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« Sign Up for the Lenten Challenge Now! | Main | Problem 5 - Lack of Concentration »
Tuesday
Feb122019

Lenten Challenge 2019 - for your diary

We intend to run our traditional Lenten Challenge this year.

The idea is to commit yourself to using the same time management method every day for the whole of Lent without changing to a different method. 

This year Lent runs from Wednesday March 6th to Thursday April 18th inclusive.

If you wish, you may leave out non-working days if you do not normally use a time management method at home. You should be consistent about this though.

This is not intended to imply any religious affiliation or purpose whatsoever.

As far as I can remember, only a very few people have ever succeeded in completing this challenge. Let’s make 2019 different!

You can sign in for the Challenge any time before the start of Lent (your local time). All you need to give is your screen name and the system you intend to use. You can use your own system if you like. You can change the system you’re going to use right up to the start of the Challenge. If you change it after the start of the Challenge you’ve failed!

ADDITIONAL NOTE:

The whole point of the Challenge is that it is an exercise in consistency, i.e. sticking to the same thing for a set period of time. So to play fairly you should get your system in as good shape as possible before the start of the Challenge, but then keep further modifications until the Challenge is over (or you’ve pulled out, whichever is first).

————————-

Those signed up so far:

Myself - Halving

vegheadjones - The Bounce

nuntym - Task Tracking Light

avrum - Daily-Weekly Narrative

Seraphim - Serial No-List

Divyana Adwani - Google Ecosystem

Will - Simple Scanning

Mike Brown - Serial No-List

Gadgets - Fast FVP

Colin - Simple Scanning

Paul B - ASEM

Ville - Simple Scanning

teckwyn - Randomizer

MrBacklog - ABC simple scanning batching

TMac - Simple Scanning

Laby - Serial No-List, the Bounce and Picture of the Day Combo

Eiron Page - Productivity Bingo

Natalia - 4x2

Brenda - DIT (Do It Tomorrow) and Dreams book Combo

Jacqueline - Method to be confirmed

Eugenia - Simple Scanning

Fintan - DIT

bryane - AF2/Deep Work Combo

Paul MacNeil - Time Surfing

Andreas Vlach - Own system

Jordan Navarrete - AF4

adam - Simple Scanning

Pablo - Dreams

Caibre65 - Own Method

Alan Baljeu - Serial No-List

stefanb - AF1

Nia - Burner List

Cricket - Every-Other-Day

Clarablanco - AF2

Bence - AF2

flight16 - One-A-Day Randomizer

tomcal - Serial No-List

Ryan Freckleton - AF4 modified

KMac - Dalo

Cameron - Simple Scanning

Stuart Tattum - Weekly & Daily MVPs

Emma-Rae - Simple Scanning

Sitkeys - Own System

Jens - 5T

Dino - Halving

avrum - Own System

Mario - AF1

Christopher - DIT

Diana - Simple Scanning

Nordwind - T7P10 (Own System)

Leon - Own System

Silvia - AF4-3T

Reader Comments (35)

I'm game!

Though I "lost" last year, I will commit to using the system I have been using the past three weeks, it's a variant of RAF I call "Deep work RAF."

Following Cal Newport's Deep Work book, I schedule blocks of time to do "deep work," which for me means scheduling time in my calendar to work on a project from my authorized project list I keep in One Note.

All other tasks go on my RAF list (which I use Outlook tasks for). I schedule time (usually 2-3 hours a day) to do RAF. I then follow the RAF rules as designed by Mark.

It has been working well and I am excited to not only see if I can keep it up for this period, but if it results in me getting through the RAF lift quickly and effectively and allows me to focus more on project tasks.
February 12, 2019 at 17:02 | Unregistered Commentervegheadjones
Unless I find ways to improve it or it becomes unbearably broken, I am going to use Task Tracking Lite, it's what I am calling a variant of Task Tracking that uses only one column and thus can be used on a small notebook. I am planning to post the rules shortly.
February 12, 2019 at 17:20 | Registered Commenternuntym
February 12, 2019 at 17:46 | Registered Commenternuntym
I'm in!

I'm going to use my daily-weekly narrative system. My "non-work" day is the Jewish Sabbath.

