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« Autofocus: a closer look at "dismissal" | Main | Acting in One's Own Best Interests »
Friday
Jun122009

Back to Autofocus

Three days ago I decided to stop experimenting with new systems and to concentrate on using Autofocus. I know Autofocus works, and I want to see just how far it will take me. I’m particularly interested in how well the auto-focusing aspect of it (after which it’s named) will work in the long-term. Just to recap, the theory behind Autofocus is that you can throw any ideas, brainwaves, pipe-dreams, etc, into it without prior evaluation and the system itself will sift them and enable you to concentrate on what is really important to you.

Of course we often don’t really know what is really important to us. Even if we’ve gone through an exercise in writing down our important goals, the results are often contaminated by what we think we “should” have as our goals. Another problem is that we sometimes don’t know that something would be important to us because it hasn’t yet appeared on our scene.

My vision for Autofocus is that through its unique sifting process we will have our goals and vision clarified for us. Perhaps it would be better to express that as “we will be able to clarify our goals and vision”, because Autofocus is after all no more than a framework to allow our intellect and our intuition to work in balance.

After several months of experimenting with other systems I’ve succeeded in reducing my life to a satisfactory state of chaos. So what are the areas that I particularly hope Autofocus will now sort out for me? There are loads, but I think the top three would be:

1) I need to get simple business of running my daily life back on track. Many things are not too bad: my email is up-to-date; my finances are under control; I don’t have huge backlogs of work. But I do badly need to sort out my office which is in a mess; I need to get into a sustainable routine of blogging, tweeting, and writing my newsletter, and I need to take a lot more exercise.

2) I need to get a vision of what I am doing. I’ve been hovering around being “semi-retired” for far too long. I need to have a clear focus. My feeling at the moment is that I want to get my business going again. This needs testing and affirming, and progressing with some positive action.

3) I need to avoid taking on commitments without a positive vision of what they are for. People who are newly retired and still in reasonable possession of their faculties are particularly vulnerable to “commitment creep”, i.e. the steady accumulation of commitments for no other reason than that they seemed a good idea at the time. I’m beginning to notice this in myself and I want to be far more rigorous about it.

Just how much can I expect Autofocus to help with all this? I intend to find out, and my intention at the moment is to blog regularly on my progress. The real test of Autofocus is not statistics on how many tasks one has carried out, but how well it’s sorted out areas such as the three above.

Reader Comments (50)

So here's a problem...

When I wake up, I have a sense of what I want or have to do. I also have a much more powerful sense of all the things I could do to avoid the above (read: surf the web). In my mind, I think: "Why use AF when I know, and feel motivated, about what I have to do". So I avoid the list. But then I start procrastinating. Crazy. I believe a simple solution to all of this is to implement a strict, no BS daily time frame when I have to work my AF list. I can't seem to figure out any other solution to my dilemma.
June 12, 2009 at 13:48 | Unregistered CommenterAvrum
Avrum:

Why not enter "Read" and "Surf the Web" as tasks on your AF list? That's what I do, and it works great.
June 12, 2009 at 14:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Mark

Recently I was at my annual residents meeting of my block of flats. The discussion turned to our accountant and his fees. The conversation then moved to whether we could do it in house etc etc. The process was slow and my antennae had time to guess what was coming next (I am an unemployed accountant). When the request for me to do it arrived I was ready with my, "No, sorry I don't have time to commit to it". That was the end of it, but had I not had time to prepare my NO I would have fallen into saying yes and regretting it.
June 12, 2009 at 14:24 | Unregistered CommenterMan of Kent
Man of Kent:

Well answered!

I think I wrote an article about situations like that. Yes, here it is...

http://www.markforster.net/blog/2006/8/14/listen-to-your-heart.html
June 12, 2009 at 15:19 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I've tried Autofocus a couple of times and I really want it to work for me. I will keep trying. I like that it's low-tech and simple. But I'm afraid that it might be a little too free-flowing for me, which is probably why I have had trouble with it. I do think Autofocus can help to sort the important/urgent vs. important/not urgent stuff (to use Covey's language). But it's not really a time-management system or working for me as a workflow system (or whatever), which is the "structure" that I suspect might be missing, and what I think you may also be referring to above in #1 ( finding a sustainable routine). So is there an Autofocus plus? Or am I just lacking in my understanding (a highly likely possibility)?
June 12, 2009 at 16:37 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Jennifer:

