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Contexts for home workers

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  • Contexts for home workers

    It's that time of year where I like to review how I'm getting on with my implementation, and see what improvements I can make. I've identified that I have some concern with the way I handle contexts. Professionally I do a huge amount of my work on the computer, online. I also work from home most of the time. This means that @computer tasks for work and not work tend to bleed into each other. Any other home workers with a similar experience?

    I'm currently rethinking along these lines:


    This would be usual home and family stuff such as "Take down xmas decorations"


    This would be any kind of outdoors thing such as "Make new compost heap"


    This would be any kind of computer-based home task such as "Research birthday present for Grandpa"


    This would account for most of my professional stuff such as "prepare training course for X"


    This would be non-computer work stuff that might require papers or just me to be thinking in a work context, such as "brainstorm project plan for Z"


    This tends to be my general out and about stuff, I also have @shopping


    Phone calls to make - fairly slim usage

    @agendas (alphabetised)

    Stuff to talk about with people when I get the chance.


    I find I sometimes have stuff to do that really just requires pen and paper and a brain - and as I travel quite a bit, it seems like a reasonable context.

    The main tweak is the idea of separating the computer context. Does this make sense to others? Any comments or experiences to share?


  • #2
    Main tweak is the idea of separating the computer context

    Yes this makes lots of sense to me and there are lots of similar debates and discussions on this topic. I haven't included links here but happy to if you don't come up with any.

    In a nutshell, for many of us @computer doesn't work any longer as many actions are just as actionable on our iPhones or iPads now too for example, often the gating factor might be if we have a connection to the internet over a device with us.

    I used to split computer with an online/offline context but like many others this isn't enough now and have gone even more granular as the vast percentage of my actions & projects involve technology in some shape or form.

    OnTheGrid now is my main context, which says I have a connected device which is then sub-divided by sub-contexts which work for me such as creating, consuming, communicating, capturing. It's obvious to me which device I need to have for each so don't make it any more involved just now. It's also obvious when I need a fast connection over 3G, or occasionally don't need one at all, so pick actions accordingly.

    As always though, what is reasonable is what works for you and makes you more productive but hope this may help a little.



    • #3
      Originally posted by LordCope View Post
      IThe main tweak is the idea of separating the computer context. Does this make sense to others? Any comments or experiences to share?
      Makes sense to me. Try them for a while and if they don't work change your contexts.

      I found it much more efficient to separate computer tasks by the software or machine I need to use not by what the task is for. At times I have had contexts of @Mac Excel or @google search or @scrivener. Within that context there would be things for my personal life and things for my work life. I am self employed and usually can choose contexts to work in as I work from home. So for me the biggest win in terms of efficiency is not skipping around to different packages or machines but just focusing on one and working through all the actions there. When I no longer needed that level of detail in contexts I deleted the extra ones and got back to just @computer and @computer internet

      Which brings me to my own re-do of contexts. I need to refine my 2 @computer contexts back to being by SW package, they are too long and I find myself jumping in and out a lot to get stuff done and I know that is not efficient.