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« Progress Report | Main | Day Zero Project »

Final Version - Perfect at last!

I think I’ve now got the Final Version time management system perfect - which is what I said my aim was before going any further with it. It’s taken longer than I expected, largely because of the number of possible options I had to test out, or rather the number of possible combinations of options. As I can only test out one set of options at a time, this has all taken time.

What I want to do now is to prove that this new system is not a way of churning trivialities but of being extremely productive. So I intend to report regularly on my progress over the next month. I’m going on holiday abroad on November 14th, so let’s see how much I can achieve by then.

What would I like to have achieved?

1. I want to make some serious progress on writing my book about the new methods, planning how to distribute it, spread the word about it and make some money out of it. This will include making decisions about my newsletter and implementing them.

2. I am planning a major charity walk to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the start of WW1 in 1914. This will involve me in a) getting extremely fit (not easy at my age!) b) improving my French c) getting practical support d) getting sponsorship e) and probably a lot else I haven’t thought of yet. This is obviously a long-term project, but I need to keep moving on it now.

3. I am likely to be leading a major fund raising exercise over the next year. It hasn’t yet been given the go-ahead, but I need to be able to react quickly to any developments.

4. I have commitments to various organizations which I want to carry out efficiently, and some of them are likely to expand in the near future.

5. I am testing out various brain training methods to see what is most effective. This requires a constant effort over a long period.

6. I want to get all my systems and procedures as finely-honed as possible so I am not held up by things not working properly. I intend to draw up a list of everything in my life that needs attention and tackle them progressively over time.

7. And just generally keep right on top of email, phone, paper, household chores, etc, etc.

I think that’s enough to be going on with!

My aim is to report once a week until I go on holiday, and possibly when I get back as well.

Reader Comments (28)

Bravo, Sir!

Will be watching your progress with a keen eye. I haven't been around here in a good while, but have started looking in again these last few weeks. I own your three books and your techniques and endeavours helped me a lot back when I was at Uni, and more recently with Autofocus.

Good luck with the new project. :-)
October 14, 2011 at 21:37 | Unregistered CommenterNeil Cumming
Wonderful news. It'll be wonderful to see how you and the final version handle multiple pressing things that you want to accomplish. A juggling act that all of us dance with.
October 15, 2011 at 1:51 | Unregistered CommenterMaureen
That's great news. Your previous books DIT and Dreams were very valueable to me, so I'm looking forward to this new book!
October 15, 2011 at 12:39 | Registered CommenterNicole
So it now has "all the required or desirable elements, qualities or characteristics"! Excellent!
October 15, 2011 at 14:16 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Wonderful news! It sounds like you will meet that 90-day mark to boot.
October 15, 2011 at 20:27 | Registered CommenterBernie
dear Mark,
great news and a busy planning !
Will you publish the guidelines of this new and so attractive system ?
Kind Regards, David D.
October 15, 2011 at 21:40 | Unregistered CommenterDavid D

I'm intending to make this the subject of a book, probably a printed one, which will be sold as a profit-making venture.
October 15, 2011 at 22:47 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Just curious, Mark – did reintroduction of Dismissal remain in the system?
October 16, 2011 at 7:19 | Registered Commenterubi

Not as such, no.
October 16, 2011 at 9:17 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Congratulations! I'm curious though - what makes this perfect and final, versus all the other systems and incarnations which were also considered perfect and final at some time? And where will be find a review of the system before buying the book once it's done?

October 16, 2011 at 11:04 | Unregistered CommenterChris L

It's final because it's the last system I'm going to produce. Once this one has run its course I'm retiring from inventing new time management systems.

It's perfect because it successfully meets all the requirements which I defined as necessary for my final fling at producing a system.

As for the review, that depends on how I decide to market it. And I simply haven't got that far yet though I have plenty of ideas.
October 16, 2011 at 12:10 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
ubi: "did reintroduction of Dismissal remain in the system?"
Mark: "Not as such, no."

