Getting things done at home – Organising and doing

May 26, 2008

in Productivity

So far in the Getting things done at home series I have written about , and my successes over the weekend in . Now I’ll describe how I organise my things to do, so I can find them.

The GTD system is organised using a number of contexts. That is, next actions are grouped by where they can be done, or what resources are needed to do them. My contexts are:

  • Errands – these are the things I do when I am down the street. If I need to post a letter, it goes into the Errands folder. If I need to pay the newsagent, it goes into the errands folder. If I need to drop off the daycare fundraising money, it goes in the errands folder. And so on. I actually have two errands contexts. One for the town I live in and one for the larger nearby town. Some things, like visiting Medicare for example, I can only do in the larger town so it makes sense for me to have two.
  • Home – all the things to do at home. This includes things like housework or gardening.
  • Computer – this includes my blogging to do’s, online bills, music and emails.
  • Phone – it makes sense to have a seperate phone context because you can generally do things on the phone either at home or when you’re out but waiting around. While you’re waiting for your kids to finish their sport or held up in traffic you could make a couple of calls – a great use of precious time.
  • Kinder – these are my committee duties.

What contexts you decide on (if any) will depend on how you like to work and what sort of things you tend to do. Perhaps if you are more productive at a certain time of the day, or have a quiet time when the kids are otherwise occupied you could have a context (or folder) for that time of day.

Whenever I know when I’m going down the street I can check my Errands folder and make sure you get everything done there in one go. Instead of wasting time surfing on the web, I can use my time more productively by going through my Computer folder and those things done.

Organising actions into contexts is a natty tool for making the best use resources you have at any given time and preventing things from falling through the cracks. Do you use contexts (or something similar by another name) to help you get organised?

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