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« High Volume, High Speed, Low Resistance - Second Test | Main | Lenten Challenge: FFVP »

Lenten Challenge: FFVP - Day 2


I’ve prepared the Welsh Intensive by grouping all the activities I want to do under that heading towards the end of the list so that they will stay reasonably close to each other throughout the day. The activities are: 

  • Welsh Glossika (Normal Speed)
  • Welsh Glossika (Fast Speed)
  • Welsh Dictation
  • “Colloquial Welsh” textbook
  • Vocabulary learning
  • Vocabulary acquisition
  • BBC S4C (Siarad Pedwar Cymraeg) TV Channel 

I also want to keep going on the fitness activity I started yesterday so I’ve added three non-Welsh activities: 

  • Walking
  • Push-ups
  • The Plank 

The rest of my list remains available for essential administrative and other necessary activities (such as keeping my in-boxes at zero, blog updates and so on)

Reader Comments (35)

Mark - you say "by grouping all the activities I want to do under that heading". Are you making a sub-list with the heading "Welsh Intensive"? Or are you not talking about a literal, written heading?
February 15, 2018 at 22:44 | Unregistered CommenterZane

I wrote "Welsh intensive" as a task and then wrote all the tasks I thought of at the time which were related to it under that task as separate tasks. They are all separate tasks and are treated as such. They are not sub-tasks and are not indented or otherwise distinguished.

The "Welsh intensive" task itself is used for thinking about whether any further tasks are needed (or whether any existing tasks are superfluous).
February 16, 2018 at 1:00 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Such a simple tip for getting a stuck or stale project moving forward (I just did this), then keeping it moving & fresh (I imagine).

I should have picked up on this trick before but I think too much about isolating tasks into neat little groups - I put ‘projects’ on their own pages.

Thanks for spelling it out for me.
February 17, 2018 at 16:06 | Unregistered CommenterZane
Grouping seems to be flavour of the month, here and on "an interesting link"...
February 19, 2018 at 9:57 | Registered CommenterWill
I tried the Welsh Glossika (since that one is free) for a couple of weeks, but then gave up. The language still sounds alien to me. Is it a good method?
February 19, 2018 at 10:32 | Unregistered CommenterVille

Glossika is good, but it's not intended to be a stand-alone method. Welsh is a difficult language for people who are only acquainted with English, French, German, etc. because it's a Celtic language, which is an entirely different branch of the Indo-European group from the Romance languages (French, Spanish, Italian, etc) or the Germanic languages (English, Dutch, German, Danish, etc.)

Unless you're working at it more or less full time, you can't really expect to get very far with any language in a couple of weeks.
February 19, 2018 at 14:05 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Will - Thanks for pointing me back to that topic. I hadn’t been there in a week & there are many good comments.

Flavor of the month? That’s quite possible. I’ll put a note on my calendar to see if I’m using this grouping tip/trick/technique in three months.
February 19, 2018 at 14:53 | Unregistered CommenterZane
This process of dumping a bunch of tasks at the end of the list is interesting and entirely non obvious. I think any successful method has its rules but also its techniques which are also important. The designer is aware of these because the process was created with respect to these habits of operating.
February 20, 2018 at 18:27 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu

It almost feels like cheating: ongoing tasks in an area of focus should tend to clump anyway. My gut feeling is that I should note techniques for the future but run the system pure for a couple of weeks to make sure I understand it.
February 22, 2018 at 10:52 | Registered CommenterWill

I believe grouping is done without violating the system. Try drawing a flowchart of FFVP as stated. There are no rules on how to add tasks, unless you count reprioritizing or re-entering unfinished tasks.

I see it as a tip on how to be efficient - you can have related tasks scattered around the list, or you can streamline things a bit by taking a few moments to group them.

Efficiency in working the list is just one benefit. Grouping can also help 'brainstorm' a more complete list.
February 22, 2018 at 15:02 | Unregistered CommenterZane
I certainly don't see it as in conflict with the System. I just have a sneaking feeling that if we really trusted the system, the groupings would emerge naturally.

On the other hand, my sneaking feelings have not been consistently dependable in the past.
February 23, 2018 at 9:07 | Registered CommenterWill
One of the ways the groupings emerge naturally is by brainstorming all the things I need to do to complete the currently dotted task and writing them down at the end of the list. :-)
February 23, 2018 at 16:04 | Registered CommenterSeraphim

May I ask what may come across as an impertinent question? Why are you studying Welsh, a language once described as one of the only languages one learns in order to speak to fewer people? (Since, without exception, all Welsh people are fluent in English.)

By the way, I live in Wales, I am Welsh, and I speak it, albeit with increasingly decreasing facility.
February 28, 2018 at 1:15 | Unregistered CommenterMartin Williams
Martin Williams:

<< Why are you studying Welsh? >>

Good question!