Mark - what happens if some of the rules are still a work-in-progress? To play fairly, do the rules (for whatever system one is committing to) need to be followed, and not deviated from or added to, from March 6 to April 18?
February 13, 2019 at 2:32 | Registered Commenteravrum
I feel like I am still in "experimental mode" with Serial No-List, and it feels a little unnatural to make a commitment to sticking with an experimental method for a definite period of time.

But I suppose I can treat the Lenten Challenge as an experiment as well. Will Serial No-List continue to work well when I have committed to using it for six weeks? Or will that somehow interfere with the dynamics of it, with the inherent freedom of the system?

Looking at it from that perspective, I suppose I must give it a go. Count me in, with Serial No-List. 🙂
February 13, 2019 at 6:33 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
Count me in as well, I manage my time in
the Google Ecosystem
February 13, 2019 at 13:22 | Unregistered CommenterDivyansh Adwani
I'll have a crack this year with simple scanning.

As a further incentive, the task completes on my late grandfather's birthday.

Good luck, everyone!
February 13, 2019 at 13:42 | Unregistered CommenterWill
I will do Serial No-list for the Lenten Challenge.
February 13, 2019 at 14:25 | Unregistered CommenterMike Brown
OK, fast FVP for me, using Listpro for ios & Windows (can't resist digital option vs paper), and Toodledo to track tasks with deadlines / due dates. Also can't resist location filters inspired by David Allen's contexts concept so I can batch process tasks which I can only do, for instance, when I've gone to all the trouble of opening the garage, or am at my storage unit.
February 13, 2019 at 18:58 | Unregistered CommenterGadgets
avrum:

<< what happens if some of the rules are still a work-in-progress? To play fairly, do the rules (for whatever system one is committing to) need to be followed, and not deviated from or added to, from March 6 to April 18? >>

This is an important point you have raised.

The whole point of the Challenge is that it is an exercise in consistency, i.e. sticking to the same thing for a set period of time. So to play fairly you should get your system in as good shape as possible before the start of the Challenge, but then keep further modifications until the Challenge is over (or you've pulled out, whichever is first).

I'm going to add the above paragraph to the main blog post.
February 14, 2019 at 0:44 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
<< it is an exercise in consistency>>

Ok, I have a bit of time to close open loops. Thanks Mark.
February 14, 2019 at 1:36 | Registered Commenteravrum
Oh boy, a month in advance to commit to a system for over a month? That's quite a commitment!
February 14, 2019 at 2:47 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan:

I've got just the book for you: "Learning to Commit": https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015DG3I68/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_TLnzCbBNHK808
February 14, 2019 at 2:59 | Registered Commenteravrum
OK, Simple Scanning for Lent it is.
Main challenge will be to avoid resorting to a temporary No List when it all seems too much (then returning to the full list the next day). Tips on this welcome! Best solution I've found within the system seems to be to write the urgent items at the bottom of the list then do a quick scan to make sure I have them all captured together so can focus on the urgent clump
February 14, 2019 at 10:40 | Unregistered CommenterColin
I seem to have missed the Bounce system that Mark is using. Can someone direct me to the instructions please.
February 14, 2019 at 13:21 | Unregistered Commenterskeg
Alan Baljeu:

<< a month in advance to commit to a system for over a month? That's quite a commitment! >>

You don't have to commit to the system or the Challenge now. You can leave it right up to the start
February 14, 2019 at 15:07 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Seraphim thanks for the link. Faintly recall the system but never tried it so might give it a go
February 14, 2019 at 15:29 | Unregistered Commenterskeg
Count me in! I have been mostly using the method outlined in your November 18, 2018 post entitled "Another Simple and Effective Method" . I hope to continue through the Lenten period. It is a good challenge!
February 14, 2019 at 15:46 | Unregistered CommenterPaul B
OK, I'm in. I'll just use Simple Scanning. I have been using it, but not every day.
February 14, 2019 at 16:12 | Unregistered CommenterVille
Avrum, I'm only looking here at sticking to a process not an intimate relationship! But congratulations that looks like an excellent book you've written!
February 14, 2019 at 18:36 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Yes - was pulling your (virtual) leg.

