Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Back in November, Mark Forster announced the “Super Autofocus”. The modifications were meant to sit on top of the standard Autofocus. The modifications took care of what I thought was the weak point of the system: working on urgent tasks.
In the “regular” Autofocus, you list your backlog of tasks out, then you draw a line. If you think of anything new, it goes after the line, into the “current” task location. You then proceed to work through the backlog (before the line), working through pages until things could be dismissed.
So if you thought of something that needed to be done now, it wouldn’t get worked on until you got to that page. And once you were done working on something in your backlog, even if it wasn’t complete, it would get added to the end of the list, only to be worked on when you got there.
Why not go work on that page if it was nagging at you? Because the rules of Autofocus say that if you pass through a page without doing anything on it, everything on that page was deleted (“dismissed”). As a result, I wouldn’t get to the pages, knowing I had to work on what was in front of me, or it would go away.
So while Autofocus is great for clearing out a large list of tasks, it made things that were urgent wait until you got to the page it was on.
Enter Super Autofocus
Mark Forster modified his own system by adding to it, calling the new Super Autofocus. (Rules can be found at http://www.markforster.net/forum/post/1303467).
The difference is that for each page of tasks, you can have a second column, and choose to add either to the end of the list or to the second column. That way urgent tasks come up more often, and pages are not at risk for dismissal because you have a nagging urge to work on something that is at the end of the list.
Applying Super Autofocus
To me, this takes away my resistance to using Autofocus. By having urgent tasks at hand, I can choose to work on them rather than having to wait. This allows me to select things and keep going, while still powering through the backlog.
Autofocus is definitely not a planning tool, nor is it a scheduler. What it is is a high-powered method for getting through a lot of tasks in a short period of time. Or in other words, a kick-it-into-high-productivity-mode tool.
If you are looking for a way to make significant headway on a big list, check out Super Autofocus. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
Photo by levork