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Within a sequence of decisions, your most hesitant and vague decision will have the greatest effect on the overall consequences. Alexander Cortes
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« Some suggestions for What Next? | Main | Most Popular Content This Week »

What next?

Now that I’m beginning to recover from the flu (or whatever it was), I’m turnng my mind to what I should be doing next.

Here are some of the SuperFocus-related projects which I want to get under way:

  • Next issue of the newletter
  • A video (or perhaps even a series of videos) on how to implement SuperFocus
  • Some short (half-day) seminars
  • Daily tips
  • Guest postings on how people are using SuperFocus
  • Teleclasses
  • Re-design website so it is SuperFocus focused
  • Write an e-book on SuperFocus

I’m sure I shall think of some more things to put on the list. Anyone else have any suggestions?

Reader Comments (23)

The downfall of any system I've tried to implement are how it helps me (or doesn't) deal with recurring tasks, particularly those that don't HAVE TO be done a particular day/date, but you'd really like to get them on some kind of a schedule. I think I remember reading a post of yours that I interpreted you as saying that you'd be posting something along those lines (how to implement for various types of tasks/situations...something like that). I look forward to that. I've resisted soliciting advice on this from the forum in anticipation of this. I'd love to know if I heard you right, if it's coming soon, or if I'd be better off asking on the forum.
February 20, 2011 at 1:38 | Unregistered Commentermalisa
Mark, thanks for this way of looking at things and your willingness to share it out. It has been an interesting and helpful take on things.

Could you, as you might, connect the dots between super focus and one's personal calendaring? Is there a connection that might be helpful?

Thank you.
February 20, 2011 at 2:34 | Unregistered CommenterKeith
No suggestions from me Mark, but may I just say I am blown away by what's on your list! This is hardly the stuff of retirement, and I daresay Superfocus has filled you with renewed energy, and well, focus.

Exciting days ahead here I suspect, and I look forward to all your great ideas. And with all the wonderful contributors to add to this mix, its about the best place to be on the web.

And here I was thinking things would tail off after Superfocus was released.
February 20, 2011 at 3:53 | Registered CommenterJD
If you happen to decide to add "World tour" to the list :) just let me know when you will be in New Zealand.
February 20, 2011 at 9:02 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Schapel
It all looks brilliant. And there I was thinking it was about time I eased off on my daily visits to

The video, daily tips, and guest postings are particularly enticing; not to mention the eBook.

I have two suggestions. The first might say more about my impoverished state of affairs (and therefore may be an unhelpful suggestion to the wider community), so feel free to judge it harshly. The second is a little left field, but I'd encourage you not to dismiss immediately.

1. SF Troubleshoot Guide (aka. How Not to SF).
I'm aware this might be a variation on 'Daily Tips', but I'm conscious of how easily led astray I am. I'm equally amazed at the ease of differing applications (and interpretations) of SF depending on the individual and their 'task-driven environment'. An example might be: 'If you're still on the same page at the end of the day'; and unpacking the reasons why this might be the case.

2. The SF Guide for Young People / Families
I rue the fact that I didn't properly look into TM until my late 20s (and then MF/DIT in my early 30s), And as someone who works in child development, I am reminded everyday of how hard much easier it is to establish good habits if those habits are introduced from an early age. In retrospect, most (if not all) my frequent failings and pitfalls with SF relate to allowing myself ot slip back into old habits. SF is not a particularly complicated TM system and there is no reason why it can't be established from an early age (akin to Tony Buzan and his use of MindMaps with childern - some of you might have seen the TV programmes in the UK of Tony Buzan using MindMaps in struggling schools to great effect). What about exploring the possibility of how to introduce SF from a young age? I'm certainly keen to introduce it to my children when they're a little older (old enough to read, that is), so they don't have to go through my tortured experience of having to unlearn (again and again) old habits which hinder me.
February 20, 2011 at 9:50 | Registered Commenterneumatist
How about a guide on migrating to SuperFocus for GTD refugees?

That's how I found DIT.

There are some unique issues based on how a GTD user perceives normal use of project lists, calendars, agendas, tasks (next actions), batching and agendas.
February 20, 2011 at 12:59 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
The trick with the second point is not explaining the rules to a child. I think that's easy. The trick is what to use it for. Much of childhood is spontaneous and immediate, and pedagogy likes to present things one at a time, so planning is irrelevant or minimal. How could even one SF page get filled? And why would a child even want to abide a system?
I'm sure there's a good and entertaining answer. Self directed education centers (eg Montessori ) may point the way.
February 20, 2011 at 15:04 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu

<< I think I remember reading a post of yours that I interpreted you as saying that you'd be posting something along those lines (how to implement for various types of tasks/situations...something like that). >>

In fact I've already done that:

However I think there's scope for a more systematic treatment, so I'll put your suggestion on my list.
February 20, 2011 at 15:36 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

<< Could you, as you might, connect the dots between super focus and one's personal calendaring? >>

Could you expand a bit on what aspects you'd like covered here?
February 20, 2011 at 15:38 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I would love the video and the ebook. I think it would be great to put examples to do or not to do and current experiences.
February 20, 2011 at 18:54 | Registered CommenterJupiter
I am using and loving the system on paper, but I think there's a vast world of potential users who would never even look at SuperFocus without a clear, easy electronic implementation. This might also be a money-making avenue.
February 20, 2011 at 18:55 | Registered CommenterDS

