Mondays are productivity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
On June 27, 2009, Mark Forster release Autofocus 2 (see Autofocus 2 Time Management System (AF2) for complete instructions). One of my major problems with Autofocus (the original) was that I was constantly losing tasks that needed to be done either that day, or sooner than the older tasks. To solve this, I started making a daily list (see “Adding A Daily List to Autofocus v.1“).
Autofocus 2 seems to conquer these things. By working from the bottom of the list, you end up dealing with things much quicker. Also, by putting items “on notice” for dismissal, you can really evaluate if they need to be done at all, or not.
During my dabbling with the daily list, I would write out things that needed to be done that day. If I had any time or energy left over, I could then move to my AF list. Unfortunately, I was not pushing myself to actually do things on the AF list. “Review will” has been on my autofocus list for weeks now. Under AF2, I am going to have to do something about it within approximately 3 days of it hitting the list, or it’s going to be dismissed.
When I started working with AF2, I started with a clean list. (I still have the old list available electronically). The only things that went on the list were things that would have gone on my daily list. The first day I completed almost everything. The next day, I was spurred on to finish those things from the first day, otherwise they would be dismissed.
I noticed that my daily tasks consisted of two types of things: things that had to be done that day or not at all, or things that could slide a bit. My solution was to pull the only-today items onto a sticky note that sits on my AF2 list. These are what David Allen would refer to as “hard landscape” items. The rest of the list gets processed as instructed.
I’m pleased with the modifications to the AF system, and I think hard before adding items to the list; I am also less likely to let things slide if they don’t “stand out”, knowing that they could be dismissed. I will continue to use the system as Mark has given it out because I think it will prove to be what I need to stay focused and productive.
Photo by Lincolnian (Brian)