My least favorite part of these systems gets a makeover? Nice!
October 17, 2011 at 3:45 | Registered CommenterBernie
Mark: You may have said this before, but any thoughts about making the book available for e-book readers? I'm getting to quite like my Kindle.
October 17, 2011 at 8:33 | Unregistered CommenterKeith Collyer

Maybe, but I simply haven't got that far in my planning yet.
October 17, 2011 at 10:39 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
dear Mark,
I agree with Chris for the ebook. Because I am so impatient to use this new system (printed book process will take months)
Best Regards, David D
October 18, 2011 at 14:18 | Unregistered CommenterDavid D
And remember, Mark, some of us would happily pay you more for the system now than you would charge for a book, some months from now... Either we're obsessive about personal productivity, or we /really/ need something that can take us to the next level, or we're just darned impatient!
October 19, 2011 at 5:33 | Unregistered CommenterStever Robbins
You have quite a list! I'm not probably as busy as you, but #7 is getting to be a challenge for me these days, I'd be looking forward to some great tips from you on it!
October 19, 2011 at 9:25 | Unregistered CommenterTracy @ Postcard Printing
David, Stever and others:

Sorry, not ready to go public yet (or even private to a selected audience). I am progressing as fast as I can, but it's not something that can be rushed.
October 19, 2011 at 16:23 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

It's hard to imagine how you must feel at having reached what sounds like the pinnacle of your career.

However you must be feeling - and whatever the public response to the 'Final Version' - I wanted to offer congratulations as well as thanks. We've all benefited from your willingness to share the latter stages of your TM journey.

And of course, if you need a handful of 'real life editors' to critically evaluate your drafts and experimentally apply its content in our different worlds, then I have no doubt there are many of us who would pay handsomely for the privilege. Just say the word.

With best wishes for the coming months as you 'package' the final product.
October 20, 2011 at 22:31 | Registered Commenterneumatist
Hi, Mark.
Earlier, you called your Final Version "1-to-7."
Does it still have the 1-to-7 feature, "whatever it is"? >wink<
October 23, 2011 at 19:32 | Registered CommenterBernie

Yes, it does.
October 23, 2011 at 19:44 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
On my list is "check to see if there's a version of the final version available" We followers here are like the folks who camp out at apple stores or at a bookstore waiting for Harry Potter.
October 23, 2011 at 21:49 | Unregistered Commenterbrian moore

I said long ago that the earliest a version will be available is the end of November and that is looking increasingly unlikely, especially since I'm away for half of November.

There'll be plenty of warning once it is ready!
October 24, 2011 at 10:11 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Great work Mark. We're waiting for it!

ps. If interested i found rather interesting & different blog regarding "productivity & procrastination":
October 25, 2011 at 6:36 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew
It seems like there has always been a next system that will finally have all the elements of the perfect system. But each 'next system' is never THE perfect system nor THE last system.
October 30, 2011 at 19:20 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Yes, you're right. Annoying, isn't it!
October 31, 2011 at 16:31 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

I just (and I mean a couple of days 'just') found Autofocus/Superfocus and I like it a lot. I have a bunch of time management background, and am writing a potential book on the subject, and I think your idea is fascinating.

I am not quite clear on unfinished items (col 1) rolling into crucial (col 2), and where they are in comparison to real crucial items in col 2. Also, and I am sure you know this,a calendar must be addressed in this system, for date certain items, or followups. for example, how do you handle something you don't care about until two weeks or so - I don't imagine you want to keep it in a far back ago page, but you also don't want to transfer it daily.

Can't wait for your Final-Final as I'll be the first in line.

Take care,

November 22, 2011 at 18:37 | Unregistered Commenterdart
Dart, welcome. Your comment is about SuperFocus, not the unpublished Final Version.

In Superfocus the idea is most stuff you re-enter on the last page, same as AF1, but urgent stuff, and things you are presently working on but have set aside for a moment go in Column 2. There's no distinction between these. Current wisdom suggests both these uses be kept to an absolute minimum.

We agree a calendar is needed for dated items. If something doesn't need consideration for two weeks, put it on the calendar. When the day arrives, (if it's not critical for that date) it's entered into SF, and the item will be tackled in the next couple days. So there would not be any "transfer it daily".
November 25, 2011 at 16:38 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu

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