I get a lot of people writing to me for permission to write apps for various AF versions, so hopefully there won't be a shortage for SF!
February 20, 2011 at 18:58 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Since starting up SuperFocus on paper, I've actually missed my regular forays searching for the latest "to-do management" apps. I do love to fiddle and it's perversely annoying that with SF I simply haven't had to!
February 20, 2011 at 20:01 | Registered CommenterDS

I found your live session and Andreas' subsequent animation of AF4 very effective as a learning tool. I wonder if it would be worth repeating a similar experiment with Superfocus and / or including it as part of some sort online learning package?
February 20, 2011 at 21:05 | Registered Commenterleon

I could certainly do another demonstration, but I don't think it would be quite so easy to do an animation of it since it can't be all done on one page like AF4. I'll see what Andreas thinks.
February 20, 2011 at 21:33 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
English not my first langage and currently with flu and fever, so please forgive the lack of clarity.

I would personally like to see covered in the ebook how to practically integrate SF task management methodology into a broader "life management" methodology (, ie Covey and Lakein "top down", goal settings kind of approach). Ive been reading through the forum a lot lately, and AF systems are described by some as promoting a"bottom-up" approach, with the criticism that one could spend a lot of time doing the most mundane things at the expense of effectively and regularly tackling the most important, potentially life-changing things (Lakin As, Covey quadrant II, ZTD Big Rocks & MITs). I know that Mark is against systematic prioritizing in a time management sytem, but im pretty certain that his way of using his own systems make sure that the personally important, long term goals stuff dosent get drowned out in the process of getting things done. Maybe how he does this can be found in his "how to make your dreams come true" book, I havent read it yet, but it would be of great help to see explicitly described by Mark himself how to practically integrate the SF methodology of tasks management into a long-term, "bigger picture" type of reflexion. Or maybe Mark has finally come to the conclusion that setting long term goals for oneself is of little value (cf the brilliant post "goalless living"), which is fine and actually resonates strongly with me. Anyways, i think it would be really nice to know how Mark sees the integration his SF "task management" system within a broader "life management" reflexion.

Another thing that dosent seem very clear reading the forums, is the integration of task management and project management. There has been an interesting discussion in the forum about that (the one about looseleaf notebooks), but nothing really clear-cut and practical from Mark himself. There is the added problem that many people come from GTD wich has its own definition of "project", so it would be nice to see clearly worded by Mark himself, with practical advices, about how to use the SF task management methodology to help oneself getting projects done.

February 20, 2011 at 21:43 | Unregistered CommenterDaouda
Spread the animation out horizontally:
col1 | col 2 || p2 col1 | p2 col2 || p3 col 1
February 20, 2011 at 21:53 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu

I've written on the relationship between time and project management quite extensively and consistently over the years. To save digging up old posts, what I think can be summed up as follows:

"Time management and project management are separate disciplines. Any time management system can be used with any project management system - or none"

"A project should be managed as much as it needs to be managed, no more and no less."

I find with people coming from GTD the main problem is getting them out of thinking that every project has to be managed to the same degree.
February 21, 2011 at 3:28 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks for your answer Mark, and you are right, i remember having read this from you elsewhere in the forums... But Im sorry to say that, although i think this is worthy to be read next to the latest SF material without having to dig out old posts, i dont find this very helpful! What i would like to see from you is real practical examples on HOW you would link your time management system (currently SF) with a project - or not , and WHY. Even if its as simple as writing something like "work on project X for x minutes/hours" on the list, i would like to read it explicitly from YOU, and i would like to know in which cases you would use SF with a project, or not (and then use a "real" project management methodology?)

In short, i think it would be welcome to read in the SF ebook just a little more about projects and how they relate to the SF method of time management with practical examples, because it is still not clear to me, and i'm willing to bet, to many others as well.

Oh, and for the record, even though i have read about GTD, i have never used it, nor ANY other time managment system for that matter, and as a consequence my life is currently a disastrous mess which i need to dig myself out of, hence my interest towards time management...
February 21, 2011 at 4:07 | Unregistered CommenterDaouda
You could perhaps have a must-read section on your time management/project management philosophy, or something to get people to understand where this whole thing comes from. Having been here for several years and read all of your books, I know. Someone new coming to the forum looking for advice would not have the same background. I think this may cause people to not try SF or another system here, because they're overwhelmed with info without much background on how these things are arrived at. There is a lot of good content in the forum and elsewhere, but I doubt a newbie will take the time to go through it-I know I wouldn't. Just my 2 cents.
February 21, 2011 at 7:50 | Unregistered CommenterTK

<< What i would like to see from you is real practical examples on HOW you would link your time management system (currently SF) with a project - or not , and WHY.>>

Well, hopefully this will be covered by the Demonstration and other tasks on my What Next? List.
February 21, 2011 at 7:54 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Looking at your impressive list, It most definitely should be. The demonstration will be a great learning tool for sure! Also, may i suggest the "Daily log of a major Column 2 project" should better be posted in your blog (and hyperlinked to the main SF blog page) rather than in the forum where it will end up being drowned out. That s probably what you meant to do anyway but i still wanted to suggest it since you have been posting your "SuperFocus - Forthcoming 3rd Revision" testing log in the forum. Thanks!
February 21, 2011 at 15:42 | Unregistered CommenterDaouda

Yes, it's my intention to use the blog for this, not the discussion forum.
February 21, 2011 at 18:57 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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