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Do you check contexts in order?

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  • Do you check contexts in order?

    I realised yesterday that I look at @computer and @office but never at @calls. Since speaking with people is a core way of moving things forward I've decided to make @calls the first context that I look at each time.

    Does you do anything similar? Has it worked for you?

    David

  • #2
    I guess it depends on which of your Contextual Action lists contain the bulk of your Next Actions, and the answer to that question will really depend on the type of work you do.

    The key thing for me has been to make sure that I review my action Action Lists including @Calls regularly.

    In summary if your @Calls list has the bulk of your days work on it,
    then that is the one you will most likley be working from, but, if you just need to make sure you get back to the calls (like me) just make sure you get back to the Action Lists during the day.

    I dont see anything wrong with making your @Calls list the first one you
    review.

    For important / must do on that day calls I put them on my calendar.

    Hope this helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ordering contexts

      Originally posted by quantumgardener View Post
      I realised yesterday that I look at @computer and @office but never at @calls. Since speaking with people is a core way of moving things forward I've decided to make @calls the first context that I look at each time.

      Does you do anything similar? Has it worked for you?

      David
      Since I keep my lists on paper, the ordering of contexts is crucial to me, too. I short, I keep the more generic contexts (e.g. @Online - meaning *any* computer) on top of the list stack and the more specific ones (e.g., @Online.Office) at the bottom.

      I've blogged on this topic recently: http://www.evomend.net/en/hint-ordering-gtd-contexts

      Rolf F. Katzenberger
      Last edited by Rolf F. Katzenberger; 06-07-2007, 10:22 PM. Reason: Typo

      Comment


      • #4
        What I found was the everything but @calls contained the bulk of my actions and so were drawing through sheer force of gravity my attention. Good feedback from all. Thanks.

        David

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        • #5
          I have the same problem. Somehow I overlook my @ calls list all the time. This may be because I need to be at my desk for some calls, and I use the @calls list in the car.

          So, I've just moved my desk calls to @Office, and re-named @calls, to @car calls. I don't know if it's working yet though, because calls are often urgent, so I tend to just ring people back.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi David,

            since I use Pocket Informant I have filters, that "bundle" my contexts. Means if I am at customer 1 where I have email Access and my laptop the filter "bundels" @laptop, @customer1 and @company-network together.

            This works great for me, because I only have to choose where I am and the filter puts all the relevant contexts into one list.

            Comment


            • #7
              I had the same problem with ignoring my "@calls" list too often, so I've been experimenting with a "@people" list instead. This includes anything where I need to get in contact with someone about something: phone calls, e-mails, talk to someone in person, write a letter, whatever.

              It's true that not all those actions can be done in every context, but many (though clearly not all) of the items could potentially be done another way (e.g. calling someone I had planned to e-mail, seeing in person someone who I needed to call).

              It can be difficult for me to switch back-and-forth between the "lost in my own little world of whatever I'm doing" mindset into the "interacting with other people" mindset. The idea of the @people list is to consolidate the interaction tasks, so that they're all in one place when I get into "interaction mode".

              So I guess it is a legitimate "context"-- the specific communication tool is secondary to the state of mind.

              Just started it recently, so I don't know how it will work in the long run, but so far so good.

              Comment


              • #8
                Interesting. I tend to group my @Phone, @Agenda, @WF NA lists because they are all people oriented. I have been known to struggle over which list to put something on (@Agenda vs. @Phone vs. @Computer Outlook) because as you mentioned, they're all valid ways to communicate the same information, especially if the communication is with someone who works in the same building. If they're grouped by person, it wouldn't matter which context.

                The question is whether or not it's a Next NA, or whether I still haven't completed the thinking about whether the communication is better to be done in person (personal, interactive, and more time and effort), on the phone (interactive) or by email (documented). When I look at the list of things to communicate with "Sally" will I resist because I haven't finished defining the action? I think I might, so I'll continue to keep the lists separate.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by WebR0ver View Post
                  The question is whether or not it's a Next NA, or whether I still haven't completed the thinking about whether the communication is better to be done in person (personal, interactive, and more time and effort), on the phone (interactive) or by email (documented). When I look at the list of things to communicate with "Sally" will I resist because I haven't finished defining the action? I think I might, so I'll continue to keep the lists separate.
                  I do still indicate how I plan to contact the person. My @People list might contain "Draft E-mail to Person A about Subject B", "Call C (phone#) about D", etc. But these items all get mixed together on the same list.

                  Sometimes I'll switch communication method when I get to that item depending on the circumstance, but I don't *have* to figure that out on the fly before I "do" the NA. It just defaults to the modality I originally chose.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by WebR0ver View Post
                    Interesting. I tend to group my @Phone, @Agenda, @WF NA lists because they are all people oriented. I have been known to struggle over which list to put something on (@Agenda vs. @Phone vs. @Computer Outlook) because as you mentioned, they're all valid ways to communicate the same information, especially if the communication is with someone who works in the same building. If they're grouped by person, it wouldn't matter which context.
                    I use @agendas when I know I have to have a face to face (paperwork to pass on, diagrams to draw etc.) and @calls for all communication (in a past life it was @contact) regardless of form be that phone, email or carrier pigeon. I then choose in the moment the best way to communicate.

                    David

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by quantumgardener View Post
                      I use @agendas when I know I have to have a face to face (paperwork to pass on, diagrams to draw etc.) and @calls for all communication (in a past life it was @contact) regardless of form be that phone, email or carrier pigeon. I then choose in the moment the best way to communicate.

                      David
                      Thanks, that's helpful.

                      Comment

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