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Rules for SuperFocus

SuperFocus is a very simple but effective method of processing your work. You write everything you have to do in a long list in a notebook. As you think of more things you add them to the end of the list.

Then you start at the beginning of the list and keep circulating round the first page, working on the tasks until you have worked on as many as you want to. Then you move on to the next page and do the same. Once you have got to the end of the list, you go back to the beginning, and start again at the first page.  

On each page there is a second column on which you can add additional tasks, as follows:  

  • When you are working on a page, you can add any urgent tasks to that page.
  • If you work on a task and don’t finish it, then you re-enter the task on the next page.

An important rule is that you can’t leave a page before working on all the tasks in Column 2.

This summary only gives a general description, so it’s important that you read the complete rules as given below, and especially that you make sure you understand the rules about dismissing tasks.


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SuperFocus is an advanced but simple time management system, which aims to give the best possible balance between  easy and difficult tasks and urgent and non-urgent tasks. It also makes sure that you finish what you have started.

The system uses a ruled notebook with two columns on a page. If you can’t fit two columns into your page, you can use facing pages instead.

The two columns work differently:

Column 1

All tasks are entered initially in the left-hand column (Column 1) (unless they are urgent).

The list in Column 1 runs continuously from page to page.

Column 2

Is exclusively for urgent and unfinished tasks

SuperFocus Notebook


Take your notebook

Leaving room for a second column, write a list of everything you have to do down the left of the page, one task to a line.

Continue onto further pages as necessary, using only the left side of the page.

Add further tasks as you think of them or as they come up.

Start work on page 1 by considering each task in turn until one of them feels ready to be done. Work on it for as long as you feel like it. When you have finished working on it, take the following action:

  • if the task is finished, delete it by striking it through with a horizontal line. If it is a recurring task, re-enter it at the end of your list in Column 1.
  • if the task is not finished, delete it in the same way. Re-enter it in Column 2 on the next page. If you are on the last page, then go back to the beginning of the list and re-enter the task in Column 2 of the first active page. If there is no room in Column 2, then re-enter it on the first page on which there is room.

Enter urgent tasks in Column 2 of the page you are currently working on. If there is no more room in Column 2, then enter it on the first page on which there is room.

Continue working in the same way by circulating around the first page until no more tasks feel ready to be done. All tasks in column 2 must be worked on before you can move to a new page.

Continue circulating round page 1 until all tasks in column 2 have been worked on and no more tasks in column 1 feel ready to be worked on. To clarify: you do not have to work on all the tasks in Column 1 but you do have to work on all the tasks in Column 2.

Move to the next page and continue to act in the same way.

Once you have reached the end of the list, go back to the beginning.

When there are no active tasks remaining on a page, the page is finished and is no longer part of the active list. This rule does not apply to the last page. Note that Column 2 does not have to be full. In the above photo the left-hand page is completed. The wiggly line at the bottom of Column 2 is to stop accidental entry of further tasks into Column 2.


Dismissal is an important process for weeding out tasks that are not going anywhere.

There are two occasions on which tasks are dismissed:

1. If no tasks are done in Column 1 during a visit to a page, all remaining tasks in Column 1 are dismissed. This rule does not apply to the last page of the list.

2. When you visit a page which is full (i.e. both Column 1 and Column 2 are full), all Column 1 tasks on that page must be either actioned or dismissed.

Dismissal only applies to tasks in Column 1. Tasks in Column 2 must always be be worked on.

Dismissal is where the system finally gets rid of all the items which the system has sifted and found wanting. This may happen very quickly (for instance if you have entered a long list of books you are thinking of reading), but more usually quite slowly.

These tasks are no longer active, but subject to review. It is a good idea to have a recurring task on your list called “Review Dismissed Tasks”. On review you should consider carefully why they were rejected, whether they really need to be done at all, whether the time is ripe for them to be done, whether they distract from your main goals, and any other factors. When you do re-enter a dismissed item, it is often a good idea to break it down or re-phrase it in some way.

Highlighting rejected items helps you to review them easily.

Remember that the dismissal rules do not apply to the page on which you are still writing items (i.e. the last page).

Signs and symbols

a. When a task has been actioned, it is crossed out with a horizontal line.

b. When a task is dismissed it is highlighted.

c. When a dismissed task is reviewed and either reinstated or removed altogether, it is crossed out as it is no longer subject to review.

d. A page which has no active tasks left on it is marked with a cross in the outside upper corner.

e. When there are no active tasks left on any previous pages, the cross is surrounded with a circle.

f. When there are no dismissed tasks still subject to review on any previous pages, the circle is highlighted.

