When I first read “Getting Things Done,” (“GTD“) I loved it. There were a handful of points that changed my life and the way I manage my time and one of them was contexts. The idea that our tasks occur in a physical setting or context, and that by segregating your to-do list into GTD contexts, you’ll have a ready-made list of tasks that are relevant to the context you are in. This idea helped me tremendously – when I was planning to go out and do errands, I had an errand list. If I was doing messy home repair, I had a home improvement list. If I was at my desk, I had an admin list.
It worked great for a while, but as is almost inevitable my life changed over time. My system no longer worked and I felt more scattered and stressed than I needed to be. When I looked at the problem, I realized that as someone who is self-employed and works from home, contexts aren’t all that important. Most of what I do both personally and professionally occurs at home in casual clothes. I do tag a few to-do items that I need to go out for or have some other noteworthy characteristic in their context, but for the most part, context is not very relevant to me. What is more relevant is blocking my time out for work and personal time, so that’s what I now do.
So the question is, how much do solopreneurs who work from home need GTD contexts? Do you use them or something similar? Is it a useful concept for you life right now? Why or why not?