Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Over the past few months, I have been working with Autofocus (see Why I Went Back To Basic Autofocus). It’s a great system for me, because it allows me to escape the overwhelm of other systems, while at the same time allowing me to have everything in front of me so I can’t overlook it.
I found that I was skipping over things that needed to be done every day: Mark Forster recommends keeping such tasks in a tickler system, but I find that if my autofocus list is on paper, and my tickler is in my PDA, one place is going to get overlooked.
My most recent modification to the original Autofocus was to create a list of things that need to be done today and place it on the cover of my Autofocus notebook.
I put on the date, the three things I want to make sure I work on (in Zen To Done’s terms, my Most Important Tasks), then list the other things I need to accomplish today. These tasks are such that they are daily and recurring. They are not earth-shaking, so if they don’t get done today, they can be dismissed (with a mental note to make sure to do them next time!) or rolled over to tomorrow. As you can see from the picture, tasks include checking of plants, a laundry reminder and making lunches.
Once I have completed the tasks on the daily list, I move on to my full Autofocus list. (I also work on my Autofocus list if I have time and I can’t do anything on my daily list, such as slow times at work.)
What the Daily List Buys Me
The daily list is getting me two things: things I need to do regularly, or are time-sensitive, or that I deem more important than the average task, get put on this list. They no longer get buried in the less significant or time-insensitive tasks that live on my Autofocus list.
Disadvantages of the Daily List
While I have been making more progress on my Most Important Tasks, I am rarely actually getting to my backlog as listed in my Autofocus list. So I was actually getting very little done.
Another Solution: AF2
After struggling with the Daily List/AF balance, I was pleased when Mark Forster announced on June 27 the version 2 of Autofocus (see Autofocus 2 Time Management System (AF2)). I have adopted it, but at this date it is too early to have a good feel for long term consequences. More on this in the future.