Remapping My Contexts

Yesterday I saw this image from Ben Elijah on Twitter and was very intrigued.

Ben is the proprietor of Ink and Ben as well as the author of The Productivity Habits. His tweet got me digging around his site until I found the Context Triangle that he mentioned:

I was particularly interested in two things: how Ben has framed the “psychological” contexts popularized by Sven Fechner and how he has combined them with more traditional contexts. I’m not sure what “secure” and “public” mean, but I assume that’s in the book or an upcoming blog post.

I’ve used Sven’s psychological contexts for about a year or so now and they work, but where they need some tweaking is the concept of energy. I’m still on a maker schedule, with only the occasional day full of meetings. If time is an issue for a task, I should write my task better or use OmniFocus’s time estimates.

So I’ve decided to switch from this:

  • Full Focus
  • Short Dashes
  • Hanging Around
  • Brain Dead
  • Calls
  • Errands (with location-based contexts)
  • Agendas (with people-based contexts)
  • Waiting For (with people-based contexts)

To this:

  • Open — Deep
  • Open — Shallow
  • Closed — Deep
  • Closed — Shallow
  • Fixed (with location-based and people-based contexts)
  • Floating (with search-based and tool-based contexts)
  • Waiting For (with people-based contexts)

My hope is that I can sit down and ask two questions for most tasks: Am I feeling creative or not? and Do I have sufficient energy or not? Time is simply not as big a factor for me at the moment, and if it becomes one then I can adjust.