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Discussion Forum > Rules for SuperFocus - 2nd Revision

I have decided to experiment with some small changes to the SuperFocus rules. Please note these do actually make some changes to the system - they are not just for added clarity.

Normal AF1 rules, except:

1. There is a second column (Column 2) on each page which can be used for adding additional tasks to full pages. These might include:

a. Re-entering unfinished tasks;

b. Entering tasks which you want to do urgently.

2. Column 2 is treated as a part of the page for all purposes, including dismissal.

3. Only Column 2 of the page which you are currently working on can be used in this way.

4. Column 2 can can not be opened on the last page. Tasks are entered only in Column 1 of the last page.

5. Once Column 2 is full, no further tasks may be entered on that page.

The effects of the rule changes are:

1) To remove the rather complicated carry forward and dismissal rules. These are not really necessary since any task can be added to Column 2 provided there is room.

2) To remove the rule which allows tasks to be carried forward onto the next page when Column 2 is full. This is to stop over-use of the Column 2 provision.
November 25, 2010 at 15:55 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
How do you decide whether to re-enter an unfinished task in Column 2 or on the last page? Is it whether you expect to do the next chunk of the task before leaving the page? Thanks.
November 25, 2010 at 17:41 | Registered CommenterCricket
Cricket:

A good guide would be to enter it on the last page, unless you have a reason for entering it on the current page.
November 25, 2010 at 18:01 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
So in effect that column will be largely crossed out when you move on?
November 25, 2010 at 20:19 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan:

That would probably be the case more often than not, yes.
November 25, 2010 at 22:41 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I am wondering what would happen when you are on a page where column 2 is full and you suddenly thought of an urgent task you need to do.

The only possible thing I suppose would be to carry forward both the current task to the next page's column 2 (as an unfinished task) and to write/work on that urgent task you just thought of there too.

But that would seem to be against the rules, as you can only use column 2 of the page you are working on. You can't use the *next* page's column 2 to house any spillovers from the current page.

Or have I got the rules into a muddle?
November 26, 2010 at 16:33 | Registered CommenterJD
1. Remember that urgent thing for a moment.
2. Go to the next page.
3. Write down that thing.
4. If you want to work on something from the previous page, write it down, and do it.
November 26, 2010 at 17:00 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Or...

Dismiss your current task and write it at the end of the list, go to the next page and write in your new urgent task in column 2.

This is a useful exercise to check that we understand the rules correctly (I usually don't). However, I'd be a little cautious about such thought experiments as they usually miss the intuitive aspect of the method. In practice, you probably shouldn't be filling up column 2 very often.I don't dismiss/ rewrite, just move the "current task" marker until I complete the task or decide it's no longer urgent.

Thinks: should I clear all column 2 tasks to the end of the list when I leave a page? Thinks again: or draw a line when I leave the page so I can see where the "real" urgent tasks are on the next pass? Thinks again, again: or just get on with the process as written for another couple of weeks until I can feel it in by bones? The last one feels right.
November 26, 2010 at 17:50 | Registered CommenterWill
JD:

<< I am wondering what would happen when you are on a page where column 2 is full and you suddenly thought of an urgent task you need to do. >>

It depends just how urgent "urgent" is.

If it's really urgent, then abandon your current page, move to the next page, enter the task in Column 2 and start working on it.

If it's not quite so urgent, then write it as normal at the end of the list so that it's parked. When you move to the next page in the normal course of work then you can enter it on the next page's column 2 if you still feel it's urgent.

By the way, the purpose of the rule is to stop Column 2 being overused, so the situation should only occur very rarely if the system is being used properly.
November 27, 2010 at 16:00 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks Mark, Will & Alan. I try not to indulge in too many "what-if's" and generally let the system guide me, but at the moment column 2 of the 1st page of my SF list is 3/4 full. That's because on each visit a few urgent things come up or some task on that page is partially finished and gets transferred to the 2nd column. Hence, my what if question.

But I see how one should be commensensical about these things as you all have suggested. Perhaps a rule of thumb presents itself here - if you see column 2 filling up too fast, your tasks need better iteration to prevent focus to be drained from too many partial completions.
November 28, 2010 at 9:26 | Registered CommenterJD
Mark,

Thanks for the simplification. I like that you are not having to refer to Notes anymore. Are you planning a consolidated set of rules soon? If not, I'll take another crack at it.
November 29, 2010 at 1:36 | Registered Commenterubi
ubi:

By all means have a go at it, but bear in mind that it is still only provisional.
November 29, 2010 at 22:41 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
This is probably nitpicking, but what do you guys do when the following happens:

1) On page 5 you have a recurring task called X
2) You are now on page 3 and you want do task X because a) it may be urgent or b) you are just compelled to do it
3) You add task X to the second column in page 3.
4) You do task X and cross it off in the 2nd column of page 3.

Do you...
a) Re-enter task X on the last page (leaving you with two open versions of the same task
b) Wait until you get to page 5, cross off the task there and then re-enter it on the last page
c) look for page 5 immediately, cross it off and re-enter it on the last page.

At the moment I'm sometimes doing a) and sometimes b). c) is a little unwieldy since I have no idea on which page the task is. It may be page 5 or page 10.

Any thoughts?
February 2, 2011 at 23:42 | Registered CommenterTijl Kindt
always a. It's the easiest. Later when I get to p5 I may just cross it out as it's a duplicate; or leave it. Either way is fine.
February 3, 2011 at 0:20 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
+Ad Jesum Per Mariam+

As Alan said ^___^

This is one thing I like about SF, it forces you to be less uptight and thus more spontaneous.

God bless!
February 3, 2011 at 2:44 | Registered Commenternuntym
@Alan & nuntym: Thanks. That's pretty clear!
February 3, 2011 at 7:52 | Registered CommenterTijl Kindt
@nuntym

What is it about all varieties of AF1-AF4 that make you more uptight and less spontaneous? And, what is it about SF that makes you less uptight and more spontaneous?

Matt
February 3, 2011 at 15:02 | Registered Commenter2mc