in life will always have a next step. I mean, I would love to devote an entire afternoon to a hobby or craft, knowing that everything else was under control. But when I'm reviewing my NA lists that include things like "vacuum," I begin to feel like those types of activities consume my life.

    Does anyone else in the GTD world have intangible "contexts" such as the ones I've suggested above and work within that type of framework?

  • #2
    GTD for all the Areas of Our Lives

    I'm currently tweaking my system to use a naming convention to group things within a context. I don't have it all working smoothly yet, but one example that is working is in @Errands

    I'm finding it very useful to preface the actual NA with exactly where it might be done, for example:

    [Lowes/Home Depot] buy shelf supports and shelves for office closet
    [Lowes] return unused outlet boxes
    [Bank] deposit rebate check
    [Bank] pick up cash for the weekend
    [Lowes/Home Depot] mirror for new bathroom, 2'x3'
    [Petsmart] buy dog food

    and so on. I stop at Petsmart on the way home from work, then its pretty easy to scan the list while I'm there and see that I've got things I could get at Home Depot right next door. I might decide to get them, or that I'll wait until I get the outlet boxes that are at home and go to Lowes. But the sub-category is being quite helpful to me.
    Last edited by dennis_sherman; 01-12-2006, 07:52 PM. Reason: didn't include title originally

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    • #3
      Originally posted by dennis_sherman

      I'm finding it very useful to preface the actual NA with exactly where it might be done, for example:

      [Lowes/Home Depot] buy shelf supports and shelves for office closet
      [Lowes] return unused outlet boxes
      [Bank] deposit rebate check
      [Bank] pick up cash for the weekend
      [Lowes/Home Depot] mirror for new bathroom, 2'x3'
      [Petsmart] buy dog food
      I like that idea! I also add pointers to the source of the reference information. For example (Mail) means to look in the e-mail folder, (Paper) means it's filed on paper.

      My other difficulty with the @Errands context is that I don't actually enter that context very often: I work about 2 miles from the centre of the town and have to pay for parking in the "downtown" area, so I don't go there unless I have a reason. But if I don't have a reason, I don't go. I'm thinking of declaring Wednesday (for no good reason) as "Errand" day and putting a calendar entry to "Deal with outstanding @Errands" at lunchtime.

      Has anyone else got any ways of making sure you actually hit a particular context once in a while?

      I do have the home-work split, but I'm struggling to split the home stuff up into what can be done sat at the PC, what needs to be outdoors (hence, in daylight), and so on. At the moment, I've got @Home-PC, @Home-Indoors, and @Home-Outdoors.

      Back to the original question, I think the examples given are roles rather than contexts. I would suggest @Home-PC, @Home-Office (superset of @Home-PC), @Home-Kitchen, @Home-Mindless, @Home-Alone might be worth considering.

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