Sunday, November 27, 2011

Why I Use One Main GTD Context

In today's world, it's easy to be connected to your work. While both a problem and an advantage, it does create problems trying to figure out what context to put your GTD next actions in. If you are just starting out, I strongly suggest that you go with the contexts for your next actions that David Allen recommends in his book.

Once you have some time to see how you use the lists he recommends, I would then take a good look at what contexts that you actually use. I have modified mine to fit my situation which is that I am pretty much in any context I want to be at any given time. It's not necessary for me to divide time between an office and home for example, because I have made myself so portable that I can basically do what I need to do from anywhere in the world.

In my situation, I preferred to have an @action list combined with a folder. I use this for all actionable items. It is combined of a list of items as well as a folder for physical items.

In addition to this context, my other main context is my @calls list.

These two contexts handle the bulk of my next actions.

I was able to streamline my next actions based on how I work and what I have to do. What you will need to do is look at your workflow and decide first if the contexts Allen provides work for you. Next, you'll need to decide if you need to add any additional contexts. Finally, you'll need to prune contexts that don't fit what you do.

The right number of contexts is as few as possible. Don't over complicate it. Keep it as simple as you can. There's a tendency to tweak and fine tune your GTD system too much. Don't fall into that trap.

And until you have mastered all the phases of GTD workflow, go with the system as outlined in Allen's book. Until then, focus on the mechanics of the system.

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Michael Kuhn

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