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« Flexible Autofocus | Main | How to Do The Same Old Thing »
Friday
Jan062017

Fast FVP - An Example

My description of Fast FVP seems not to have been as clear as it should have been. This is a pity as it is actually an extremely good system - and the one which I am currently using myself.

I think an example of how it works would be helpful.

So here is an imaginary list and I’ll go through step-by-step how one would action it using Fast FVP. The list is not in any sort of order, and it’s a mixture of work and leisure items with a range of tasks from large projects to trivial routine actions. To keep it simple I’ve not added any new tasks while the example is being worked.

● Email
  Read Magazine
  Read “War and Peace”
  Call Joe re Relocation Project
  Write Staff Reports
  Tidy Desk
  Buy Birthday Present for C
  Blog Post
  Charge Phone
  Convene New Branch Guidance Committee
  Approve Advertising Drafts
  Expenses Claim
  Journal
  Facebook
  Twitter

You began by dotting the first task. You now ask yourself whether you are ready to do it now. The answer is “Yes”. You work on it, delete it and re-enter at the end as it is a recurring task. You dot the new first task.

● Email
● Read Magazine
  Read “War and Peace”
  Call Joe re Relocation Project
  Write Staff Reports
  Tidy Desk
  Buy Birthday Present for C
  Blog Post
  Charge Phone
  Convene New Branch Guidance Committee
  Approve Advertising Drafts
  Expenses Claim
  Journal
  Facebook
  Twitter
  Email

You ask yourself whether you are ready to do it now. The answer is “No”, so you ask yourself the second question which is “What do I want to do more than Read Magazine”? You scan down and dot “Call Joe re Relocation Project”. You’re not ready to do it now, so continue scanning. You want to do “Charge Phone” more than call Joe so you dot that. You are ready to do that now, so action that.

● Email
● Read Magazine
  Read “War and Peace”
● Call Joe re Relocation Project
  Write Staff Reports
  Tidy Desk
  Buy Birthday Present for C
  Blog Post
● Charge Phone
  Convene New Branch Guidance Committee
  Approve Advertising Drafts
  Expenses Claim
  Journal
  Facebook
  Twitter
  Email
  Charge Phone

Now you go back to “Call Joe re Relocation Project” and ask yourself whether you are ready to do it now. The answer is still “No”, so exactly as in FVP you continue scanning from the last task you have done, i.e. “Charge Phone”. You scan down the list and decide you want to do “Facebook” more than call Joe. You are ready to do that now so action that.

● Email
● Read Magazine
  Read “War and Peace”
● Call Joe re Relocation Project
  Write Staff Reports
  Tidy Desk
  Buy Birthday Present for C
  Blog Post
● Charge Phone
  Convene New Branch Guidance Committee
  Approve Advertising Drafts
  Expenses Claim
  Journal
● Facebook
  Twitter
  Email
  Charge Phone
  Facebook

Now you go back to “Call Joe re Relocation Project” again and ask yourself whether you are ready to do it now. The answer now is  “Yes”. So do it. It’s not a recurring task so don’t re-enter it.

● Email
● Read Magazine
  Read “War and Peace”
● Call Joe re Relocation Project
  Write Staff Reports
  Tidy Desk
  Buy Birthday Present for C
  Blog Post
● Charge Phone
  Convene New Branch Guidance Committee
  Approve Advertising Drafts
  Expenses Claim
  Journal
● Facebook
  Twitter
  Email
  Charge Phone
  Facebook

You now go back to “Read Magazine” and ask yourself whether you are ready to do it now. The answer is still “No”.

What is the next step?

When you’ve answered this question, scroll down the page and you will come to the correct answer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answer:

Ask “What do I want to do more than Read Magazine?” and scan down the page from the task you have just done, i.e. “Call Joe re Relocation Project”.

Did you get it right? If not, read the instructions again, write out the example and go through the process step-by-step.

 

Reader Comments (12)

Mark, great post walking thru this system. I like it so much, I dumped what I was using (ineffectively) and jumped right in with this. It feels well suited to how I work. One question is how you enter tasks that need to be done later in the day. An example is while I am in the office and think of tasks I need to do tonight when I get home. Do I enter them onto the list knowing I will pass them until I am in the right place to accomplish them?
January 6, 2017 at 13:47 | Unregistered CommenterTerrence McCracken
Terrence:

<< One question is how you enter tasks that need to be done later in the day. >>

The simple answer is to just enter them at the end of the list like any other task. The way this system is structured they will get passed over as you suggest.

That's the way I'd do it myself, but another answer would be to keep separate Office and Home lists.

When I'm away from home if I think of anything I want to do when I get home I just put a note in Evernote and add it to my list when I get home. So that's another way of doing it.
January 6, 2017 at 15:07 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Terrence McCracken:

First off, that's a fantastic last name.