Reader Comments (191)

Italian Translations rules ?
July 14, 2011 at 9:02 | Unregistered CommenterLR
Sorry, not yet. The translations are all done by people who volunteer for the particular language. So far no one has come forward for Italian.

You perhaps?
July 14, 2011 at 13:13 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
How do "will do" lists fit into AF? I started out by reading Auto Focus rules then bought 'Do It Tomorrow' and became convinced of the importance of making a 'will do' list. How does this work with AF? Can you plan more than one task at a time that you will do?
September 9, 2011 at 2:44 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Haddock

AF and DIT are completely different systems. Don't try to read one into the other.

I don't know what you mean by "Can you plan more than one task at a time that you will do?" In both systems you can plan as many tasks as you like.
September 9, 2011 at 9:58 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark and everybody, this is my first post here. I just started using Superfocus and I have some questions.
I work as a freelance animator and renderer. My major concern is how to deal with my work, because it can vary dramatically in this way:

. When I have active projects to do I normally don't have time to do nothing else in the day, cause times are really deadly quick, and I have to work part of the night too.

. Then when I don't have projects running, the day changes alot, cause I don't really have strictly "to do" things. I must judge it for myself, if I have to spend time looking for other works, or to study some new tecniques, work to improve some workflow, work on personal projects.

So I'd like to ask you:
Do you think other methods presented in this blog other then SF could be better for my situation?

Specific to Superfocus:
Do you enter daily tasks in the list in column 1? I don't see how daily or weekly tasks are managed by the system.
Do one always have to judge personally the timing to accomplish a task? I ask that because simply starting doing something often brings me to do just that thing for hours, so that I don't finish other important tasks that I wanted to do in that day. That happens because usually I have complex tasks that require many actions, they're not one go operations. So the try&error is necessary and to reach a good flow is hard. Unfortunately that often brings me to loose myself in details, and that breaks the system and brings me to feel like a hamster running on his wheel: I do many things, but not in the right order, damn!
I hope that all this makes sense.
October 11, 2011 at 18:26 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo

You might find AF4 is better for your situation.

On the question of spending too much time on one task to the exclusion of all else, you might try giving yourself a maximum time to work on one task without a break, say one hour. Then set a timer for that amount of time.
October 11, 2011 at 23:12 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
My mistake.
Of course I meant Super Focus.

I suspected the answer would be the one you gave. Makes a lot of sense.

I think, rather than going back to Outlook, I may try and put these tasks in the back of the notebook and work forward till I meet the current task list. I would just have to hang on to the old notebooks.

I have given up on computerized task lists a while ago for all of the reasons you have mentioned before.
October 12, 2011 at 1:17 | Unregistered CommenterWolff Garritano
On your major project, you could have everything else in SuperFocus or AF4, and like Mark says: work an hour on the project, take a break and do something or two from the list, then resume the big task.

When you don't have the deadline, learn to apply Mark's principle of working "little and often". Instead of getting sucked into one chore to the exclusion of others, do a little of that project, switch to another thing, and keep coming back to the big chore. The effect should be the chore is accomplished, and a lot of other little things at the same time. To focus exclusively on one thing for a while is fine when nothing else presses, but generally it's a better balance to switch things up.

About daily, weekly things: keep them separate. When the day comes to work something, you can add them then.
October 12, 2011 at 1:18 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Thanks Mark. I've quickly gone through your different methods AF1-2-3-4, and I found that AF3 could fit well with my two default "states": 1 Job running 2 Research and Studies, with "backward" used for the first and "forward" and "review" for the second.
But I also like the simplicity of the last Superfocus method. I'd like to read also previous SF versions, but I've decided to stop planning and start from the last SF and start right now.
I keep other methods for future alternatives, if probelms will arise with SF.
About the timer, I'm going to try it. Problem is that coming like many people from the experience of keeping stricly hour-regulated workdays, I developed a "special skill" in skipping alarms.. time will tell if I'm strong enough to educate myself to that.
To also reply to Alan comment, I think that my attitude of loosing myself in single activities could be breaked from enjoying the little and often principle. Infact, I think that that principle alone is one of the most important fuel to the system! My fear for that though is that I could end in further fragmenting my targets preventing them to be accomplished.
But for now, I'm going to stop guessing and start acting. Maybe I'll add more comments as I keep going. For daily, weekly, and fixed hour tasks I'll trust on my paper agenda, then entering tasks on column 1 or 2 depending on the urgency.
Ok thank you guys, it's a pleasure to be here and recieve your comments!
Mark I put in the list "traduce SF in italian" :)
October 12, 2011 at 12:33 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo

