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Discussion Forum > Flexible AF - Personal Experience

I have recently abandoned the FV based algorithms because I hated being confined to a chain. I have decided to try FAF, which I have never tried out because at the time it was posted I was still using FFVP.
With FAF, you can select any task on the list to work on so you can pick whatever is most relevant to the current situation, regardless of location on the list. It also provides a lot of focus due to the page-lock mechanism. I have also tried the Bounce, but I found that it had less focus.
April 2, 2018 at 2:32 | Unregistered Commenterjames220
April 2, 2018 at 10:51 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I have to say that I also had the feeling of being "chained" (heh) in FFVP, but that was before I realized that I can always cross out and rewrite, if needed, any of the tasks in the chain if it was not relevant anymore. It is easy as looking at a previously dotted task and see how I feel about it. Once I got the hang of it FFVP became much better for me than any of Mark's other systems.

In my own experience, FFVP is faster, more sensitive to current context, and provides more focus than FAF. I had to fine tune my intuition though.
April 4, 2018 at 0:20 | Registered Commenternuntym
For me, context switching is much easier in FAF. If contexts change, you can just start scanning from the beginning and do whatever tasks are in your context. Everything in this context will now be on the last page and you can keep cycling around there until everything in the current context is done, then you can check if any other tasks have become available for you to work on.
April 4, 2018 at 1:59 | Unregistered Commenterjames220
@james220: That is the effect of clumping, one of the decidedly great features of FAF and also Simple Scanning: tasks that get worked on together tend to be re-written right next to each other, and so you are encouraged to work them together the next time.

For FFVP, it may seem more tedious: if contexts change, I just erase as much as I need from the task chain then go forward. However, I like the feeling of FFVP not only helping me to choose what context should I be working on next, since I know there are things I want to do after (i.e. the previously dotted tasks), but also telling me if I should change context too by letting me feel that I do not want to do the previously dotted tasks anymore.

And that is the thing about FFVP: the tasks that are dotted must be things I /want/ to do next, or it will never work; instead, I would feel trapped, "chained", by the dotted tasks. That is why I periodically review at least the last task I dotted previously. If the last dotted task doesn't feel right when I look at it, I cross it out, and I keep on crossing out backwards until the last dotted task feels right, then I go forward.

This is the reason why I said that FFVP is "more sensitive to current context."
April 4, 2018 at 2:36 | Registered Commenternuntym
Maybe that's why FFVP never worked for me... I always felt resistant to crossing out the last task. I felt that it was "cheating" the system, so I frequently get stuck with a task that is in the wrong context. I guess I'll give FFVP another go with these tips!
April 4, 2018 at 11:26 | Unregistered Commenterjames220
Crossing out the last task had always been part of the FV family of systems but it was only implied. For example in the original FVP instructions it says

"If at any stage you find that a task on the list is no longer relevant, then delete it. If you find that your preselected list is no longer relevant (e.g. if you have had a long break away from the list or some new factor has come into play), then scrap the preselection and reselect from the beginning. [Afternote July 3rd - I now don’t do this. I simply cross out any tasks which need re-prioritizing and re-enter them at the end of the list.]"

After a few months of using FFVP I have to say though that this is actually one of the most important rules of the system, because the effect of maintaining your interest in the next task is that you not only you want to do what you are doing right now but also you are looking forward to do the next task in the chain. It creates momentum.

Now if after a few more tries of FFVP it seems you still cannot get into it, then do not worry, it just might not be for you. Systems like Simple Scanning and FAF can still be just as effective, especially Simple Scanning.

Good luck!
April 5, 2018 at 16:50 | Registered Commenternuntym


<< Why do you prefer this method more than Flexible Autofocus ? The only difference I can see is that with FAF you have the added advantage of being able to revisit items on a page that you initially passed over without having to scan the whole list again. ? >>

Because I don't think that is actually an advantage in a system which is designed to make the way as easy as possible for your intuition to come into full play. For a start it slows down the speed at which you move through the list. Secondly it encourages you to second-guess what your intuition has already said to you.
December 9, 2017 at 22:32 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

I just saw this quote... I originally ignored simple scanning because at the time I was using FFVP (which was also the reason I haven't tried FAF until now). I'll have to give it a try to see if I see any of the better flow. I still haven't been able to get into the "flow" in FFVP, so I guess I'll just have to accept that it doesn't work for me.
April 6, 2018 at 2:13 | Unregistered Commenterjames220

Ah... a brilliant quote from myself. Thanks for unearthing that one!
April 6, 2018 at 13:45 | Registered CommenterMark Forster