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  • Several @office contexts?

    Hi!

    Being a programmer I'm at my office almost all of the time, always online. I have one @office context from which I pick actions all day. I have had this setup for 3 years, but lately I have been wondering if I should test if it works splitting it in two. One @office og one @office-low, where the last one is for actions when I'm a bit tired, typically late.

    Anyone else have several @office contexts? Apart from @online, which in this web2.0/office2.0 world seems a bit outdated

    Tore, http://twitter.com/knalle

  • #2
    I've recently done a similar thing with my @Home list. I found it much simpler to crank through next actions on my home computer by creating an @Home-Computer context. Doing this shortens my @Home list, too.

    I've not heard of people building energy levels into their contexts; I'm not sure I would do it, but if it makes sense to you, give it a try and see how it works.

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    • #3
      You can certainly do that. Some folks have contexts for different aspects of their office work - @Computer, @FilingCabinet, etc. This is especially useful if your contexts can bleed over into other physical locations. At my last job, we could log in to our desk computer from any other computer on the network, so it would make sense to have an @Computer context for work that you might be able to get done while sitting in an empty conference room waiting for a meeting.

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      • #4
        I also spend my day at a computer. I like to separate what I really want to complete TODAY from what can happen any time this week. Often, the most important things to do require energy, and are best done fresh. In addition, a particular project may have more importance today than it will tomorrow, often because of some meeting where I will share information. If my meeting is at 3:00 this afternoon, the related project and next actions will have higher priority this morning than they will at 4:00 in the afternoon, when there are no longer any immediate advantages for doing it NOW.

        I use Outlook Tasks for my next actions. Items for today are prefaced with a period, which Outlook sorts to the top of the list.

        Fields I include in the next action include whether it is work or not, and what project it is.

        So, in my @computer context, I could have an item: ". work project_name do this". The reason I have the 'work' field is sometimes there are computer tasks that must be done during working hours on my computer, but are not work related -- I like to separate the two.

        So, I have basically created @computer subcategories:
        today or anytime this week
        work or other
        project

        These subcategories appear as the first three words of the next action, so are sorted and grouped appropriately by Outlook
        Regards,
        Rob

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        • #5
          I haven't done this myself yet, but I heard of someone who had an @braindead context! It makes a lot of sense.

          Do Mi

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          • #6
            Originally posted by toremor View Post
            Hi!

            Being a programmer I'm at my office almost all of the time, always online. I have one @office context from which I pick actions all day. I have had this setup for 3 years, but lately I have been wondering if I should test if it works splitting it in two. One @office og one @office-low, where the last one is for actions when I'm a bit tired, typically late.

            Anyone else have several @office contexts? Apart from @online, which in this web2.0/office2.0 world seems a bit outdated
            Maybe you can divide them on other basis than the level of energy.

            For example @office-coding, @office-bugs, @office-planning, @office-communicating etc.
            Don't know exactly what types of activities you do regularly.

            Comment


            • #7
              Warning: don't change what is working!

              A warning: If it is already working for you without much trouble, don't change it!

              Splitting contexts for a genuine reason such as Brent pointed out regarding being able to login to you computer remotely is definitely a good idea. But in most other cases the division may turn out to be artificial.

              YMMV, but this is my experience: I earlier had actions divided according to energy required, and also by time required (not simultaneously though). I found out that many times such a thing would happen: I thought I was in a low energy state (after lunch I was feeling sleepy since my 2-year son threw a tantrum the previous night), and I went through my low energy list and did not feel like I had the energy to do even any of those. For the sake of it I looked at my high energy list, and found that I had an involved calculation as an action on my list. I found myself attracted to that, and did that calculation then and there, for about half an hour, using a blackboard. As a result, apart from that completion, I also had my energy level lifted up!

              This has happened many times, and the above incidence was the final deciding one: I dropped all further classifications apart from context. After giving it a thought, I concluded that "energy" is not a single scale; you can't classify every action into a "high" or a "low" even if you include any intermediate levels as well. You look at an action, and know only at the time of choosing whether you are in a state to do it. The classification is only an extra trouble.

              I have realized that developing the habit of being comfortable with long action lists takes time, but once developed, there is nothing like it. I think you have already done it since you are doing it this way for three years!

              Again, what I said applies to me; YMMV.
              Regards,
              Abhay

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes Multiple Contexts, I Don't USe Energy Levels Thought

                Interesting thought about the energy levels.

                I don't have anything like that, but I do have something similar: I am not in the office at the same time as my coworker all the time, so I have separate contexts for different times @office-self and @office-others. I don't really keep agendas for people i see every day, I put those next actions in @office-others. I think that your energy levels idea is along the same lines

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DStaub11 View Post
                  I haven't done this myself yet, but I heard of someone who had an @braindead context! It makes a lot of sense.
                  Yah, that was me (blush).

                  I started out with two categories: Nice and Nasty. I actually found that I was burning through the Nasty ones quite fast, which surprised me, since they were all the projects that made me uncomfortable for some reason, or were things I didn't like doing (think tax, for example). I found that I had times when I felt quite brave, and would seize something off the Nasty list and do it - times when I didn't feel brave at all, I could choose Nice things. A neat way of handling some procrastination problems.

                  Then for a while I had @brain and @braindead, for things I needed to be sharp for, and things I, well, didn't. That worked pretty well too.

                  I do like the idea of using mental and energy contexts as well as physical contexts. After all, if it's the afternoon after a boozy lunch, I'd like to have a list of stuff that I can do without thinking, such as simple typing or data entry. And I like to be able to use my mornings for work that requires lots of brain, rather than trudging through the drudgery in the morning and trying to do the rocket science after a boozy lunch (when I can barely spell 'rocket science').

                  YMMV, but it works for me. Anything that makes the decisions easier, and makes me more likely to do productive work rather than faffing around, is good in my book.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by abhay View Post
                    A warning: If it is already working for you without much trouble, don't change it!

                    ...

                    I have realized that developing the habit of being comfortable with long action lists takes time, but once developed, there is nothing like it. I think you have already done it since you are doing it this way for three years!

                    Again, what I said applies to me; YMMV.
                    Regards,
                    Abhay
                    Thanks to everyone who responded to my post! What a great collection of good advices!

                    Abhay's advice made me realize what made me think about splitting @office, sometimes it is too long and takes too long to sift through. I will try to develop a habit of being comfortable with long lists. And I probably could be better at moving active projects into someday-maybe, some of them have been "active" too long now.

                    Thanks again to everybody!

                    Tore, http://twitter.com/toremor

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