I hope it works for you. Feel free to ask for advice at any time. You might want to join the Forum if you are not already a member. To join it see .
October 12, 2011 at 13:44 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Good luck Lorenzo! Two hints:
People using SF successfully for many months report that the best approach is to use column 2 more just for urgent tasks, less for ordinary unfinished tasks.
October 12, 2011 at 17:45 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Hello Mark,

I've been really enjoying using Superfocus this week and it all seems very clear and is working well for me. The only thing I'm wondering is what happens with reading. If I'm reading a book and I finish a session do I put 'Read Julian Barnes' at the END of the entire list (because reading is a recurring task) or do I put it in column two of the next page because the book is not finished. But then if I do the latter and 'cheat' because I'm no longer in work mode (the evening comes and all my tasks on page one are work related and I want to relax for example) so I end up reading another few pages before I officially get to work on the following page, I end up deleting an item in column two, page two, before I've even moved to page two 'officially' if you see what I mean.

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I am finding that I'm completing tasks not on my official page when I'm in more 'relaxed' mode - perhaps I've made the mistake of putting too many work-related tasks on page one!

I've added the distinction that when a task is going to become urgent but isn't yet, it gets a small asterisk, so the next day I can scan the asterixed tasks to easily find what needs to go in column two for that day...

Thanks for this great system. For a long time I shied away from it, but it seems to be working for me now - and look forward to your new book!
October 21, 2011 at 20:43 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui Lofthouse
You define when something is done. If you want to finish the bOok ASAP, then define done as "finished the book". Instead you can write " finish a chapter" or "read 10 pages" or "read until you have had enough for today". In such cases, you can reenter the task at the end It's up to you.
October 22, 2011 at 3:29 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan: thanks for your hints. I've came to the point to be very careful about column 2. Especially now that I still have to get through many backlogs in column 1, I need to circulate more through pages (I've got 3 pages). And having wrong items in column 2 can be very inconvenient for this flow.

Jacqui: I'm also new to SF (not two weeks yet), and I also noted what you're talking about. I tend to finish tasks in other colums than the active one too. This happen to me especially when I try to optimize similar tasks, or things to do in close places in town. EX if I entered two errands in different pages but close places, I'll do the two and delete those. In fact, it doesn't seem so smart not to do something just because I'm not in the right page.
I keep the pages as references and try to follow those, but then when I feel it's right, I just do something without regret ;)
About relaxing time, I don't put items in the list. It seems inconsistent to me to relax with a todo list. Relax is relax, can't follow rules to me. If you want to read a book but in relax time you don't read it, the reason is that reading that book isn't relax, so you shouldn't do it in that time.
October 22, 2011 at 10:34 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo
Jacqui - Regarding the book - It depends on how you are thinking about the book. If you have in mind a goal to finish the book, then perhaps using Column 2 is best. But if you have in mind "do some light reading in between tasks", then perhaps treating it as a recurring task is best.

Regarding "cheating" -- there's nothing that says you must be "all SuperFocus, all the time". I've seen several people on this list using SF strictly during work, but then take a more relaxed approach during "off hours".

You might also want to explore some of the other ideas presented on the lists for separating work from personal tasks -- such as the stalagmite/stalactite approach, or use the front of the notebook for work, and the back for personal, etc.
October 22, 2011 at 15:02 | Registered CommenterSeraphim

<< In fact, it doesn't seem so smart not to do something just because I'm not in the right page. >>

The problem with this is that if you keep breaking the rules, then the rules cease to provide the framework for you to get things done. All the rules are there for a purpose, If you just do things when you feel them, then you might as well have one long list and forget about rules altogether.

<< About relaxing time, I don't put items in the list. It seems inconsistent to me to relax with a todo list.>>

This is a personal preference and there is nothing wrong with using SF (or any other system) for work only. However there is a difference between "relax" and "personal", and for those of us who have shelves full of half-read books having a more systematic way of reading books may be very useful.
October 23, 2011 at 20:04 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks Mark, Alan, Lorenzo and Seraphim. Alan, I like the idea of breaking things down into smaller chunks and Seraphim, I also like the idea that it depends on whether finishing that book is a goal or a way to relax, so one can put it in column two for the former and as a recurring task for the latter. For me, the idea that 'one doesn't have to be on superfocus all the time' is useful - but that when I AM on superfocus, I am following the rules. Being careful about column two is an interesting point. Seraphim, I have rewritten my list using stalagmite/stalactite as suggested and think this will work much better and is clearer to see what I need to do for work which is helpful.

