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« Snow | Main | New Developments Update No. 6 »

Developing One's Vision

The instructions for the new Autofocus system are scheduled to be distributed at 1am EST tomorrow morning (Monday). That’s 6am GMT for those who live in the United Kingdom. Whether you live in America or the United Kingdom you should have them in time for work tomorrow. Go to the Quick Start guide in the instructions and you will be rolling!

I am going to be away all day tomorrow, so please don’t expect any immediate replies from me to comments or emails about the new system. Don’t let that stop you sending them in though!

One thing that’s become very clear to me throughout the preparation for Autofocus has been how the vision for it has developed through working on it. I didn’t draw up a plan at the beginning and I didn’t even have a very clear idea of where I was heading. In fact at the time I thought I had just succeeded in retiring from work - that didn’t last very long!

What I did was to take what seemed to be the next action. As I progressed more actions became clear and I took them. Some of the actions which I dreamed up, died a natural death once I started looking at them more closely. So for instance there are no elaborate videos on how to work the system, nor are there any onerous forms for testers to fill in. If I had done these things, we would be waiting until Easter for the testing to begin and all momentum would have been lost.

The Autofocus system fits naturally into this way of working. Because it encourages a “little and often” approach and an intuitive sifting of possible actions, it is an ideal system for riding the crest of a wave - and also for spotting likely waves as they approach!

Reader Comments (16)

Thanks for this Mark

It sounds exactly what I'm looking for!

I've found with many things in life that I know what I'm looking for when I see it but trying to define it precisely ahead of time is very difficult if not impossible. So to hear that vision for where you're headed evolves from the system rather than having to be thought out prior to using the system is great.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

All the best

January 4, 2009 at 16:12 | Unregistered CommenterHannah
Greatly looking forward to the unveiling!
January 4, 2009 at 16:14 | Unregistered CommenterVirginia
Hi Mark, my main hurdle re time management is a difficulty defining my big goals with clear outcomes as I often feel ambivalence and uncertainty. It sounds like Autofocus may be beneficial for me to this end. Of course I could be reading into things!
January 4, 2009 at 16:50 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

This is exactly it. Forget about rigidly defining the big goals and outcomes and let them develop naturally through the work you do.

Of course, you may have goals and outcomes defined for you by other people (boss, clients, etc), but even there a more flexible approach often produces better results.
January 4, 2009 at 17:20 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hello Mark- have followed previous plans and found each one better than the last so i am very excited about this one. I still have to contend with a jam packed life and streaming it is only effective up to a point as i have two jobs, two children (house garden etc) work shifts (nights days week ends in random allocation) and in a one adult household whislt trying to set up my own business which compliments main profession and has potentiasl for the income to finish the house renovation- so every now and then lots of those strands have deadlines that all come at once and i inevitably go under for a time. However your strategies save my bacon and help me fit as much in as poss. I can hear you now so i wont ask for 'any thoughts', Good luck to us all. K
January 4, 2009 at 17:26 | Unregistered Commenterkatie P

I will be very interested in your reports about how you get on with the new system. So far it's only been tried out on me.
January 4, 2009 at 17:50 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Wow Katie, you are doing well...I'm nowhere near as busy as you. Good on you!
January 4, 2009 at 18:33 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
Hi Mark,

A "little and often" is one of your great contributions, and it is so effective. It has helped me so many times in keeping projects moving and in dealing with difficult or procrastinated tasks. I am wondering if you have seen the book called "One Small Step Can Change Your Life," by Robert Maurer, Ph.D.It is on the Kaizen Way, and dovetails in with the "little and often" principle that you write so well about.
January 4, 2009 at 22:49 | Unregistered Commentersteve
Hi Mark
This sounds like grand fun! Plus, it gave my guilt monster a plausible excuse to freely allow me to hunker down these past five days on projects of my choosing!.....Only daily requirements monthly......I went for only personal and seasonal projects!!!!!! It was grand fun devoting myself for a full five days only on challenging projects and a minimum of slug work!!!!! I even allowed myself to work from sunrise to sunrise on the really great ones!!! I also didn't force myself to do anything beyond the minimum whilst fighting pain.........Thank you for this gift alone!!!!!

I'm so excited to test your system out to see how I can better blend the great stuff with the slug work with degrees of pain operating as the main variable. I love this kind of assignment!
January 4, 2009 at 23:10 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
I often wonder why I feel like I'm cheating the clock when I can work for over 24 hours straight on a wonderful, exciting project? Maybe it's because I know that the sleep recovery is only an extra hour or two versus an extra four or five hours for each day.
The only danger is if my pain and/or meds doesn't even allow me the normal 4 or so hours I need daily to function. Then I'm fighting both fatigue and pain! .......but it's usually worth it anyway! LOL!

I am so excited to test this out!!! Learning and discovery are great partners! If this system can handle both my pain bouts and my brain damage limitations, I'll be truly thankful beyond measure! Fingers crossed!
learning as I go
January 4, 2009 at 23:17 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go

I don't think I've read that particular book - I'll look it out - but of course "little and often" is not invented by me. It's been written about by lots of people before.
January 4, 2009 at 23:18 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
learning as I go:

As I said to Katie (above), so far it's been only tested on me, so I'm very interested to see how it bears up for other people, particularly ones in stressful situations.
January 4, 2009 at 23:19 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
True, you didn't "invent" certain aspects of your system, but the way you presented it made it MUCH easier to implement! The way you packaged these principles and implementation tips is truly effective. Think of two chefs allowed the same ingredients to create a recipe of their own creation! You deserve proper credit for your ingenuity!!!
January 4, 2009 at 23:23 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Hi Mark
I don't believe my optimism is unfounded. You've already helped me tremendously. I owe a good portion of my quality of life improvements and work-arounds on you and Flylady!
Even with my challenges, you have made things much more doable. I actually have a bit more faith in myself for it......and for that, I'm grateful beyond measure! People don't realize how precious faith in your efforts is. Your system allows me a better strategy to harness my window of opportunity to good end and using intelligent decision making choosing what taks to do when I'm suffering.
Thank you! (especially for the backlog solution! That alone is worth it's weight in gold! )
January 4, 2009 at 23:31 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Hi Mark
Very excited about the new system, but I only signed on to be a tester this morning - am I too late!! I hope not.

I am a partner of a small engineering consultancy with lots of individual projects (mostly involving from 1 to 5 days work) and chairperson of a charity building a community centre on Penny Lane in Liverpool with Lottery funding (and a grandparent!). So like everyone else I have lots happening on lots of different fronts.

I've been using DIT for nearly 2 years now with success but I am starting to feel overloaded when combining the roles, even with other commitments reduced.

Your new system sounds like the answer, hope I'm not too late to sign up.


January 5, 2009 at 12:09 | Unregistered Commentersmeatho

I will be sending out the instructions on a daily basis to new sign-ups. You should get them sometime today.
January 5, 2009 at 13:08 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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