Everyone who has tried to figure out how to organize tasks efficiently has ever created a to-do list on the day.
Who never took pen and paper to list all the tasks they would like to do that day and then scratch them one by one as the activities were performed?
This is a relatively efficient technique for task management. But it has a problem: the frustration of when the day is over (or the energy) and there are still tasks on the list.
So let’s learn a different context-based task technique today, for those who want to know how to organize tasks without having to appeal to the to-do list of the day. We will see in detail:
- Why use contexts to organize your tasks
- What is contextual organization of tasks
- How to organize tasks by context with the help of technology
- What changes in the life of those who know how to organize tasks by context
Our analysis will start with the importance of using context in task organization.
Why use contexts to organize your tasks
In the traditional way of organizing tasks by date, you list a number of things you would like to accomplish on the day and begin performing the activities one by one.
Some follow the order in the list, others prefer to choose one of the tasks to get started, and others just don’t know where to start.
At the end of the day, if you were in a very productive mode, the task list ends and the next day you create a new one.
However, the most common is that the day is over and you cannot complete the entire list of tasks you had to do.
It may have been a shortage of time, it may be that your motivation has run out, or it may simply be that you did not have the resources, locations, or even people to perform a task.
When this happens, you clearly see the advantage of knowing how to organize tasks by context.
In contextual organization, you don’t make a to-do list for the day. Instead, it makes a to-do list depending on the context in which you find yourself.
For example, you create a list of just the tasks you can do when you’re at home. Or at work. Or in college .
Create a to-do list that you can do when you have a lot of time available. Or a short time.
Create a list of tasks that you can do with someone. Or a certain group of people.
What is contextual organization of tasks
Contextual task organization was created by David Allen in the classic productivity book Getting Things Done .
The logic is that to know how to organize tasks you must have a to-do list for each situation you are in.
For example, if you are on the phone and have a certain amount of time available, you should have a list of just the tasks you can do on the phone for that amount of time.
Contexts can refer to places, time, people and even their availability of energy or motivation.
This is a different way of approaching task management and can prove to be much more productive for some people. For example, when you are at home, you can filter information so you don’t see what office tasks are. And when you’re at the office, it’s no use knowing which products to buy at the supermarket. The advantage of filtering by context is that you gain more relevance from the information.
Here, instead of listing what you want to do on the day, you are queuing up within specific projects. But always mark these tasks with the contexts in which they can be performed.
So when you find yourself in a certain context, just check which tasks you can perform at that time and start performing those activities.
For contexts to work well, you should ideally use a task manager that supports this type of functionality.
How to organize tasks by context with the help of technology
Using pen and paper to mark the contexts of your to-do list is not very productive. Each time you are in a particular context, you would have to read all the tasks on paper to identify which activities could be performed in that context.
This situation changes when you are using a task management application that somehow supports the use of contexts.
For example, suppose you have all your tasks recorded in such an application. All marked with the proper contexts.
Now imagine that you are in a mall. Opening the task manager on your mobile phone, simply click on the “shopping” filter to list all the tasks you can perform there.
And the best. You can combine two or more contexts in a combined way to look at an even more refined task list.
For example, let’s say you’re at work and you’ve just been visited by a colleague named Alice.
You can open your task manager and have it filter tasks that contain the “work” and “Alice” contexts. This will allow you to quickly see the demands you can solve with Alice at work.
Some of these apps even have built-in GPS alarms on your smartphone to remind you exactly what to do once you get there.
What changes in the life of those who know how to organize tasks by context
If you live the daily routine of having to create a to-do list and choose what activities to do, then maybe it’s time to try a new way to manage your tasks.
Perhaps it is time to create serious life planning and include in a good task manager all your life goals , breaking them into small tasks marked with the right contexts.
By doing so, you will quickly know how to organize tasks in a much more productive manner.
You will come to a place and, with a few clicks, know exactly what you have to do. And you can still refine this to-do list by matching the place with the time you have available or the people around you.
This is a technique that brings a lot of productivity to your daily life, getting you closer to your goals much faster and more efficiently.
Ideally, it should be applied alongside serious life planning that covers every area of your life and contains the actions necessary to make you who you really want to be.