TesTeq said:As far as I know people feel comfortable with lists of 7 items plus/minus 2 (5 to 9 items).
There are gazillions of studies confirming Miller's short-term memory limitation of 7 +/- 2 items, but yes, they are distinct items (not necessarily unrelated). "Chunking" is one way we increase our capacity to use information, by grouping related items into a single higher-order one. This is why hierarchical organization is so powerful. If you give someone a list already grouped, they will remember many more items than if the list were ungrouped and unsorted.Brent said:You know, I've heard this for years, but I don't think I've ever seen evidence of it.
I've seen evidence that people can keep no more than 7 (+/- 2) unrelated pieces of data in their mind at once, but that's it.
Brent said:Where are they? I'm not trying to challenge you; I'd genuinely like to read them.
I agree totally with you but some people do not feel comfortable enough with the idea of contexts to make a disciplined approach to the incremental context definition process.ritz said:Rather than starting with the standard GTD contexts in my list, I started with no contexts, and added each context as required to file my NA's.
I don't think @WaitingFor is a real context. What resources are available in this context? Besides it interferes with other contexts (some follow-ups can be done in the @Call context only, some in the @Computer context, and some in one of the @Agenda contexts). So treating @WaitingFor as a context is misleading somehow (it is rather another class of the project's "bookmark").ritz said:I'm careful only to create true contexts - i.e. groups that imply that the basic resources are available to perform the next actions contained within. I avoid creating other types of lists in order to subdivide next actions because in my experience, that results in overlap and having to hunt for NA's. For me, there is no @Waiting context, because when I have an NA that is waiting for an outside requirement to be met, I file it in the context in which it will eventually be performed, and annotate it with the requirement it is waiting for.
As I understand it, "Waiting For" is a list on the same level as "Projects" and "Someday/Maybe." Depending on your implementation, I think a lot of us are treating the list as a category. (After all, I think I've seen reference to @Projects and @Someday, and I don't think anyone's confusing those for contexts!) The edges may be getting blurred because things we're "Waiting for" tend to revert to actionable items.TesTeq said:I don't think @WaitingFor is a real context. What resources are available in this context?
Trouble is, "Check if John prepared report" isn't an NA until you've Waited a reasonable amount of time for him to do it. You need some other kind of trigger in the future, perhaps in the Tickler, perhaps in a Daily Review, to find out if you need to take action make sure John does turn in the report on time. At which point, the NA could be anything from "Ask John if he needs help" to "Read/Review John's Report".TesTeq said:...isn't it simpler to define the NextAction "Check if John prepared report" in your @Ofiice context instead of putting "John prepared report" in the artificial @WaitingFor context?