I thought of something the other day.
Since we who enjoy living a life where structure plays an active part want things to be done as smoothly as possible, we are interested in ways to use every situation we are in optimally and as efficiently as possible.
I am not saying that we need to strain and force ourselves to use every moment to the max all the time, but since life tends to from time to time get hectic, we do not want to waste any time if we can help it.
On the matter of context
A familiar concept is to tag the tasks on the to-do-list by where we need to be to perform them, so in other words, sort them by context. The context is often denoted as ”@office”, ”@the car” and so on.
The purpose of categorizing the to-do-list by context is usually to segregate the tasks we are able to do where we happen to be at the moment, from those we cannot do right now and would hence prefer not to see in order not to get distracted by them.
But what occurred to me the other day was that if you use the concept of context properly, this way of sorting your tasks is in addition to its original purpose also a way to get more done; to become more efficient, in other words.
You see, the context doesn’t only answer the question “What can I do where I am at the moment?”, but also “What should I try to get done as well while I am here, before I leave?”.
Try doing this
Let’s say you are at your office and in front of the computer with your cell-phone next to you.
Then you will be able to choose tasks from the to-do-list from the contexts @office, @the computer and @the phone.
If you disregard all other possible ways of prioritizing, primarily choose to do the “@office”-tasks since the office is the most scarce resource out of the three.
Assuming you own and use a laptop, you will be able to do the “@the computer”-tasks elsewhere from where you are at this very moment. And your phone is probably equally portable, so the phone-calls you need to make will also be possible to call when you are not at the office.
Only the “@office”-tasks are the tasks you need to be where you are right now in order to do.
So, if you have several possible to-do-tasks you could choose to do next, choose the ones which require your present context to be completed.
And while you are at it, before you are about to leave the context where you are right now (for instance @office), take a moment to skim through that context on your to-do-list to determine if there are more tasks requiring the same context which you could do and be done with, since you are here now anyway.
Get more done and procrastinate less
If you make sure to pose both the question “What can I do where I am?” as well as “And what should I also do while I am here?” you will use the situation and you being in it, optimally.
You will not have to postpone as many tasks to when you are back in the same context the next time as if you hadn’t asked yourself these questions, since you make a conscious effort to make the most of the situation while you are in it.
What is your way?
How do you make sure to use every moment to the fullest without pushing it? Leave a comment below to share your tip.