These days I'm primarily interested in learning new languages in order to explore the effects of learning multiple languages on the brain - or to be precise my brain.

To put it in context, the list of languages I am actively working on at the moment is: Ancient Hebrew, Koine Greek, Latin, Modern Greek, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Egyptian Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Armenian and Welsh.

It's the activity I'm interested in, not whether I ever become fluent in the language. I have qualifications in some of them (Civil Service Interpreter Exam in French, A Level Latin, O Level Russian and Regimental German Language Instructor (a very impressive name for a very low-level qualification)) and I used to be able to hold a conversation in Spanish, but I'm a complete beginner in the rest of the modern languages.

Welsh is on my list not because I particularly want to speak Welsh in Wales (though I'd be delighted if I could), but because:

a) it's a different language branch from the others, and is the most spoken language in that branch;

b) there are high quality materials available on the BBC ("Un Bore Mercher" and "Craith" can stand comparison with any Scandi-dramas);

c) my grandmother was Welsh, though I've no evidence that she ever spoke Welsh;

and d) I know a couple of Welsh speakers living in my part of England.

So it just naturally got added to the list.

Bet you wish you hadn't asked now!
February 28, 2018 at 12:39 | Unregistered CommenterMark Forster
PS after lent of course!
March 15, 2018 at 16:43 | Unregistered CommenterMrBacklog
Don't know if anyone's seen or posted about this, but just as an fyi, there is a cross-platform (Mac,iOS) app in the Apple app store that is set up for Autofocus/FVP. It's new so it seems like it's still working out some of the features, but I'm trying it now, and it works great! (It incorporates separate pages for tasks, selecting items that would like to do first, etc.) It's called Dalo. Worth checking out:
March 31, 2018 at 11:17 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Neill
I tried Dalo Tasks today and it works great. Thank you for posting.
April 1, 2018 at 5:33 | Unregistered CommenterErin
I came across your site after attending a time management/productivity session and someone mentioned your work method. So I'm having a nosey!

Pob lwc gyda'r Gymraeg! Iaith digon anodd i'w ddysgu dwi'n credu ond dal yn iaith sydd yn cael ei ddefnyddio yn ddyddiol yma.
May 12, 2018 at 23:44 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Diolch. Ydych chi'n siaradwraig frodorol o'r Gymraeg?
May 13, 2018 at 16:49 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thank heavens for Google translate!

Diolch i'r nefoedd am gyfieithu Google!

Thanks to heaven for translating Google!
May 14, 2018 at 10:06 | Registered CommenterWill

I think the normal translation of "Google Translate" into Welsh is "Google Translate".
May 14, 2018 at 10:46 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
That certainly has the ring of truth, Mark.

When using Google Translate, you are surrendering to the goodwill and sense of humour of your correspondent.

I prefer to accept my ignorance rather than try to second guess. If I had, I'd probably have tried something like "Gwgl", which is probably howlingly wrong.

Ysbyty is enough to show that my grasp of transliteration is weak at best. (I assume it is a simple rendering of the sound of "Hospital"?)
May 15, 2018 at 10:11 | Registered CommenterWill

<< Ysbyty is enough to show that my grasp of transliteration is weak at best. (I assume it is a simple rendering of the sound of "Hospital"?) >>

Hmm... not really. It sounds something like us-BUTT-y

Make of that what you will.
May 18, 2018 at 0:54 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I meant, of course, the sound of "Hospital" in a really thick (and weird) accent...
May 18, 2018 at 9:43 | Registered CommenterWill

Don't tell me you're a #yanny !
May 18, 2018 at 9:47 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
More a yanny than an uWANNy, certainly. Though now you mention it...

May 21, 2018 at 9:13 | Registered CommenterWill
Hi Mark,

As I recollect - the point of the Lenten Challenge was to discover the effect of working with one system for an extended period of time.

Was there a conclusion - of have I missed something already shared?
May 24, 2018 at 8:02 | Unregistered CommenterMike

No, I don't think we ever came to a conclusion.
May 24, 2018 at 12:54 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

Did you stick with FFVP through the whole of Lent as intended?
May 24, 2018 at 14:01 | Registered CommenterCaibre65
No, I didn't.
May 24, 2018 at 22:07 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Mark, what do you use now? Next hour? Back when I used it, it gave me so much focus it was kinda insane.
May 28, 2018 at 1:33 | Unregistered CommenterCajun

The Next Hour is one of the best. But at the moment I'm using the 10-Task method I described a few weeks ago in one of the threads.
May 28, 2018 at 1:43 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Here is where Mark describes the 10-task method:
May 28, 2018 at 7:02 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
Thanks, Seraphim.
May 28, 2018 at 9:25 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

Why did you stop using The Next Hour if it gave you so much focus?
May 29, 2018 at 10:24 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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