Friday, June 06, 2008

My Changing Contexts

I mentioned a while back that I was reconsidering my contexts. I’ve done that - after a few days away on a work retreat. My old contexts were these:

LGBT Activism

In each of my contexts, I have one year, three year, five year, and ten year goals. I review them each year and I build all of my daily activities around these different contexts. Now, as I am looking at the next four years as a graduate student, with the ultimate goal of changing my professional life, I’ve realized that I need to update and change my contexts. So here are my new eight contexts:

Creative Work
Scholarly Work
Work for Hire

As you can see, I’ve left the first three the same. The experience context is where I put activities that I like to do (travel, visiting museums, seeing plays) that fuel both my growth as a human being but also my enjoyment of life. This is also a generative space for my writing - poetry, creative, and scholarly. I split my professional/writing contexts into four contexts that I can consider and monitor separately. Poetry is one in and of itself because I am a poet and it is an area that needs devoted time and attention. I have some concrete short and long-term goals in that area and so a focused way to think about them is important. I also want to keep a context of creative work. This is both creative non-fiction work, reviewing work, and also things like embroidery, sewing, and other creative endeavors. Scholarly work will be things associated with my PhD program. I combined Relationships and Spirituality. This may just be for the next few years while in graduate school. We shall see. I actually really like having them separate, but didn’t want to exceed eight contexts. The final one is the work that I do for money.

Next I’ll be updating these in my calendar and on my master planning documents. We’ll see how they work. The goal of the contexts is to have a way to build great attention, mindfulness, and productivity in the various areas of my life. I’ll check in later on how it is going.

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