Being Mindful with the Home Context

One of the most common contexts (or tags) used in task management apps is “Home” because there are certain things you can only do – or want to do – at that location.

But if you work from home, then using that word as a context can be problematic.

For one thing, it can be incredibly vague. It can encompass the entire home, which would include whatever room you use as an office. I don’t use the “Home” context very often at all, mainly for that reason. Instead, I’ll use particular rooms in the house where warranted (the kitchen, for example) and areas around the home (the yard, for example). I try to keep the word “home” out of the equation because I work from my home – I don’t want to muddy the waters.

I realize this may pose a problem when it comes to using geo-location. But considering I’m in my home for nearly every hour of the week, reminders of what to do at home (or when I get home) don’t really need to be set. The workaround for that would be to really look at the task associated with the context in this case. A task like “take out the garbage” is going to inform the context more than the context will inform the task.

There are other non-conventional contexts I use (like apps, energy levels, and others that I touched on during my OmniFocus Setup talk in January) and by limiting my use of a nondescript context like “Home” I’m in a better position to use ones that hold a deeper meaning.

If you spend most of your time at home, then you might want to consider keeping “Home” out of your contexts. It’ll help keep the work out of your home and the home out of your work at – which is exactly what you need to be more efficient and effective overall.