Context help, too much in my “computer” context

ivanjay205

Registered
I just started adopting FacileThings for GTD and am loving it. It keeps me in the system.

What I am quickly noticing for my work related items is that 80 percent of my work related next actions fall into #computer context. So the next actions list is pretty long. I can further filter by energy and time, but looking for recommendations on how I could further break down computer.

i could use subject type contexts but I dont really think that is the intent of the context. Any recommendations? Or is it really proper and maybe just time and energy is what I need to focus on?
 

Oogiem

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looking for recommendations on how I could further break down computer.
Break it into what application you need to do the task.

My @Computer List has morphed over the years into 12 separate next action lists corresponding to my 3 main computers, my 8 most common applications and 1 catch all Misc Computer.

I would see if you can separate out aactions by app first and then only subdivide more as necessary.
 

2097

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Yeah, seconded, if you can find common workflows such as apps that's great. Some of my tasks switch between a couple of apps but even then there's a "base app" that the work flows from.
If it's a lot that's in the same app maybe there are subsections of the app. For example the webbrowser maybe there are specific sites or sets of sites.
 

2097

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And pasting in here what I wrote in the other thread:
"Contexts really are about batching work. What work can you more easily do together? Because you're in the right app and in the right mindset. That's what you want to put in the same context."
 

OF user

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If your only problem is the Computer context, then I agree with Oogie. If you use too few or too many applications then try types of applications like Writing, Analyzing, Planning, Productivity, etc.
 

RobertWall

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Or is it really proper and maybe just time and energy is what I need to focus on?
I think it was David Allen who was talking about somebody he worked with that had a context of "brain dead". Basically there was a list of stuff that could be done when he didn't have the energy to do other stuff.

I'm currently working with the same issue on my @computer list. I have a lot of things to do, but some of them require pretty much zero thought. "Schedule doctor's appointment" - and yes, that's @computer because it's online - doesn't require a lot of thinking. But the next action for implementing a software feature isn't something I want to do when I'm tired. :)

So I've actually subdivided things quite a bit based on that sort of info - although my software lets me scan through the whole list as a nested outline, so I can move from subcontext to subcontext very quickly.
 

Stefan Godo

GTD Connect
We do more and more stuff online. Plenty of it can be done by phone, no computer needed. = we just watch life changing our idea and categories of “context”.
As said above, batching is the keyword.
For me specifically:
At comp subdivided:
Webshops
Research
Banking
Social networks

For a programmer working on diff projects it could be Coding project A, B, ...

Whatever happens regularly...
S
 

John Ismyname

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Ivanjay; This is a great question!
In the "dark ages" before GTD when computers used DOS, life was simpler. I simply had a todo list of priorities that i executed by sequence. I arranged the sequence of my tasks based on urgency, importance, estimated time to complete and program switching. Back then, it took a time-overhead to close Lotus 1-2-3 and then open WordPerfect.

Flash forward 30 years and I do the same thing for different reasons. My @_ computer is now @_laptop. I can take it anywhere and do as mt GTD platform runs on it. Internet accessibility as an @_context issue came and went. free WiFi is now everywhere and I can use data on my phone tethered to my laptop (, which I have to pay for but is still an option).

The time-overhead to switch between programs is now insignificant. However, it has been replaced the time of a security log-in to websites. There is the realization of the cognitive-overhead in switching applications.

Therefore, my take on my @_laptop list is to sequence it. This is not GTD as David Allen loathes such prioritized to-do lists. My experience is that this is simply the best way to deal with this.
 

Oogiem

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Internet accessibility as an @_context issue came and went. free WiFi is now everywhere and I can use data on my phone tethered to my laptop
I would say not everywhere. That's a very specific feature that depends typically on urban infrastructure. I don't even have cell phone access everywhere, huge swatches of the US are without any cell phone service. In our local town, there are a few free wifi places but it's certainly not everywhere. FWIW I'm in a rural area with extremely good internet, we have fiber optic cable to the house and symmetrical 100MB internet service for $50/mo and can get 1GB service for only $80/mo if we need it. But if I have to go to the store for dog food I will go through multiple cell phone holes where there is no connectivity at all.
 

John Ismyname

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I would say not everywhere. That's a very specific feature that depends typically on urban infrastructure.
Let's say becoming increasingly common. If I recall correctly, in the first edition of GTD, David Allen mentioned he had a separate context of @_internet because he did a lot of air travel and the internet was not available on airliners then. When I first got into GTD in the early 2000s, this was a @_context or me as well.
My point is that, for me, the internet went from being irrelevant, to being a @_context, to becoming so common I take it for granted/
 

mcogilvie

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Ivanjay; This is a great question!
Therefore, my take on my @_laptop list is to sequence it. This is not GTD as David Allen loathes such prioritized to-do lists. My experience is that this is simply the best way to deal with this.
I don’t think David Allen “loathes” much- his experience is too deep and varied, for one thing. I think he is correct that for many people, priorities shift too fast for sequencing to be useful. In the absence of other constraints, I snack on my lists, making tactical decisions throughout the day.

Re the ubiquitous laptop theory: I see many grad students and postdocs who are always on their laptops. This means they are not fully present in meetings, classes, seminars and conferences and miss a lot. Of course, I see a lot of undergrads who are always checking their phones too. These behaviors do not appear to be career-enhancing, and probably not good for personal lives either. Your mileage may vary, of course.
 

ivanjay205

Registered
Sorry for my slow response but I did enjoy just reading through all of the posts here. Super helpful! I travel frequently on business so as some alluded to my laptop, phone, and iPad are with me everywhere and I can do almost everything on either the ipad or Computer,. I dont like doing productivity stuff on my iPhone. With that being said, I too essentially have the internet everywhere through WiFi flight WiFi and my phone as a hot spot.

I think keeping it general in computer might be the way to go and just try to narrow down focus via Area of Focus to separate what area of work i want to perform and see everything within that scope. I think that might be the best anyway!

Anyone else do that?
 

ivanjay205

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So just to provide an update I actually gave this a lot of thought and better defined by area of focus. In lieu of just work I broke it down into about 7 core responsibilities. This has helped tremendously!
 

Longstreet

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Yes, I still have an @computer list and yes, it does get large. But I do this as well -- go up quickly to my Areas of Responsibility/Focus to help narrow choices down. For me, it works very well.
 

OF user

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It is not that David Allen dislikes or think priorities are unimportant. Yes, in some jobs priorities shift a lot, in others not so much. But the real issue is having clear space or mind like water. As David says, whether it is buy cat food or fix life, it can still wake you up at 3am, and later get in the way of being perfectly engaged with the moment at hand.
 

ivanjay205

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It is not that David Allen dislikes or think priorities are unimportant. Yes, in some jobs priorities shift a lot, in others not so much. But the real issue is having clear space or mind like water. As David says, whether it is buy cat food or fix life, it can still wake you up at 3am, and later get in the way of being perfectly engaged with the moment at hand.
Yes that is what I am trying to be mindful of. I also think it is mentally fatiguing to consistently transition from type of work. So what I am doing now is going through my AOR in a priority standpoint. I first go through my next actions to sort through anything I want to do in Client Management, after that Team Growth, etc. this way I am ensuring I hit the most direct impactful next actions to my job role consistently.
 

Kelly_Adam

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I filter my @ computer list sometimes using due dates. I'll also do the more important, complex work in the morning over coffee and more brain-dead reading / research / data entry in the afternoons.
 
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