OmniFocus and Energy

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Omnifocus Needs An Energy Field

For me, the one thing missing from OmniFocus (as of 2013-01) is an energy field. You can give a task a start/end date, a context, a project, a time estimate and set it to be repeating, but you can’t set an energy level for it. One for the criteria David Allen suggests that you base priority of tasks on is energy. You can’t do something if you don’t have the tools for it. You can’t do something if you don’t have the time for it. And you can’t do something if you don’t have the energy for it. Don’t get all “You have to push yourself!” on me. Sometimes, you just don’t have the energy to do certain things. Writing a blog post is not really a low energy task. You have to be in the mood for it, or at the very least, be “up” for the task. On the other hand, things on my daily checklist includes flossing, taking a multivitamin and logging cash transactions in Koku. Those things aren’t mentally or physically taxing. Writing a blog post might be sometimes. Running a couple miles is. Those things are “high energy”.

Faking An Energy Field With Omnifocus 1.9

When OmniFocus 2.0 gets unveiled this month, it might have an energy field, but until then (and possibly even after), you can fake energy fields by adding “High Energy” and “Low Energy” as sub-contexts. I have contexts for “House” and “Mac” and each of those have high and low energy sub-contexts. Luckily, if you sort those tasks in OmniFocus, all of the “High Energy” tasks get lumped together, so it’s easy to quickly see which ones are high energy-only. Of course, you can also create perspectives based on these, and I do have a “Low Energy” perspective that I switch to when I’ve got time but I don’t have much energy to get stuff accomplished. Perspectives don’t update automatically, so if you create more energy sub-contexts later, be sure to update your energy perspectives accordingly.