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Discussion Forum > The "Mark Forster Project"

Hi, Mark, Hi friens!!!
I'm coming back... But, really, I never go anywhere.
Since my posts on "The Eastertide Challenge" I was working with the same principles I applied in those times, specially the "Dreams" ideas (Vision+present reality, Dialog and What's better list) and some form of 5T list, not everyday but coming back to it when I felt lost.
But some of the posts regarding GTD make me think: if there is a lot of people who swear by it and live his productive days by this method... Why no to swear by Mark's methods, if they help me so much?
I notice that several people think that Allen was a complete and systematic method, while Mark's ideas are just that: ideas or techniques, but no a complete and systematic method. I don't think so: Mark doesn't offer just a method, but instead a complete and evolutive stream of ideas, thoughs, techniques and methods that makes you learn and think for yourself about how you work and live.
So, I decided to start this "Mark Forster Project" (or Mark Forster Experiment, if you like). I will start rereading, learning and applying the ideas, systems and techniques of Mark Forster's books, in a cronological and more systematic way, starting with his first book and following this order:

1) Get Everything done, and still have time to play.
2) How to make your dreams come true.
3) Do it tomorrow and other secrets of time management.
4) Some versions of the Autofocus systems.
5) Secrets of Productive People.
6) Final Version(s) methods.

The idea behind this experiment is get a glimpse in the practical side of how Mark's ideas changed through time, discover some gems I think there are in his first books and see what changes, what he (or me) discard in the process, and what principles, ideas and systems I decided to keep for me (even if I not apply them, what systems can be powerfull for some situations or for other people). Maybe, I will arrive to a more systematic approach to Mark's view of productivity.

I will start this monday (not working day on my country), and proceed more or less in this way:

1) Reread the book (starting with Get Everything done).
2) Take notes about principles, ideas and specially techniques (I use Trello to make notes in form of index cards).
3) Design a kind of program to apply the techniques and some measures to reflect on the results later.
5) Apply the methods and ideas.
6) Make regular revisions to see how it goes (and report here).

I will use not only his books (his primary
I don't know how this will go, but I decided to make the effort not only to learn more, but as a "tribute" to Mark works.

Wish me luck!!!
November 17, 2017 at 15:42 | Unregistered CommenterPablo
Sorry, but the previous post has some mistakes. In particular, there is something missing in the last part. This is the complete idea:

"I will use not only his books (the original source) but the posts, and articles I find here regarding the same books."
November 17, 2017 at 16:07 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

That's a lot of material to get through. My usual advice to people is that the best way to approach my books is to pretend that they are by different authors. That's usually a better approach than to try to integrate them.

However I will be very interested to see how you get on!
November 17, 2017 at 18:46 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Michael Neill quotes Dr. Richard Bandler (one of the developers of NLP) as saying (my paraphrase), "There are people all over the world stuck at various levels of my personal development." He keeps the older books on the market because they continue to help people who are at various levels of their own personal development.

I've read all of Mark's books as they came out; there is valuable thinking in all of them and I have gleaned great stuff from each one. "Dreams" is to me the most fascinating experiment and rather timeless; it kind of exists in its own continuum alongside his other books. As a program, it's difficult to know how it could evolve into something 'new', the way that AF and its progeny evolved. It's the one book I have re-read the most from start to finish, while I tend to treat the other books more as references.

Aside: one of my workday relaxation activities is reading his blog postings from 2006 onward; really interesting stuff back there, not only technique but (more valuable) mindset and philosophy.

Good luck on your journey!
November 17, 2017 at 20:00 | Unregistered CommenterMike Brown
Mike Brown:

<< one of my workday relaxation activities is reading his blog postings from 2006 onward; really interesting stuff back there, not only technique but (more valuable) mindset and philosophy. >>

Yes, I do that sometimes - and never cease to be amazed by my own brilliance!
November 17, 2017 at 23:08 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark... Hi, friends:

I'm here again,, a month and a half later, just to let you know my personal impressions of this experiment. As I decided, I expended this time applying the techniques in Mark's Get Everything Done (and still have time to play). I read all the book, take notes, make cards on Trello (my personal "Zettelkasten" and knowledge repository) and started applying them.
So, this is my personal experience, the things that worked for me and the things that don't work. But it was a very interesting experience.

The first and most important idea that work for me is understanding that I don't manage time, but I manage my attention. This was the main idea, and forces me to think on what issues I pay attention in the way that Mark says: focused, regular and sufficient.

On the other hand, the different techniques using time-boxing doesn't work very well on my daily work. It was strange, because I remembered that, when I was in the university, I used a kind of Pomodoro Technique to study, but now, doing my work with a clock ticking in front of me doesn't made me more productive. Yes: I do things, but the general feeling was not of "flow" but of continuos interruption. And there is no real difference between the amount of work I do using time-boxing techniques and other and more free approaches.

I think that all this has to do with the way my mind and my attention work. It was curious that, at the end of this time, I naturally came back to the "5T method" of "Secrets of Productive People". This allows me to focus my attention better.

Another ting I noticed is not exclusive from this book but for all of Mark's approach, and is the use of a notebook (i.e.: writing down things by hand), because it makes me more mindfull an focused. During the GED practice I used online tools as Google Inbox, but not having a notebook and taking notes by hand makes me less productive.

From the techniques themselves, I keep the "divide by half" techniques, both in organization and planification.

Now, I will start again with Dreams. As Mike says, this book has a particular place in my table too, and the thing I do all the time are the dialogs with the future self (I call them "metalogs", as Bateson, because offer me an elevated point of view).
January 6, 2018 at 12:26 | Unregistered CommenterPabloto l