It's difficult to offer you advice without knowing more about what's going wrong for you. What sort of trouble have you had with it? Why do you think it's too free-flowing? And what would you expect from a time-management or workflow system that it's not providing?
June 12, 2009 at 16:47 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark,

I haven't tried Autofocus yet - I've not yet bought your latest book! But one thing that I DO use is - "set a moderately difficult task for tomorrow and then try and do it". I bought "Get Everything Done" about 3 years ago and I didn't even finish it (procrastinated!). I was going through a divorce at the time and my brains were totally fried to a cinder, however, that ONE technique - set one difficultish task tomorrow and then do it - made a HUGE difference. If all you ever do is that one moderately hard task - you have done seven tasks in a week and 28-31 moderately difficult tasks in a month. The sense of achievement you get from doing just one or two is great and then spurs you on to do more. I am now teaching my children the technique so that they don't get into the bad procrastination habits that I have had to battle with almost my entire life.

I have also tried "just open the folder" and see what happens - more often than not I DO end up working on something - I am a web designer by profession and have about 5 of my own websites as well as client sites, so sometimes I don't know which site to work on first when I have some time, and the deliberation causes inaction!

A slight modification on "open the folder" - I adapted this to "just get to the gym"! On days when I really don't feel like training - I just go to the gym anyway and aim to do some light stretching. While stretching I get warmed up a little and end up on the tread mill to do a 'gentle walk'. After 10 minutes I don't feel so lethargic anymore so I progress to a 'brisk walk' for another 10 minutes. But now I'm fully warmed up and ready to tackle almost a full workout ... and sometimes I do.

The techniques work, and have made a difference. Looking forward to trying Autofocus.
June 12, 2009 at 17:47 | Unregistered CommenterTenakha
I continue to find Autofocus works really well. I've never sustained any system for so long before.
June 12, 2009 at 21:58 | Unregistered CommenterVirginia
Tenakha:

You don't need to buy a book to use the Autofocus system - indeed there is no book about it. All the instructions are on this website at http://www.markforster.net/autofocus-system/
June 12, 2009 at 23:13 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Virginia:

That's been my experience too. I only stopped using it to see if I could produce something better - I couldn't!
June 12, 2009 at 23:15 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
One thing that you don't address in today's comments and that (I understood) you thought was problematic is the handling of high priority, asap, tasks. I'm just dabbling with AF right now, but one idea I have is to use it separately from the "fires." Although I wonder if that somehow defeats the purpose of AF?
June 12, 2009 at 23:57 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
Yes - I was wondering about the urgent/high priority/boss says do this - type tasks too!
June 13, 2009 at 6:18 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Maureen & Chris:

The Autofocus Instructions say:

"If something comes up which needs doing immediately, do it immediately"
June 13, 2009 at 11:13 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
One thing I'm doing to weave routines into my AutoFocus list is the following: I make a separate list of 3-5 tasks that I would like to include in my daily routine. Every morning I sit down with my AF list and write these daily routine tasks at the end of the list. In the righthand margin I mark these tasks with a D as daily routine tasks. This way I end up with an AF list that includes my daily routine tasks on almost every page. When working the AF list, when I encounter such a task and do it, I cross it off. If I already did it that day, I also cross it off. If for some reason developing the new habit doesn't feel right, it will be sifted out by the system just like any other task. This way, it takes me about 3-4 weeks to include a new task in my daily routine, provided it is a routine that I'm ready to include in my schedule.

Works great for me!
June 14, 2009 at 11:05 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
BTW, does "back to Autofocus" mean that the new system you've been announcing is not coming? Hm, pity, I was looking forward to getting even more out of AF.
June 14, 2009 at 22:03 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Nicole:

I'm going to have to think about that. My new system worked quite well but I didn't in the long-term find that it was significantly better than AF. I'm concerned that if I tell people what it was they may get simpley get distracted into wasting time trying out a new system, rather than getting on with their work!
June 15, 2009 at 7:52 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Mark:

Well, for some people that might have been true of the original autofocus - as this forum illustrates, we're all quite individual in that respect. On the other hand, and for the same reason, for some people your 'unsuccessful tweak' could be just what they were looking for.