I feel that there is probably a middle point between Lorenzo and Mark's view above. (Lorenzo, good to find someone else who is fairly new to it!) I think it is helpful to try really hard to focus on the rules, but I also think that in life, assuming that one is not on superfocus 'all' the time, it is inevitable that something will get done from a future page (unless one always pulls it back to column two to say 'this is actually 'urgent' right now). I agree that it's useful to have a framework for personal tasks, absolutely, and I try to read far too many books at once, so I do like the idea of some kind of framework for this. I'm looking forward to continuing to play with this - in particular I'm looking forward to the fact that I won't be able to procrastinate about certain tasks that I tend to put off for more 'urgent' ones. Thanks Mark!
October 23, 2011 at 23:19 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui Lofthouse

<<if you keep breaking the rules, then the rules cease to provide the framework for you to get things done.>>

I believe you. But the system is missing a reordering phase that would permit to couple similar tasks that are more easily done toghether.
I don't want to "just do things when I feel them", I want to do things more rationally.

I enter a task "Go buying bread" on page 1. Baker is in Long Street at half an hour from home.
Then I enter "Go buying butter" on page 2. My grocer in Long Street too.
So today if I pass through pages I could go to Long Street two times and come back, just because I entered similar tasks in different times and I have them in different pages.

<<there is a difference between "relax" and "personal">>

Yes it should be enoght separated. About that, you reccomended in DIT to stop working everyday at the same time. I try to do it, and often I switch to "personal" tasks when I don't go out or just relax. But since my day during clients research periods I work on "personal" tasks too during work, I can't feel the end of the workday, and sometimes I feel a bit sick for that. What do you reccomend about that?
October 24, 2011 at 10:30 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo

<< I enter a task "Go buying bread" on page 1. Baker is in Long Street at half an hour from home. Then I enter "Go buying butter" on page 2. My grocer in Long Street too.
So today if I pass through pages I could go to Long Street two times and come back, just because I entered similar tasks in different times and I have them in different pages. >>

That's what the Urgent column is for. If you have series of tasks you need to do now, then make them all Urgent and list them in column 2.

<< I can't feel the end of the workday, and sometimes I feel a bit sick for that. >>

I'm not sure from your description what it is that's now preventing you from ending your workday at a specific time. Perhaps you could make it a bit clearer.
October 24, 2011 at 11:06 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

<< (unless one always pulls it back to column two to say 'this is actually 'urgent' right now) >>

Well that is exactly what you are supposed to do!
October 24, 2011 at 11:07 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Re groceries: It seems better to take buy bread and write it on a separate list. Ditto for butter. Then buy stuff can be one item to do.
October 24, 2011 at 13:43 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu

That's right. That's an alternative way of doing it. But Lorenzo did ask specifically about a reordering phase that would permit coupling similar tasks that are more easily done together.
October 24, 2011 at 16:20 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
RE Groceries and reordering, etc.

This used to be a big issue for me also - not just for groceries, but for smallish projects.

Example: Let's say there are four or five tasks related to a project, and they get entered into the list as they come to mind, or perhaps when emails pertaining to the project appear in my in box.

As I process my list, I come across one of them. It creates some mental dissonance, because I know there are other related tasks in my list, some of which may or may not need to be done first, or in conjunction with this current task. But I can't remember what those tasks are, and I can't remember where they are in the list -- or even if they ARE in the list! Maybe they are just in the back of my mind.

I could always pull out a folder or a separate project sheet and map out the tasks there -- but for smallish projects, this always seemed like too much overhead. I could easily have 15-20 such projects going on simultaneously, each with only a handful of related tasks -- and then I need a way to integrate this project-tracking system into SF. More mental dissonance.

This was the main driver behind using project pages in my system. Instead of having just standard AF/SF pages, I intersperse project pages together with the AF/SF pages. When I realize a task is part of a larger project, I'd move it to one of these project pages -- creating the new page if needed.

