The initial idea of context was coined it referred to a specific location where a task could be completed or a tool necessary to do it. More popular context were @office, @phone, @computer @home etcNowadays the ubiquity of internet access and portability of devices makes location and tool dependency obsolete as we can work almost anywhere with all tools available at hand.
Yet contexts are still useful way of categorizing tasks. What we need to change is the categories of contexts used.
There are two solid ideas on the topic that I would like to share. First one a post by Sven Fechner explores the task classification from the perspective of necessary brain power. So you can setup tasks in to buckets like @braindead or @thinking etc.
The reason it approach comes handy is that you’ve already decided how taxing the activity will be. Now all you need to do is check how you feel and then select the appropriate context to work form.
Second approach from Matthew Cornell, looks at the contexts from a bit different angle . It’s more about creating balance of things that have your attention.
The idea is based on the traditional matrix of urgency vs importance but this time you can start with defining tasks into different classes like dull, boring, fun, long, hard etc. Simply draw simple horizontal and vertical axis and then put selected categories. Now take your task list and see where your tasks fit against selected contexts.
As result you will be able to see what area, context takes the most of your time and attention. Then you can decide whether your happy with it or should you re-balance.