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« New Developments Update No. 3 | Main | Future Developments Update No. 2 »
Saturday
Dec202008

Autofocus

One of the things I hope to get out of my new time management system is “autofocus”, that is to say the system itself will automatically focus on what is important and relevant to my life (and how I want it to be) without my having to spend time consciously sifting or selecting.

To test out whether this is really going to work, I’ve decided to torture-test the system by putting into it in one go all the books I have been meaning to read but haven’t yet got round to. The total comes to 57 books (and those are just the ones in my office!)

I don’t think there’s any other time management system in the world (including my own previous ones) which any sane person would contemplate deliberately overloading with 57 books. What I am hoping will happen is that the system will select for me the books that I most need to read at this moment and reject the others - without my having to make conscious choices.

If it can cope with this then it ought to be able to handle other projects in a similar way.

I’ll keep you posted!

Reader Comments (9)

Mark, thanks much for this! Great update!
December 20, 2008 at 17:22 | Unregistered CommenterTK
Thanks, TE.
December 20, 2008 at 17:32 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark,

Once again -- a great update! I am so wanting to work with your new system....as so many others have already volunteered -- as Beta testers.

Best wishes,
-David
December 20, 2008 at 19:39 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Drake
David:

Thanks. I estimate that I should have completed the first phase of the testing in two weeks. So if all is well I shall invite beta testers then.
December 20, 2008 at 21:05 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
Maybe I can help you with this. Before my brain injuries, I used to commit to reading 2 books a week. (more if I had both the time and inclination). Two a week seems like a small number, but that's well over 100 books a year. I suppose I was practicing your little and often rule! LOL! I learned this little trick as a child. Every Friday my dad offered a library visit. Unless we finished both books, we weren't allowed to go. I certainly didn't want to miss our weekly trip to the library! LOL!
gsdsmiles
December 21, 2008 at 3:27 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.
When I was about 13 my Dad had me take a speed reading course. His reasoning was that it would help me both academically and also afford me extra time and efficiency to keep up with my personal interests as well. It's quite effective. It's not only about speed, it's also about knowing what to focus on and retain. It's worth the time and effort unless you're already a highly proficient reader.
gsdsmiles
December 21, 2008 at 3:35 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
gsdsmiles:

I like the sound of your Dad's trick. It's the sort of thing that can work very well, especially with children who are not enforcing the rules. The trouble with us as adults is that it's only too easy to break our own rules!

Anyway the point of my posting was not that I want to get all these books read, but that I was using them as a good way of seeing if I could break the new system. I'll report back in a day or so on what is happening with them.
December 21, 2008 at 8:38 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks Mark - I am very interested in seeing what your system is - I am already working with DIT and seeing extreme benefits - Would love to add my name to a list of Beta testers if you are open to it.

With thanks for your common sense, incredibly practical approach to time!

mark
December 21, 2008 at 16:59 | Unregistered CommenterMark From Florida
Regarding speed reading:

I read technical material quickly. I'm an engineer and technical writer. I once documented a company-wide quality system for ISO-9000 with over 20 separate documents. The most common question I was asked was, "What do I have to read in this document?" My answer was always, "On page 2 there is a summary, one paragraph per job title. Read that and decide for yourself." Good technical writing lets the reader find what they need quickly and confidently ignore the rest -- it helps the reader do what gsdsmiles described.

On the other hand, I read fiction slowly. I read it to enjoy and an extra hour enjoying a book is good. As an aspiring novelist (it's on my longest list) I enjoy pulling apart how the author made her writing effective.

My husband reads fiction quickly, to learn what happens. He reads technical documents slowly, afraid he'll miss something.
November 6, 2010 at 13:05 | Registered CommenterCricket

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