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Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist
abmann
abmann
Why they pay me the big bucks....
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aetrix9 From: aetrix9 Date: February 16th, 2007 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

GTD! ATW!

One of the things that David Allen proposes in Getting Things Done is that many of your things (he calls them next-actions or NAs) require some type of context in order to get the thing done. Identifying this context and classifying NAs according to context will help you get stuff done.

What's a context? It's something like "work computer" or "phone" or "meditative trance" or "Jello Brain" or a simple "home" and "work" dichotomy. But really, what it means is that the thing you need to do requires some specific thing to get it done. i.e. "Call mom to ask for Dad's new address at work." requires a phone, "Email boss to ask for Monday off work" requires email access and "Revise Budget Spreadsheet with new 2007 rates" requires a computer and the original spreadsheet file and "wash black load of laundry" requires you to be at home or at the laundromat. So think of your major contexts where the majority of your things get done and arrange the things into those contexts. (I suggest the Jello Brain context which is where I put all of my mindless drivel that doesn't require mental effort.)

How this helps, is that you can pretty clearly identify your context and isolate your NAs accordingly... i.e. I'm currently at my computer at work and my databases are down for maintenance and I left my cell phone at home. I can work on "work" stuff or "computer" stuff but not "databases" stuff or "home" stuff or "phone" stuff.

So right now I'm only looking at my "work" list and my "computer" list. I have 13 NAs instead of 268 NAs. Very helpfull.

Another context that I find helpful is the "waiting" context. There I can put stuff like, "RSVP IRB Re: Protocol amendment." or "email from Quinlanroad.com with Loreena McKennitt tour dates for US." It's where I'm waiting on someone else in order to do something.

In general - David Allen. Getting Things Done. Amazing. Changed my life. Give it a read.
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