I want to stress how important it is to maintain correct form. On the few occasions when I found myself drifting aimlessly, it was because I had not followed the very simple rules exactly.
It thought I’d expand on that thought today.
In my experience the bits of correct form which it’s particularly important to pay attention to are these:
1) Aim to finish every task on the list by the time you stop for the day. It helps to put “Stop work” or “Go to bed” as the first item on the list. This will help to focus your attention on the time still available.
2) Select between two or three major tasks to go after the “Stop work” marker. Make sure these tasks are in the opposite order to the order you want to do them. If you miss this out you are liable to have trouble keeping your focus throughout the day. Working up to these major tasks provides a framework for the day.
3) When selecting the next task to work on, rigidly adhere to the procedure of repeatedly asking “Is there anything I want to do before this?” until you get the answer “No”. You can use a differently phrased question if you like, but make sure you use it in the same way. Especially avoid doing any task without going through this procedure or you will find yourself drifting aimlessly from one trivial action to another. The tighter you keep to the procedure the more focused your work will be.
Whenever you find your focus slipping ask yourself “Am I following correct form?”