If you have played with the new OmniFocus2 for iPhone, I am sure you have found some stuff that works great, and some that you may or may not be convinced yet. If you use a lot of multilayered contexts, or even folder and subprojects you can find yourself deep into in OmniFocus and to return to the HomeScreen you are required to click many times… Unless you use this little trick.
When you are on any screen if instead of click on the back arrow to get to the previous screen you simply click and hold the click you will end up automatically in the HomeScreen.
Simple, and somehow magical.
Perspectives are one of those things in OmniFocus that are really powerful if you know how to use them. I have been using them extensively for years and love them when I need to change Focus, because they can help me to re-focus or clarify the next set of actions in one movement.
Let me explain. We all change our focus, our location, our contexts if you will. The problem is how fast can you re-focus when you do this. In my experience it is in these changes that people waste a lot of time, we get distracted, we found little time suckers, and we think: “since we are going to do that, let me quickly do this…”
Many people can keep working trough their list for the simple reason that they follow step one, two, tree, and so on… but when they change activities, that trail is lost, and in many cases the productivity and more is too.
My day is full of interrumptions, between kids at home, calls for work, work per se, and other responsibilities… I start my day early, between 4:00 to 4:30AM because I have learn that the most important thing I have is the ability to focus on the next thing. If I miss those opportunities in wich I can concentrate and focus, in many cases I don’t find another one until the next day. Because of that I have come with some perspectives in OmniFocus that I open and check just before I am going to change activities.
We all have a lot of contexts, more than enough but in a way we need even more so we kept our lists in manegeable sizes. I have joke that I can really have 2 lists, @iPad and @iPhone. The problem will be identify what it is important if I do that. It is for that reason that I have plenty (and also because OmniFocus can remind me of certain context by location). The problem is we need more contexts to keep the size of our list manegeable, and at the same time we need a better way to access the important things on those lists, and give us crumbles to follow between activities so we don’t waste the time in general we don’t have.
For example, I have one for the Morning, that it is the first look at what I have for that quiet time before 7am when the kids begin to need my attention. This perspective show me a set of Contexts, that contain for things I need to rememeber, my affirmations, my goals and have also some things that I need to try to accomplish before the kids wake up at 7. This perspective make sure that I don’t waste time in my system on those two and a half or three hours that I have in the morning of quiet and focus time.
I have also one for every time I am going to leave the house, this perspective not only allow me to see my errands but things that I want to do (or take with me) before I leave home. Nothing worst that check errands on the go and discover that you forgot something because didn’t check the “before leave home list”.
I have more perspectives like this, like arriving home, the night routine, and more.
These perspective are really important to me because it is by the use of these that I can make sure that I can make the transitions with a minimum waste of time.
How do you handle transitions?