Second, to reiterate Mark's answer to your question: just add any and all tasks to the end of the list as you go throughout your day. Fast FVP is a list with great freedom to it. Jot down anything that comes to mind:

• Small Tasks
• Large Tasks
• Projects
• Recurring Tasks
• Notes to Process
• Grocery Lists
• Packing Lists
• Books to Read
• Movies to Watch

You can also break down large tasks at the end of the list and get to them quickly.
January 6, 2017 at 15:14 | Registered CommenterMichael B.
An example of breaking tasks down into smaller pieces at the end of the list:

You decide you're not ready to "Call Joe re Relocation Project" yet. Before continuing your scan you decide to break that task down into smaller pieces. You now add three new tasks to the end of the list related to calling Joe:

• Email
• Read Magazine
Read “War and Peace”
• Call Joe re Relocation Project
Write Staff Reports
Tidy Desk
Buy Birthday Present for C
Blog Post
Charge Phone
Convene New Branch Guidance Committee
Approve Advertising Drafts
Expenses Claim
Journal
Facebook
Twitter
Email
Grab Relocation Project Folder
Outline Discussion with Joe
Get Joe's Mobile Number

You then dot any tasks you want to do more than "Call Joe re Relocation Project", including possibly dotting any or all of those three new tasks. In another scenario you might add those three new tasks and then ignore them for a bit, deciding instead to "Charge Phone" first, etc. Fast FVP is fast but also very flexible.
January 6, 2017 at 15:43 | Registered CommenterMichael B.
Thanks for the clarification, Mark.

I have been experimenting with combining Fast FVP with my FVP "current initiative hack".
http://markforster.squarespace.com/fv-forum/post/2560976

And I found that it worked a lot better by asking the FVP questions in a different order than you described in the Fast FVP blog post.

(a) What will contribute the most to finishing the current initiative? Dot the item.
(b) For the item I just dotted, am I ready to do it now? Do it. If not, keep scanning.

This was working so well, I was going to write a forum post about it. But you beat me to it! And it seems to be the order you actually intended in your original post.

Based on the "(1) Ready? (2) More?" ordering, I got the impression the Fast FVP process was:
(a) Scan the list.
(b) For each item on the list, ask "ready to do now?" If yes, do it. If not, proceed to step (c).
(c) If not, ask "want to do more than x?" If yes, dot the item.
(d) Keep scanning to the end of the list. Take action on the last dotted item. Repeat from (a), starting the scan from the task you just acted upon.

I had missed this text, or didn't see how to reconcile it with the "(1) ready? (2) more?" ordering: <<All I had to do was to change the algorithm so that whenever a task is dotted which I am ready to do right now I stop scanning and do it.>>

Anyway, thanks for the clarification!

And I should report, the current-initiative hack works even better with Fast FVP than it did with FVP. :-)
January 6, 2017 at 16:16 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
There has always been one thing that has bothered me with FVP (including fast FVP): how do you remember or (better yet) mark the last task you just crossed out? I ask this because most of the time it takes me some time to look for that last task I just crossed out, and (more relevant to Fast FVP) it actually takes less time for me to just start scanning from the last dotted item.
January 7, 2017 at 8:38 | Registered Commenternuntym
Regarding the order of the questions in Fast FVP, I think it goes;

Dot a task
1. Ask if I'm ready to do it now (if Yes then do it)
2. If no, ask what do I want to do more than ... , dot this task and repeat questions

I think this is consistent with both Mark's posts

Finding this to be working really well.
January 7, 2017 at 11:51 | Unregistered Commentersmeatho
I'm struggling with getting this one going myself. An app to handle the algorithm would be great. That could maybe cut down on the time it takes to find the last crossed-out item.

Right now I'm using the Fast Final Version talked about here http://markforster.squarespace.com/fv-forum/post/2619857 and I'm failing to see why Fast FVP would be better. At least on paper.
January 7, 2017 at 15:36 | Unregistered CommenterJesse
nuntym:

<< There has always been one thing that has bothered me with FVP (including fast FVP): how do you remember or (better yet) mark the last task you just crossed out? >>

The simplest way is not to cross it out until you start the scanning.

<< I ask this because most of the time it takes me some time to look for that last task I just crossed out, and (more relevant to Fast FVP) it actually takes less time for me to just start scanning from the last dotted item. >>

The problem with scanning from the last dotted item is that you don't get the progression which gradually takes you back through the list to the "root task".
January 7, 2017 at 18:21 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
smeatho:

That's correct.
January 7, 2017 at 18:23 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
nuntym:

"how do you remember or (better yet) mark the last task you just crossed out?

A couple methods have worked well for me:

Option 1:
1. Turn the dot into a dash to complete the task.
2. Flip back to the previously dotted task.
3. Return to the dashed task, cross it out, and scan down from there.

Option 2:
This method provides speed and the satisfaction of immediately crossing out finished tasks. Two things to note: I bookmark the end of the list with the notebook's built-in black elastic band. I also use the notebook's built-in ribbon to bookmark the current page-spread containing the current task I'm working on.

1. Cross out the finished task and leave the bookmark ribbon in place.
2. Flip back to the previously dotted task.
3. Return to the bookmarked page spread and scan from the first task.
January 7, 2017 at 19:54 | Registered CommenterMichael B.
Thank you Marc, FFVP has boosted my productivity!
March 23, 2017 at 9:32 | Unregistered CommenterStratos Laspas

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