Hi Fernando, thanks for the suggestion. We’ll consider this in the future.1 year ago keithcParticipant
Can I suggest that instead of “location”, David Allen’s “Context” is better. Context could be place, but could also be related to the type of activity. For example, if I have a task to write an email to a customer, I could have the context “@Email” (Allen uses the “@” symbol), and also the context “@Office”, because I could batch up similar tasks into the @Email context, or I might (generally) write emails in the office, so I can batch this task with other office-based tasks.
There’s a bit more to it than than, a good place to start is https://gettingthingsdone.com/2017/02/getting-started-with-context-lists/, but a web search will turn up dozens of resources.
In a sense, contexts are like Time Maps, except that they are dynamic. So it would be handy to have scheduling take them into account – maybe by ordering tasks within a time period to take into account contexts and, for example, place all @Email tasks in a batch, taking advantage of the fact that changing context is in itself disruptive as it often requires a different mental focus.
- This reply was modified 1 year ago by keithc.
Thanks, @keithc. Just to add to your notes on GTD, here are my general thoughts.
Basically, GTD suggests a four-criteria model for choosing your next action: Context, Time Available, Energy Available, and Priority. I can see three opportunities to improve this model:
- Having a working game plan as a reference point is critical. Choosing your next action without any predefined plan of action jeopardizes how you end up your day. It’s true that contexts, energy, and priorities change but that it’s still important to have a plan. Plans may be worthless but planning is everything.
- For a lot of knowledge workers, the physical environment (having access to a computer, or phone, etc) are no longer an issue like it was 20 years ago. At least for those who spend most of their time at their desk, the physical context doesn’t change much. However, it’s essential to theme your days instead.
- The available energy has been one of the key excuses for procrastination. Many mentors insist that you should do your work at the scheduled time especially when you don’t feel like it. Stephen King once said: ” Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
The cases like @Fernando’s wanting to see his shopping list at the mall are still very much valid. But, that should be for exceptional cases.1 year ago keithcParticipant
That’s a great analysis, Seth. Your first point is one of the reasons I moved away from GTD.
As far as possible, I do try to theme my days, I don’t have quite enough flexibility to be able to do that in advance, but if, for example, I know I have meetings on a topic, I’ll try to do other related work on the same day.
Contexts are, I believe, still useful for things like running errands – if I have an @Errands context, I can look at all my tasks with that context and see if they can be done in the same run. Or things like @Phone to group making phone calls together. It often seems more natural to make a batch of calls rather than make them when they would be by pure theming.
I guess the point is really, each to his own, and SkedPal will never be all things to all people, no program like this can be.
Just a quick note that theming doesn’t have to be too granular. For example, having a theme just for making phone calls is an overkill. But, if you theme your days based on deep work vs admin chores, as an example, it makes more sense. Then, when you’re in the ‘admin’ zone, it makes sense to filter by @phones, or @errands, etc.12 months ago FrancisParticipant
Also, SkedPal allows you to add a searchable tag which can be a GTD-style context.
However, that’s different from SkedPal using these tags/contexts in its determination of what task to suggest you do next. That would require a different philosophy altogether, before it is hard-wired into code.
In general, the theory behind task creation I use is that when a task is created by an individual, it always has a number of subconscious attributes. The decision to systematically bring a type of tag out of the background to the foreground should be taken after some thought. I mention this in my book Perfect Time-Based Productivity and also in a new speech I just gave on the science behind GTD – https://youtu.be/lOXDIGMacnc
Given the high overhead required to tag all your tasks, the primary of using them is to be able to manage a scarce resource. In the case of SkedPal, the scarce resource is time.
In other words, SkedPal isn’t built to optimize the convenience of being able to choose all the task you can perform in a given physical location. (Arguably, none of them I have seen is really built for that clear purpose.)
That’s why I say that adding this tag to SkedPal alongside temporal tags would require a rethink of SkedPal’s purpose. Maybe there should be a ContextPal or SpacePal software for that purpose.
For more on this line of thinking check out my article – The Evergreen Guide to Choosing Your Next Task Management App.
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