Thanks.
February 14, 2019 at 18:45 | Registered Commenteravrum
Please count me in with the Randomizer!
February 15, 2019 at 9:18 | Unregistered Commenterteckwyn
Count me in.
ABC simple scanning batching
(split tasks into 3 priority piles, then simple scanning through each pile. Batch similar tasks for efficiency).
February 15, 2019 at 11:21 | Unregistered CommenterMrBacklog
I will participate again this year. I plan to use Simple Scanning.
February 15, 2019 at 22:44 | Unregistered CommenterTMac
I'd like to get back to Autofocus Condensed:

http://markforster.squarespace.com/forum/post/772038

And a switch back to regular AF when nothing on the daily pages stands out. Using a Hobonichi Cousin with the daily pages.

Outcomes I'd like to get completed in the period:
Corporate tax completed
Family's personal taxes completed
Establish morning routine
Better adherence to cleaning routines
Better meal planning
Read one fiction and one non-fiction book/week
Finish installing new interior doors
Install new living room hardwood floors

Will likely be starting a new job in that time period, so may use a different system just to start - AF or the Bounce might be good candidates until I get a handle on the job demands. Ordinarily just do something similar to hyperfocus on one or two projects/day in between meetings.
February 17, 2019 at 18:59 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline
I´ve done the Lenten Chanllenge before, but I don´t think I´ve ever completed it. This is the year that I will!

Please add me to the list of participants I´m going to be using Simple Scanning.
February 19, 2019 at 0:53 | Unregistered CommenterEugenia
I'm in. I do something like your AF2, with some tweaks from Deep Work to enforce intentional focus on critical items. Use a bullet journal for tracking, and a text file (todotxt format) for tasks.

Been using this since 1/1/2019, so lent will keep me going.
February 19, 2019 at 18:00 | Unregistered Commenterbryane
Colin (et al) ,

<<Main challenge will be to avoid resorting to a temporary No List when it all seems too much (then returning to the full list the next day).>>

This reminds me of Mark's post from October 2017 on the panic list:

http://markforster.squarespace.com/blog/2017/10/5/thoughts-on-the-long-list-the-panic-list.html

Mark does say in the comments that the idea is for it to be used in conjunction with a system rather than be incorporated into it, but I wonder, (not just for Colin's sake but for my own!) what people's thoughts are on declaring "simple scanning with occasional panic list" as a system in its own right.
February 22, 2019 at 17:06 | Unregistered CommenterGadgets
I'm in! I'm going to try the Burner List from Make Time for now.
February 24, 2019 at 16:53 | Unregistered CommenterNia
This year, instead of going fancy with a million forms and different time frames and levels of goals, I'm going condensed and self-correcting.

1. Modified and Combined 5-Minute Daily Alignment and Procrastination Log. One-word status update or reason not done for each project. List of tasks and time restrictions for next few day. Sanity check.

2. Daily brain dump. Separate into Urgent and Not Urgent. Includes results of Daily Status Update. Sanity check.

3. Log. Quickly note what I actually did and for how long. Include weather, health, food, and other things that might affect my energy and enthusiasm. Notes that can't fit on the List of Projects and Goals go here. I'm curious what actually affects my productivity.
February 24, 2019 at 21:35 | Registered CommenterCricket
Has anyone ever actually successfully completed the challenge? For some reason I thought it runs until March 18th... :)

Oh and I forgot to add, this is AF1 with a little bit of Randomizer (hmm should work out some rules) using an Oxford B5 Touch Notepad lined.
Digital notes are mostly in Emacs Orgmode and Documents are stored in Devonthink.
Plus I still use a Paper Calender.
February 25, 2019 at 13:16 | Unregistered Commenterstefanb
I'm in!

One-a-Day Randomizer

Select one task per day and just do it. Slow, steady progress. I hope this will get me moving through some maintenance and chores that have piled up and feel too overwhelming to start.
February 27, 2019 at 18:41 | Unregistered Commenterflight16
It should be obvious from the name, but the task in One-a-Day Randomizer picked at random, by a small script I wrote. I must either do it or delete it and have the script select another random task.
February 28, 2019 at 15:14 | Unregistered Commenterflight16
First time entrant here!

I just started using Dalo (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dalo/id1102935831?mt=12), which is some form of AutoFocus. So far it has been working well and mostly mirrors how I've been working on paper for years.

What I like most about Dalo:
1. dedicated app, no finding the right tab in a text editor
2. separate contexts for Home and Office
3. easy selection for daily focus
4. easy task "step" completion in addition to "task" completion
March 1, 2019 at 17:52 | Unregistered CommenterKMac

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