To be honest I think most people in this forum are mature enough not to blame you for messing up their life if you shared an idea which you yourself think has shortcomings. In fact, if you draw attention to the issues it might actually stop people experimenting along the same lines and thereby make them *more* productive!
June 15, 2009 at 13:44 | Unregistered CommenterEd C
Hi Mark
When my current system starts to feel a bit stale, I'll INTENTIONALLY test a tweak to get the ball rolling again. For at least a week or two, I'll hammer out TONS of work to both test the system and give myself stats to evaluate! LOL! I've discovered that when I find myself wanting to do this, I'm not admitting to some form of resistance! LOL! Purposely varying a procedure or tweaking a rule, refocuses my brain away from resisting the task to working long and hard to provide myself stats to evaluate the tweak! LOL! Even though I'm NOW fully aware of this, it still works like a charm.....because.....my donkey brain seems to be quite willing to work hard and long on awful work if it thinks that this tweak might prove to be a silver bullet! LOL! LOL! LOL! I still find it highly amusing that I can STILL trick my donkey brain in this fashion. It's ultimate goal is to do as little scutwork as possible or to do it as streamlined as possible........so I tap into what it's wishing for so greatly that it's totally ignoring the obvious trick! ROTFL! I sometimes cringe when I allow myself to acknowledge that parts of my brain are so gullible! ROTFL! Hey, if it spins the wheels to make it go, I'm not going to abort the process for the sake of silly pride! ROTFL!
learning as I go
June 15, 2009 at 15:34 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.
The above post was an indirect hint to divulge the tweak.....Accounts day is looming and it would be great to have a diversion in case the donkey starts braying in protest! LOL! I'd rather use a carrot than a stick......
learning as I go
June 15, 2009 at 15:41 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
EdC and Learning as I go:

I guess another reason was that I didn't want to have to be answering questions about yet another system, especially if I wan't convinced of its value myself!

However, here we go again - I've just thought up a modification to the new system which might make it significantly better. Back to the experimenting - my good resolutions never last for long! :-)
June 15, 2009 at 15:46 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
I totally understand your position. psssst......could you be offering a carrot to a donkey as well? I'm serious.....this trick works every time! *blush* It took me a long time to figure out why I felt compelled to tweak a great system. When I discovered the reason, a few more of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place! LOL!
learning as I go
June 15, 2009 at 15:58 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Learning:

Funnily enough it works the opposite way for me. I will just be getting to the point when my system is about to make me do that job I've been resisting all the way. Then I get a brilliant idea for a "tweak" or new system, and - bang - that job is back on the back-burner!
June 15, 2009 at 17:13 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
ROTFL! It is TRULY AMAZING that although all human brains are constructed almost identically, .....yet......they operate so differently!
Again, I MUST THANK YOU! After submitting my post, I felt so foolish that I set my timer and decided to chip at the accounts for the sole purpose of teaching my donkey or at least not allowing him to win the skirmish! LOL! I just completed my accounts day work.....Reward? That frees of that time to offer me more wiggle room! I was intending to only chip away a bit of it.....and you know the rest.....I LOVE it when that happens! LOL!
This site offers me so much benefit! I've now discovered yet another one.....shame the donkey into action! *blush* .....whatever works, yeah?

Mark
When I test a tweak, I purposely use the crappy work for testing. I can do easy and agreeable stuff without any system! But....if I can move the scut or fearsome work forward, then I'm onto something! Of course, it almost always involves trickery if I'm up against my donkey. I can lean hard on pain issues or monkey mind with simple resolve........it's that donkey that causes me the most mental challenge! LOL!
learning as I go
June 15, 2009 at 17:58 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.
I just noticed the time stamps on my last two posts......2 hours. That's the amount of time I usually allot to do my accounts round-up. If I clean it up earlier, all the better. (I usually chip at it the previous days to the round-up day) The reasoning is similar to what I used to experience on doing work as a child. My dad used to say that I could quit working when either I finish the job or the sun sets.....which ever came first! Two hours is my sunset. It's odd that I completed it in almost exactly 2 hours considering the actual roundup day isn't until Friday! LOL! I just saved myself 4 days of chipping away at my second least favorite work. The worst for me is mopping! I HATE that worst of all!.....(unless it's Accounts Day! ROTFL!)
learning as I go
June 15, 2009 at 18:25 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Learning:

My latest mod seems to be working well on both the easy stuff and the difficult stuff - but it's too early to tell yet. Anyway if it continues to work well, then I will release it into the light of day.
June 15, 2009 at 19:00 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
I'm in your corner rooting for your success! Go, Mark!!! Go, Mark!!! Go, Mark!!!!! YAY!!!!!!
Even if the mod doesn't "stick", at least it occupied your time and diluted the effects of trudging through the more nasty stuff! I'm hoping that you find a donkey brain work- around that proves more permanent than mine have thus far! LOL! I have to set up my lab several times year to break through my " stubborn ass syndrome"! *blush*
I, personally, don't initially trust the validity of my success for the first week or two. If the donkey attitude comes back kicking with full force, I simply laugh and label the experiment as ANOTHER temporary fix! ROTFL!!!! At least I've finally discovered a way to patch the deficiency for awhile! LOL! Thank God this isn't an everyday occurance! ROTFL!
HeeHaw! ROTFL!
learning as I go
June 15, 2009 at 21:35 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Yay! A great reason for more procrastination! No sense jumping into AF now, Mark is working on something even BETTER!
June 16, 2009 at 10:50 | Unregistered CommenterRon
The main problem with my new system (must think of a name for it sometime) was that I hadn't worked out how to incorporate "dismissal" into it. The result was that it couldn't be used as effectively as AF for sifting tasks and it also ran into problems of resisting the list.

However I've now realised how to incorporate dismissal, and now all I've got to do is test it for long enough to ensure that the dismissal process works. I'm now very optimistic about it.
June 16, 2009 at 11:36 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
I'm beginning to believe that ANY SYSTEM will create resistance on occasion because, after all, it isn't the system itself, it's DONKEY BRAIN coming to the fore! LOL! I believe that our mental attitude is too mysterious to have logical procedures to obliterate it. I, instead, look at handling my donkey brain as a seperate factor. Usually, using the timer nips that right in the bud.....but.....when it doesn't, I'll use the system to "fool" my donkey mind. Bottom Line, the donkey obstructs my being able to easily keep my conscience reconciled. If necessary, I'm willing to use a stick via enforcing the timer method, but.....when I offer it a carrot, (allowing it to test a tweak with the promise that the work will either feel easier to do or will offer a faster way to get it done, it will get off it's haunches and get to work. That stubborness also works in my favor. If I'm testing a supposed silver bullet tweak, then my donkey will go into overdrive in hopes of reaching the promise land! LOL!
This effect is similar to people gambling. If they win once, then they are willing to throw their money after winning again! Again, I owe you thanks for providing me the phantom carrots I can use to lure my donkey brain into willingly working. It thinks of
1:backlogs no more (current initiative)
2: exciting work first thing (current initiative)
3: cure for the blahs (what's better? exercise)
4: fixed effort and time to complete a list (DIT.....I do a weekly version)
5. The game of not doing work that goes under the red line unless there's extra time left (DIT) It's very reassuring to learn that very little work is really as urgent as we were led to believe!!!!
In summary:
THANK YOU, MARK!!! Even when I'm forced to offer donkey mind a phantom carrot, sometimes the new thing actually IS a silver bullet!!!!! You have my deepest gratitude!...the donkey is grateful as well! Although my own system works quite well, your improvements have definitely added quite effective elements to it!
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 13:35 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.
When my donkey mind is particularly recalcitrant, I'll offer it a two part timer option. I'll choose the largest time period it's willing to work....(sometimes only 5 minutes! *blush*) and a specific lot of work that might closely matches the time period. Often this will trick my donkey into working faster and more efficiently on the work load in hopes of beating the timer! LOL! Of course, this fixed determination will sometimes morph into a desire to complete the work as my donkey doesn't want to put himself under the gun of enforced work. LOL! This enables my credo of staying current or slightly ahead much easier to implement even when I've got a donkey on my team! LOL! My monkey mind has no bad attitude so it only needs guidance...and my pain issues simply need patience and necessary scheduling modifications. That donkey is the only real spammer in the works. Thank God he's usually easily tricked! LOL!
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 14:16 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Learning as I go:

I guess you're right that there are times for nearly everyone when we feel we are resisting EVERYTHING, but I found with Autofocus that this hardly ever happened. I wanted the new system to be at least as good at that aspect as AF, which it wasn't intially, but I think it might be now (but I need a bit more time to be sure).
June 16, 2009 at 18:52 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
post report update...
The trick is STILL working. I guess the donkey is atoning for his bad attitude! *blush* The donkey kicked out another 5 plus hours of scutwork. (I don't measure the easy or welcomed challenging work...only scutwork! LOL!). My weekly max is 90minutes daily of scutwork or 9 hours a week. At this rate, my weekly scutwork may be completed by day's end! YIPPEE!!!! I still enforce my daily 30minute peace contract even if there's no scutwork. It's the lynchpin of both staying current and experiencing my day with a peace of mind that invites creativity, joy and gratitude.
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 18:53 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Hi Mark
What are you seeking in testing this system that AF didn't handle? Your post suggests that AF kept you current without much need for strongarming yourself into compliance...or is this new experiment a simple temporary diversion?
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 19:01 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.
Our systems are different as I don't include welcomed challenges. If I work over 12 hours on an important yet welcomed project, my creativity might get stifled if most of my scutwork isn't done first. If my focus gets fractured by dreading scutwork, then my flow is blocked. I LOVE to work in a framework of unfettered creativity and/or discovery. I don't care how long the great endeavors takes as long as my body and mind can keep pace with my aims! This doesn't happen as easily if I dodged some simple yet necessary scutwork. That's why I like to get it out of the way. This peace of mind also opens me up to invent a fun day, catch up with friends, etc......Undone scutwork polutes the grander aspects of living! LOL! I don't need a list to direct creativity, joy or gratitude. I only need a list to get the scut out of the way! LOL! I'd rather be operating from my calender or spontenaeity any time over a to do list! *blush* My daily mission is to put away the todo lists ASAP! LOL!
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 19:17 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.
Is my attitude a bit too Bohemian for a productivity site? *blush* I'm consciencious but not driven! LOL!
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 19:19 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Well, let me tell you that if this system can bring down MY resistances at doing stuff, that will be the ultimate proof it's bullet proof! (well, that is, after I go over the resistance of using the system in the first place... lol).
June 16, 2009 at 19:26 | Unregistered CommenterCharles
Hi Charles!
ROTFL! I concur with you completely! That's precisely why I usually I don't really depend on any system to control that mysterious, illogical aspect of my attitude. To be sure, the system can guide me.......but in actuality, it's usually self-talk of some sort that gets me back to rights.
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 19:31 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.
or getting back to rights so that I don't have to contend with the nagging guilt or doubt connected with subborn ass syndrome! *blush* I can't allow it to ruin too many otherwise perfectly fine days in the making! LOL! It took me YEARS to finally figure this out! *blush*....even though I was taught this growing up.......I had to learn this lesson REPEATEDLY the hard way! ROTFL!
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 19:35 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.s.
I'm by NO MEANS cured.....I'm simply better at heading it off a bit earlier before it has a chance to totally infiltrate my good intentions! ROTFL!
learning as I go
June 16, 2009 at 19:38 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Mark,
My above attempt at humor aside, should I wait for this new system instead of jumping into AF? Or might the latter be a good training precursor for the former?

Thanks,
Ron
June 17, 2009 at 1:33 | Unregistered CommenterRon
Ron:

I recommend that you don't wait. The new system uses exactly the same kind of list as AF - indeed you can switch from AF to the new system (and back again if necessary!) without needing to change or modify your list in any way. Many of the concepts are the same, such as "standing out" and "dismissal".
June 17, 2009 at 8:11 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Learning:

<< What are you seeking in testing this system that AF didn't handle? >>

1. Easier handling of urgent and must do items.

2. A more balanced approach to the day as a whole.

3. Quicker handling of large or difficult items.

4. Eliminate tendency for the list to slow to a crawl.

5. Faster sifting of unwanted items.

6. Dismissal less of a hit-and-miss process.

7. Less need to use subsidiary lists.

8. Removing the need for most of the tweaks which people have reported in this Forum.

All without losing any of the advantages of AF!
June 17, 2009 at 8:22 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
aaahhhhh, I see. If you can offer some of these improvements then I just might be willing to give your AF another trial! LOL! If there was a class ranking for AF users, I'd surely be in the lowest 10% ! *blush* Does your modification dictate working from as much randomness as the current AF? That was my downfall. My brain couldn't collate or remember the tasks to provide impetus to work. The constant referring to the random list to discover what to do next practically killed my momentum and choked my effectiveness and effeciency. I guess I'm just one of those people that need to know what I'm aiming at ahead of starting the work to keep me geared up and motivated. I prefer to work in streams rather than bursts whenever I can. Although, sometimes, the enforced bursts have their value as well. Burst is the medium that creates a launching pad for the nasty or fearsome stuff! In multiples, the bursts can get me over the hump when I can't find or provide my usual momentum LOL! .....for every season, there is a reason...a time for every purpose under Heaven.....LOL!
learning as I go
June 17, 2009 at 9:21 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Learning:

