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Discussion Forum > 120 days of Real Autofocus (RA)

Sticking with RA after more than four months. In some ways, I hope that Mark's promised new system won't resonate with me when it comes out, as I haven't been so content with any system as I am with RA.

One of the aspects that makes RA special is that it is rapidly self-correcting. By this I mean that any backlog (multiple items above the line) that develops has to be cleared today. There are two ways that I sometimes get into this trouble: (1) when I "empty my head" in GTD parlance and add too many stream-of-conciousness items to action in the near future, and (2) when I become either lazy or overly-focused on only a few tasks. Either way, the day of reckoning comes soon and I need to make major decisions on what to delete or defer to clear that backlog now. So for me the list always stays quite short and contiguous - never more than a handful of pocket-notebook-size pages.

Is anyone else continuing to use RA?
November 24, 2017 at 22:27 | Registered Commenterubi
Not as-written, but the idea of DDD on an older section of the thing is sticking with me, as is the idea of just scanning all the way through.
November 25, 2017 at 5:37 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I am going to try it starting today, to test a hypothesis.

This post is mean to mark the beginning of the experiment. If it does not go well I will post the end and possibly the results. If it does I will probably post again in a few weeks time.
November 26, 2017 at 16:58 | Registered Commenternuntym
I forgot to post: just a few days into it and I had to abandon. The main flaw I found with it is that if you fail to do just one day of this, you could be in trouble. A few days that this happens, and it's unsustainable.

I work on call and I use a TM system only for home and personal things. Whatever such system I use has to be as flexible as my schedule is, and frankly RAF is not that.

Because of this I think I found something a little better, though.
December 4, 2017 at 17:36 | Registered Commenternuntym
Nuntym, I think RA allows you to bend the rules for number of days if you have a good, temporary reason. If you're out sick, don't count the day. Some people, with very erratic incoming streams that needed a larger buffer, lengthened the process. Not too long, though. An ever-increasing buffer means the average output isn't keeping up with the average input.
December 5, 2017 at 23:38 | Registered CommenterCricket
DWM has a buffer of seven days and 30 days, respectively.
December 6, 2017 at 6:28 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher
nuntym:
<<something a little better>>

Have you described this already? Would you?
December 6, 2017 at 9:18 | Unregistered CommenterLaby
nuntym:

<< The main flaw I found with it is that if you fail to do just one day of this, you could be in trouble. A few days that this happens, and it's unsustainable.>>

I was going to write a post about what to do when this happens, but unfortunately got sidetracked onto other things before I did.

If I remember correctly the points I would have made were:

1. If you are away on any particular day and can't work on the list at all, just ignore the day and carry on where you left off.

2. If your day is significantly shorter than normal so that you don't get as far as DDD, then just combine that day with the next as if you were still on the same day.

3. If you have reached the DDD stage but have not finished it, then combine it with the next day's DDD.

3. If your day is normal length* and you don't get as far as DDD, then combine the DDDs the next day and have a ruthless purge, deleting as much as possible.

* Bear in mind that a "normal length" day is not a day with no interruptions or meetings, but one with the normal amount of interruptions and meetings.
December 6, 2017 at 13:07 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Cricket and Mark:

The crux of the problem is that I am on call for work, I can't predict most of the time which days I have work and which that I have not. It seems too much work to adapt RAF in that kind of mess.

---

Christopher:

Yeah I used DWM for many months, it's one system I am intimately acquainted with.

----

Laby:

No I haven't described it yet and I am not ready to disclose it yet. It is however such a basic modification of Simple Scanning that I will be surprised if nobody has thought of it before.
December 9, 2017 at 4:13 | Registered Commenternuntym