For me launching Autofocus has been quite an experience. It’s proved immensely popular - the fact that volunteers have so far translated the instructions into sixteen languages is proof of that. It seems to have struck a chord with an immense number of people who may not have had a great deal of success with other methods.
For such a simple system, it seems to have had far-reaching effects. It’s got a reputation for being addictive. After four months people are still going strong. Not everyone likes it - that would be too much to hope for - but it’s most distinctive feature seems to be that it requires no mental effort to work it. There are no huge system overheads - and there is no forcing oneself to do anything. The system emphasizes working in an intuitive, flowing manner.
However as the inventor of the system I still don’t think Autofocus is the perfect system - not even for me! There are certain aspects of it which I think could be improved. The two major ones are dealing with urgent items and dealing with items one really doesn’t want to do. It’s not so much that these don’t get done in Autofocus - it’s that they don’t get done quickly enough. My ideal system would be a bit sharper on both of these.
That’s why I have been keeping on with the experimenting. I would really like to reach the perfect system one day, because all this experimenting wreaks havoc with my own organisation. What’s more I would really like to reach the perfect answer while I’m still young enough to make full use of it myself!
I am currently working on a system which is very similar to Autofocus in many respects. It works off one long list; it uses the “standing out” method of selecting tasks to work on; it encourages “little and often”. But in other respects it differs quite considerably: it does not use the “closed list” concept at all; there is no “dismissing” of tasks; and potentially any task on the list can be done at any time.
In the short time I’ve been using this system, I have satisfied myself that it is as easy to use and as addictive as Autofocus. It’s also much better at dealing with urgent items than Autofocus, but I haven’t been using it long enough to find out to my satisfaction how well it deals with high-resistance items. First indications are good though.