Yes, I think it does reduce the randomness (assuming I understand what you mean by the term correctly). Unlike in AF, every task on the list is available to be done next. You can enter a stream of tasks and do them in one swoop without interference from the rest of the list.
June 17, 2009 at 10:48 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
The promise of allowing a concerted effort toward a pre-determined end (i.o.w....a definite target to aim at) has my interest........It sounds as though AF is beginning to reap more benefit from standing on his father's shoulders....DIT! Keep on.....I hope something pans out.....Indeed! This surely has a promising ring of success to it!
Best of luck....and happy experimenting!
learning as I go
June 17, 2009 at 12:01 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
After a lot of initial difficulties I am using Autofocus now. I have been doing a lot of reorganising and once again realised I had made things too complicated. So I streamlined in all sorts of areas. At the moment my system is about as simple as it has ever been.

I print blank Month View calendars and pin them on the wall for this month and next. Which I use for appointments, specific dated stuff and the odd routine item. I also keep things like an ongoing health score and a note of time spent on my Priority Project, deadlines etc. I like crossing the days off as they go by but I have no actual idea why! Two months seems to suit personally for me from a planning perspective.

I carry a very small pocket diary which has the main events listed. Useful if I have to arrange meetings when away from the office.

I got myself a ring bound (wiro) A4 Pukka Pad with hard cover which I use for AutoFocus. Buying a nice new pad for that specific purpose, in a funny way sort of helped. I really took my time looking at all the ones available and making sure I got one with quality weighted paper. I like using Liquid Ink pens because they help my writing (which isn’t great) but the ink seeps through the page if the paper is too thin.

Then lastly a Pukka A5 Project Book – which is for my lists. I am a bit of list fiend. I kind of view this as a sort of scratch pad and it has everything from lists to scatter maps, notes, doodles and general thoughts/ideas.

My Autofocus system is perhaps not as fluid as others. I do use a highlighter to dismiss items. I write in black pen, cross out in red pen and any item I cancel I cross out in black pen. I use a small ruler to give me a straight line. I don’t know why but that just appeals to me, completing stuff in red ink looks more final somehow. I like things to look a little neat as well. I tried just crossing out freehand but I thought it looked scruffy. But now it is almost ‘ritual’ like to cross something off, get the ruler/red pen and grin from ear to ear as I put a line through something. It feels great every time 

Anyway, I think I have the general gist of Autofocus now and it is working really well. I think previously there was too much ‘system’ outside of Autofocus to make it effective. Overall I am not so concerned about ‘system’ as I use to be, and people that know me know I was particularly over the top in this area. I feel more relaxed, and I enjoy working my Autofocus list. It is addictive, it is simple and it does work.

So while Mark goes into a bit of a meltdown :) (been there lots of times) I just wanted to say Autofocus is great and it is working for me.

So if you see a man walking around with a hard cover wiro A4 pad, a black pen, a red pen, a highlighter and a small ruler. Whistling a tune without a care in the world - who knows it might be me!!
June 18, 2009 at 20:05 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Wynn
Hi Mark
Has this stood out yet?
"Just how much can I expect Autofocus to help with all this? I intend to find out, and my intention at the moment is to blog regularly on my progress."
It's been a week.....any progress, lessons learned.....or.... paradigm shifting epiphanies?
learning as I go
June 20, 2009 at 17:05 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
Learning:

Yes, I had a paradigm shifting thingy, so it's back to the drawing-board.
June 20, 2009 at 19:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark
I must admit that I'm a tad envious of your pursuit! Whether or not it actually pans out to something during this trial, it's a glorious feeling to be on the trail of discovery! It's even more glorious when it actually does at least touch on a success! I used to call these paradigm shifts "a metamorphosis" ! ! ! There's no turning back or unringing the bell when you've made an advancement such as that(even when it's not the end of that trail)!!!!
The beauty part is that there's no enduring failure in your quest. It's all worthwhile!
learning as I go
June 20, 2009 at 23:55 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go
p.s.
In the case of this particular pursuit, there is an irony. When we've experienced the rapture of success often enough with the stuff that matters highly to us, mastering the mundane becomes even more intolerable......*sigh* Perhaps when my donkey is rebelling, it's because he's recalling a more grand expidition.
learning as I go
June 21, 2009 at 0:07 | Unregistered Commenterlearning as I go

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