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Discussion Forum > Consolidated SF Instructions

As Mark has renamed his new technique SuperFocus (SF) and posted revised rules, as modifications to Autofocus 1 (AF1), below is my attempt at consolidating the instructions.

SuperFocus (SF) by Mark Forster
(instructions consolidated by ubi)

0. STARTUP. Make one long list of every task to be done, one to a line, down the 1st (left) column of each page in a multipage lined notebook. Draw a vertical line down the middle of each page to separate the 1st (left) from the 2nd (right) columns. Start working by considering the first page of the list to be the current page.

1. PAGE-SET. Mark the current page in some way (e.g. with a paperclip or small post-it note or flag). Add any new task that comes to mind to the end of the list (last page, 1st column), unless it feels urgent to you. Add any urgent tasks to the 2nd column of the current page (unless your current page is the last page). If these 2nd-column tasks were already entered on other pages, the duplicate entries may be crossed out on these other pages, either immediately or later.

2. QUICK-SCAN. Scan the tasks on the current page (1st column, then 2nd column) without doing any of them.

3. STANDOUT-ACTION. Scan again and choose a task to do. Mark it with a dot. Work on it for as long as desired. Cross it out.

4. REWRITE. If the just-crossed-out task is finished for now, but needs continuing, or is a recurring task that will need doing again in the future, rewrite it at the end of the list (1st column). Or, if it is still somewhat urgent and thus needs action soon, rewrite it instead in the 2nd column of the current page. This decision on where to rewrite should be based on your sense of the urgency of continuing the unfinished task; if you are uncertain, just rewrite at the end – your intuition will allow a 2nd-column entry at any time based on Step 1 above.

5. SAME-PAGE. Continue working the current page in this way (Steps 2-4) until no task stands out.

6. NEXT-PAGE. Go to the next page and continue the process (Steps 1-5). If the current page is the last page, the "next page" becomes the first page. This process keeps cycling, except in the special circumstance of Step 7…

7. DISMISS/REVIEW. If nothing stands out on the initial scan of a page, dismiss all the remaining tasks on the page by highlighting them instead of crossing them out. Add a task called "review dismissed tasks" to the end of the list. When eventually reviewing each of these dismissed tasks, think about why it wasn't actioned, and consider carefully whether it should be re-entered. If re-entering, consider rephrasing it or breaking it into subtasks, to make it more likely to get done. Finally, cross out the dismissed and reviewed tasks.
November 30, 2010 at 0:37 | Registered Commenterubi
Waouuuh Thank ubi I like it very much it's clearest, indeed.
November 30, 2010 at 8:12 | Registered CommenterJupiter

Thanks very much for this. It's very clear and accurate (though as a matter of record I don't bother to draw a line to separate the two columns).
November 30, 2010 at 8:35 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I must say, this is a Chef d'Oeuvre!
Its clear and concise while being detailed enough to not make no mistake in one's interpretations of the rules. I raise my hat to you Sir!

Note to Self: put this in favorites...
November 30, 2010 at 10:25 | Registered CommenterErik
Nice! (lol Erik I know the phrase but i keep thinking Chef des Oeufs :-)
November 30, 2010 at 12:00 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I nominate ubi for class secretary!
November 30, 2010 at 17:51 | Registered Commentermary
what a good idea he did a great job.
November 30, 2010 at 19:28 | Registered CommenterJupiter
Thanks a lot, ubi!
So if I understand the revised rules correctly I can leave a page with some second column tasks undone as long I have done at least one task on that page. In other words: I don't have to dismiss open tasks in the second column if I leave a page (provided I have done any task on that page).
Is this correct?
December 2, 2010 at 7:45 | Registered CommenterChristian G.

Your understanding is correct. Second column tasks are treated exactly the same as 1st column tasks.
December 2, 2010 at 10:05 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Ubi I thought about an idea.
You made such a good work last time would you do the same for SuperFocus Instructions (Third Revision) it would help Mark and others because the method is quiet complicated ;-)
February 7, 2011 at 18:00 | Registered CommenterJupiter
I was really confused for a moment because I thought it was for rev3 until I noticed the rules were "wrong" and Mark's answers were "wrong" too until I saw the timestamps. Mark said rev3 consolidated rules were coming soon so I think we should hold on for a little while. Just my opinion.
February 7, 2011 at 19:55 | Registered CommenterDon R
Actually, he posted them on the Blog!
February 7, 2011 at 22:43 | Registered CommenterErik

I haven't yet posted the consolidated rules, i.e. the ones that don't need a knowledge of AF1.
February 7, 2011 at 22:47 | Registered CommenterMark Forster