According to the rules, tasks which are unfinished are re-entered in Column 2 on the next page. This is designed to keep tasks moving to completion by using the little and often principle.
It’s important not to overload Column 2 because the SuperFocus rules make it compulsory to work on all Column 2 tasks before you can leave a page. Having too many Column 2 tasks results in an indigestible mass of tasks which have to be worked on every time you move from one page to another.
The way to control the number of tasks in Column 2 is to be careful to define exactly what is meant by “finished” and “unfinished” in connection with each individual task.
For example a task called “Email” could mean 1) “Do some work on my In-Box” or 2) “Clear all Email”.
Usually it’s not necessary to write out either in full, but it is important to be clear in one’s mind which it is. If you work on the “Email” task for as long as you want to and there are still unactioned emails left in the In-Box, the way you’ve defined the task affects what happens next.
If “Do some work on my In-Box” is the definition then you have done some work on your In-Box and therefore the task is finished. You would re-enter it at the end of the list in Column 1.
If “Clear all Email” is the definition then the task has not been finished. Therefore you re-enter it in Column 2 of the next active page. You may need to re-enter it several times in this way before the task is finally completed.
In the next Tip, I will look at the way that Column 2 is used for urgent tasks, and then in a future Tip how the two columns can be used together to get what you want done.