What's really nice about this approach is that these projects are cycled through just like everything else, giving all the benefits of SF/AF, little and often, frequent repeated exposure, etc. -- but all the related tasks are kept together.
October 24, 2011 at 17:03 | Unregistered CommenterSeraphim
<<That's what the Urgent column is for. If you have series of tasks you need to do now, then make them all Urgent and list them in column 2.>>

Ok perfect, so the rules are save! It seems to me a bit of a formal issue, but all right. That's better then breaking rules for nothing.

<<I'm not sure from your description what it is that's now preventing you from ending your workday at a specific time. Perhaps you could make it a bit clearer.>>

Nothing is preventing, I finish at the usual hour, and I switch to personal tasks. Problem is that having already worked on personal tasks during the day my free time become very similar to working day, and that sometimes makes me a bit sick. I guess I should just relax or differentiate activities.
October 24, 2011 at 17:10 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo

If you want to keep personal tasks separate from work tasks the easiest solution is to have two lists.
October 24, 2011 at 18:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

My usual method of dealing with smallish projects for which it's too much overhead to open a separate project file or list is to _both_ enter the individual tasks as I think of them _and_ enter the project itself. So I can either pick the tasks off as I come to them, or work on the project as a whole.

If I come on a task called "Work on Project X", I will simply head a piece of paper "Project X" and write down everything I can think of that needs doing now. As I work on the list, I will add anything else I think of. Once I've done as much work as I want to I'll re-enter the overall task in the Unfinished column if I want to. Otherwise I'll junk the project list and re-enter at the end of the main list.

Making an ad hoc list in this way is a very flexible and effective way of working for a project which doesn't need formal documentation.
October 24, 2011 at 18:14 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
The idea of adding separate lists for single projects is great as a project manager for my hottest days. But I think I will pause my regular SF list and switch back at delivery time.
But for regular projects that do not need particular precedence, I don't think that separating things would be so good. Infact I like having just one list where I can have all under control.
Anyway, I miss some project specific "interface", I hope the next system would include them. Mark What do you mean with formal documentation?
October 24, 2011 at 23:21 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo

<< But I think I will pause my regular SF list and switch back at delivery time. >>

If you follow my suggestion that is basically what you will be doing.

<< What do you mean with formal documentation? >>

I mean when a project needs to be documented in full, for example for legal reasons or because it involves coordinating many people.
October 25, 2011 at 0:54 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
<<If you follow my suggestion that is basically what you will be doing.>>

Yes, I didn't noticed that :)
I've got a bunch of things to say about SF, but I prefer to wait and test it a bit more.
Thanks for help.

Any other hints about project management inside SF?
For now I like to use the "Current Activity" concept from DIT. I don't write it on the list but on the agenda. I start the day with that project in mind everyday before everything else (or at least I try to do it).
October 25, 2011 at 10:40 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo
<<Re groceries: It seems better to take buy bread and write it on a separate list. Ditto for butter. Then buy stuff can be one item to do.>>

Alan I didn't mean just shopping items in the list. For ex if I go out for errands and I realize I'm passing through my old aunt's neighborhood and she owes me 500 €, I could consider to make a quick call to her even if I wrote that commission two pages ahead. Especially for quick tasks, shoud be a good idea to do them if I can save time. Living in a big city usually push people to make similar choices too. Probably I'm going to modify the list *after* doing things. So it doesn't break the rules, but it sounds a bit like a cheat. Infact it's not that "Call my aunt" is really becoming urgent. That is only trying to optimize time.
Also, I could not make another list "go do in town", cause I enter items in the lists when I recall them, so they could be in different pages.
Finally I think that column 2 is for "urgent and reordered tasks" that I want to couple. That should work better for me, so I don't feel I'm cheating.
October 26, 2011 at 16:04 | Unregistered CommenterLorenzo
I often do tasks that are not on the current page. I do restrain myself in this, as it's valuable to go through the pages according to the rules. But if something comes up like calling your aunt, and it just makes sense to do now, I'll do it. And when I find it in the list, I mark it done.

Also, if it comes to it, I will make a list that includes: buy bread, buy milk, get haircut, visit aunt.

So absolutely keep doing what works, Lorenzo!
October 26, 2011 at 23:34 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu

<< But if something comes up like calling your aunt, and it just makes sense to do now, I'll do it. And when I find it in the list, I mark it done. >>

1. So you had "Call Aunt" on your list, but you hadn't done it yet because either:

a. you hadn't reached that task yet (because it wasn't in C2)


b. you had passed by it one or more times

Both of these suggest a certain amount of reluctance to do the task.

