Major contexts let you balance your life by deciding how much time you will spend on tasks in each life area. They are used in your strategic calendar, and they are always assigned to tasks too as you process.

To count as a major life area (major context), a context must be:

How Many Life Areas?

You normally need between three and eight major contexts in your life. Five is typical. (Personal) should be one of them, and (Work) is usually one. If you work for two companies, use the names of the two companies as major contexts instead of just one (Work) context.

  • Important to you,
  • Something that consumes your time,
  • Something that competes with other areas, so it needs balancing, and
  • An area in which you schedule or track tasks or appointments.

For example: Sleep time is not a major context (you don’t schedule tasks into it). Exercise time is not usually a major context because you rarely schedule tasks into it; you follow a routine or keep appointments instead. Personal time is a major context because you need to budget it and you’ll keep a list of things to do with it (watch a certain movie or read that book).

When you need to see a list of options in a life area, just look at that life area’s context view. Urgent and important items appear at the top of the list; optional items appear at the bottom.