Originally Posted by Ken Case
Thank you! That's a very good point, and I think I have a better understanding of the problem you're trying to solve now.
Contexts are one of the tools you can use to break your task list into smaller, more manageable groups, but I also use several other tools in OmniFocus to answer the question of "What should I do next?"
First, of course, I check is my "Due" perspective, which shows me which actions have some sort of time pressure. (That's Context mode, grouped and sorted by due date, showing actions which are due soon.) After all, if something is due today, I need to go do it even if it involves a trip to the bank that I normally wouldn't make.
Now that those are out of the way, I look at my "Flagged" perspective: these are the things that I've previously identified that I'd like to do sooner rather than later. (That's Context Mode, grouped by context, sorted by project, showing only available, flagged actions.) I try to be sparing with my use of flags, so for me there are only eight available flagged actions at the moment. If you have hundreds of flagged actions, though, you'll probably want to continue to break it down as described below.
With time-critical and flagged actions out of the way, anything that's currently available to me is equally important to do, I just need to do it efficiently. So I look at my "Available" perspective (Context Mode, grouped by context, sorted by project, showing available actions), and now I see 284 actions. Ouch, yes, I feel your pain.
Well, let's select just the largest of those contexts, Mac:Internet, so I can work on a bunch of things without shifting context. That narrows it down to 159 actions, but that's still a bit of a jumble, so let's organize them into projects by changing the context mode grouping to "Group by project". That way related actions are together, which lets me work more efficiently and hopefully makes it more likely that I can get an entire project off my plate.
OK, so now my actions are grouped into just 24 projects, and each of those projects has 1-14 actions available in this context. I'll pick one of these projects and focus on it (by right- or control-clicking and selecting "Focus"). I now have a nice, small, manageable list of related actions that I can do in my current context. Once I finish those, I might want to expand my context focus to try to finish the project completely, or I might expand my project focus to give me more tasks in my current context. Either approach is reasonable, and either way I can focus back down into another small list of related actions using the above technique.
Does that help?