And then "something comes up" that means in spite of your previous reluctance you felt the need to call her immediately. Presumably that "something" was a message from her on your Voicemail demanding to know why she hadn't heard from you for so long and threatening to cut you out of her will.

I guess that would qualify as an Immediate emergency, which doesn't need to be written on the list anyway!
October 27, 2011 at 9:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
That is one scenario Mark. The other is what Lorenzo wrote: something came up which made the action more expedient now: going into town. Indeed if instead of "call", it was "visit" then the point is clearer. The visiting task can be copied onto the "grocery" list as a convenient package of in-town tasks.
October 27, 2011 at 12:56 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu

So you only visit your aunt because you've decided to do some shopping, rather than doing some shopping because you've decided to visit your aunt.

No wonder she's contemplating cutting you out of her will!
October 27, 2011 at 13:54 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
For those of you that want a small notebook that fits in a pocket, try a mini composition notebook. Here is an example on Amazon:
Or check your local dollar store or Walmart. Walmart has these for under $1 per book. Dollar stores often have multi-packs of them for $1. They are 3.25" x 4.5", with room for 18 items on a page.

They are small, so you would probably have to use the left pages for column 1 and the right pages as column 2.
November 1, 2011 at 16:50 | Registered CommenterDave D
One of my tasks might be "email my supplier requesting a quote for such-and-such item". After I complete that task, I want to make sure I get a response from the supplier. How do I handle these types of items that I am waiting on from other sources? I don't want to put it in column 2, because I don't want it holding me up from moving to the next page. Sometimes the quotes may be complex and could take a week or more for the supplier to put it all together.
November 1, 2011 at 19:16 | Unregistered CommenterDave D
Add an entry to C1 as "follow-up supplier X" if it can be done whenever it "stands out" or add it to your calendar if it needs doing on a specific date.
November 2, 2011 at 16:40 | Registered Commentermichael
This is a good idea and I already sort of do this but I only have the one column. I'm going to add the second one for those urgent tasks. For those asking about getting through the page I would probably say to number them in order of importance (1 being most important and going down from there) after you've written them all out?

I take it that not all of these need to be completed in a day as you are constantly adding to the list.
November 16, 2011 at 17:53 | Unregistered CommenterJeannie
This is a great idea, but I like to have my lists on my iphone/computer. Are there any apps available for this yet?
November 22, 2011 at 14:28 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria
Hi Mark,

Thank you so much for sharing SuperFocus, I know it's old now but I've only just stumbled upon it last week. I've tried a few of your other systems and read all of your books, but SuperFocus is amazing and I feel like this could be the one I stick with long term.

SF is working really well for me but I a few questions that I couldn't find addressed in the rules or the comments.

#1: Multiple concurrently running tasks

I'm often working on a task like building a Windows server, where I click “Install” and then have to wait 30 minutes before I can click again, so I will work on another task at the same time. The task of installing Windows is something that I want to keep working on until it is done, but it's a stop-start-stop-start task. So for example I may click on “Install”, and then while I'm waiting for that component to install (which could take 30-60 minutes) I start working on another task.

There are 3 options that I can think of, just wondering what your thoughts are?

- Would I cross off “Install server” and re-enter it on column 2 of the active page?
- Or just not cross it off yet because I'm “still actively working on it, even though I'm not touching it right in this moment, and am working on another thing too” ?

#2: Urgent tasks when column 1 of the active page isn't full

The scenario is that you're have a page where column 1 isn't yet full, you're working on tasks from this page and also entering new tasks onto this same page. When something comes up that you want to work on straight away, would you enter that task in column 1, or column 2?

#3: Unfinished tasks with only 1 active page

And a second question that is similar, suppose you do some work on a task, but don't finish it. But you only have one active page. Do you re-enter the task on column 2 of the same page? (this may only be a question that comes up for people that have just started with SuperFocus, and don't yet have a bunch of pages)

April 27, 2018 at 3:35 | Unregistered CommenterDan Mundy
Dan Mundy:

I'm glad you like Superfocus. I think there's still quite a few people using it.

In the case you mention of installing Window, I personally would treat it as a finished task, but come back to it as and when it needed attention. This sort of thing happens quite often to normal non-IT people like myself, and I've always just done what is necessary when it's necessary without creating a new task.

In answer to your second question, if I remember rightly the rules say somewhere that urgent tasks on the last page should be entered in Column 1 rather than Column 2 while there is space available. This would obviously apply to your case.
April 27, 2018 at 19:34 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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