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Discussion Forum > Trips and Ticks for Real(?) Autofocus

Unlike previous systems, you can't leave something in the list that you intend to do in a week. So let's say "laundry" is a weekly activity that you might forget to do. Following the rules, you add it in. Within two days you complete "laundry". If you reenter it for the next cycle, then two days later, the system tells you, "delete, defer or do"? So you defer until the next laundry day, putting it on a calendar.

But this is inefficient. A cleaner approach is to use a rotating tickler file that every laundry day tells you to enter the laundry task into your list. Then as soon as you finish the laundry, scratch it off and don't reenter it because your tickler file will keep you reminded.
July 20, 2017 at 23:33 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
The rules already address this:
<< If it’s unfinished, re-write it at the end of the list. Do the same with tasks that will recur the same day or the next day. >>

If you already know it's a weekly task, and thus you already know you're not going to do it again within 2 days, why would you enter it into the list? As you say, your tickler will remind you when the time comes around again.
July 21, 2017 at 0:56 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
I started this off yesterday using my existing AF list which wasn't overwhelmed (90 items). I prematurely deferred 8 weekly type items by skipping 5 blank pages in my notebook and adding them all on a single page on what should be a Tuesday.
July 21, 2017 at 14:14 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline
Agree that a Tickler file (43 or 7+ or however-many folders) is a useful augmentation to Mark's R?AF system, both for feeding the main list and for deferring tasks (instead of a calendar).

Here's a link to the blog entry, in case anyone hasn't seen it yet:

http://markforster.squarespace.com/blog/2017/7/19/real-autofocus.html
July 21, 2017 at 17:25 | Registered Commenterubi
I am trying to understand why I would use a tickler file instead of just add it to my calendar...?
July 22, 2017 at 1:14 | Unregistered CommenterTommy
Tommy, some people (ie me) only use their calendars for actual appointments. If something can be done +/- x days (like laundry), it seems silly to put so!thing like that in a calendar because it doesn't HAVE to be done Tuesday next week.
July 22, 2017 at 2:26 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline
Doesn't Mark's new method allow for +3?
July 22, 2017 at 4:04 | Unregistered CommenterTommy
If you put it in a calendar, you must add it every week (unless you are talking a digital app with a repeating event function). In a way the tickler is a paper implementation of that feature.

What is +3?
July 22, 2017 at 15:36 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Alan:

<< A cleaner approach is to use a rotating tickler file that every laundry day tells you to enter the laundry task into your list.>>

An even cleaner approach is to use one of the email reminder services.
July 23, 2017 at 0:02 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Jacqueline:

<< I started this off yesterday using my existing AF list which wasn't overwhelmed (90 items). >>

At least two people have already got into difficulties because they ignored my warning not to do this. I hope you won't be another!
July 23, 2017 at 0:10 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Tommy:

<< Doesn't Mark's new method allow for +3? >>

Alan's calculation is correct. This is a two-day system, not a three-day system.
July 23, 2017 at 0:16 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
+3 was in response to Jaqueline's post. If laundry is defered to Tuesday (but as she said, it doesn't matter if it is +/- so many days) then it gets added to todays list on Tues; on Wed it could still be there; then on Thur you would DDD it. So instead of a tickler as was being suggested, it seems as though deferring a task will give you 3 days in the future when it can be actioned.
-Hope that makes sense. Sometimes these things are oddly difficult for me to articulate :)
July 23, 2017 at 0:24 | Unregistered CommenterTommy
Well really like Mark said it's only 2 days. If you get to DDD a second time, you really are not being very effective about deferring this task. Hopefully the second round you can make a choice that actually sticks.
July 23, 2017 at 1:27 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Mark - LOL, I've been in this rodeo too long I think and never had a problem with dismissing anyway. I like it. I was glad that I put it all in because it forced me to prioritize for available time (like going on vacation in 2 days). I think I deleted about 5 items and deferred to next week about 15. Going great so far. I told Mel I missed "the inexorable line of doom" which autocorrected to "inexorable line of SOON"!

Also, I underestimated how much stuff I would do with this method and didn't leave enough pages in between for my deferred to mid week next week items. Since they're going to be ongoing, I think I'll just use a post it note called Mid-week to do's, list them on there and write them in every Tuesday.

I've only got 5 items that should take about an hour to do for tomorrow's DDD session.

Tommy - Makes sense to me.

A tip for people new to AF systems that I've found useful:. Chunk down as finely as possible your major priorities or goals and keep the minutiae at as high a level as possible. That's if you don't want your list to have too much busy / non value added work (*cough* cleaning *cough*) in it.
July 23, 2017 at 1:52 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline
I think I'll un-plug from this conversation. I don't understand the hostility here. I was under the impression that we were talking about the advantages of a tickler file over a calendar for the deferred tasks. If one isn't willing to follow the conversation, why attack a misrepresentation of someone's honest comment? I never said laundry was getting deferred 2 times in a row. We were discussing if it should be scheduled on a calendar or a tickler.
I'll never understand why someone would setup a strawman in order to knock it down when we're all just trying to grow and learn.
Sheeesh! Have fun being "superior"...
July 23, 2017 at 2:44 | Unregistered CommenterTommy
Tommy:

Having been active on the internet almost since its invention, I know how very easy it is to misunderstand what people are saying when we're communicating with a complete stranger and there are none of the supporting clues we get when talking to someone face to face or on the phone. That's why emoticons were invented.

One of the most common causes of misunderstanding in English is the use of the word "you" to mean "one" - which sometimes gets interpreted as a personal attack when it was meant as a general remark.

Anyway if one wants to see what _real_ hostility looks like one should read the YouTube comments on any controversial subject!
July 23, 2017 at 10:12 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Re the calendar option: I use Gmail for my calendar. I check every morning to see if there is a blue thing on my calendar which means I have an Event(!) that day that I have to show up for and have to plan around.
If I put tasks to add to a list as something I needed to do on that day, it would mess with my extremely quick calendar check in.
But as the Hodge twins say on their YouTube videos: This is what I do. Do whatever the **** you want to do.
July 23, 2017 at 18:39 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline
Tommy, there is no hostility here nor superiority. If I write You, it's typically a hypothetical person and applies equally well to me. I am, at times, not very effective myself.
July 23, 2017 at 18:54 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
Well if you guys really do not want to use a separate system like a calendar, email, or tickler folders, you can mark or highlight "deferred" tasks where they are and write beside them the date you want to go back to them. At the beginning of each day you have to scan the leftover deferred tasks and add the deferred tasks with today's date to your R?AF "today" list.
July 24, 2017 at 8:26 | Registered Commenternuntym