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02 May

Do it before you leave

Datum: 2012-05-02 12:00

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.