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Discussion Forum > Context Simple Scanning

As a break from FFVP and taking inspiration from james220'd thread "Flexible AF - Personal Experience" ( ), I have been using this really simple yet fun and effective variant of Simple Scanning. It is so simple, in fact, that I wouldn't be surprised if somebody else has thought of it.

The steps:
1. Think of a goal, task, reward, deadline, or event you want done within at the most a few hours from now, or maybe think of a general criterion of tasks that you want to do. Write this at the end of your list, then draw a dash — before it. You can write more than one of these at a time, but I suggest delaying doing this until you get a hang of the system, which admittedly is very easy and straightforward. Let us call this the "context".

2. Go to the beginning of the list and do simple scanning: scan down until a task stands out, dot • it, then do it until you feel it is done for now, rewrite at the end if needed, and then cross it out, then scan down again repeating the process.

3. Once you reach the context task, if you do it or you have done tasks related to to it while doing simple scanning, draw a vertical line over the dash so it becomes a plus sign +. If not, continue processing the list past the context task if there were other tasks added after it, then go back to step 2 once you reach the end.

4. If you did the context task and finished it, cross it out then go back to step 1. If you did it but it is unfinished and you still want to work on it, do not cross out the context task but instead keep on going around the list, and everytime you do the context task add one more vertical sign on the dash as a counter so it will look like a series of plus signs ++++ until you are done with it, upon which you cross it out then go back to step 1.

So why does CSS work? Intuition needs information from our outer world and inner thoughts, feelings, and sensations for it to work. This is why I have grown to like FFVP, since the task chain, the tasks I have previously chosen, gives my intuition adequate information on which tasks to choose next since they give context, this context being "tasks I want to do more than what I have previously chosen."

In CSS, I intended to make the context whatever I want it and let that guide what I want to do over the next few or several tasks. For example:

· "—dinner": I want to do tasks that I can do to prepare for dinner as well as some minor chores. When I and the food are ready, I will have dinner!
· "—church": I want to prepare for going to church and do some things before my alarm goes off, upon which I will leave.
· "—sleep": I want to do relaxing things and do my nightly routines before going to bed.
· "—hard task", "—reward": I want to do some things before I do this hard task just to ready myself and what I will need, then I will do it, reminding myself of the reward I intend to get after!
· "—project" I intend to do tasks related to this project repeatedly over the next few or several hours, adding a vertical line to the dash everytime I pass it if I did a task related to it during a circuit around my list.

As you can see, the possibilities are quite numerous.

There seems to be also a good balance between doing the easy things vs the hard things, especially when you use a "hard task" or a task that has been giving you resistance as your context. I find this refreshing as this has always been the weakness of the Autofocus systems.
May 1, 2018 at 6:58 | Registered Commenternuntym
Interesting. For an example, if it is time to cook dinner, wouldn't those associated tasks with dinner stand out naturally, instead of needing a context to put more emphasis on it?
May 2, 2018 at 17:06 | Unregistered CommenterConnor
@Connor: If that was the case then yes, absolutely. Using vanilla simple scanning I would just dot "dinner" and be done with it. If using CSS I would write "—dinner", make a plus sign of the dash, close the notebook and start making dinner.

However that is just one way of using or interpreting "—dinner". Off the top of my head, here are some other ways I used this context from the past few days.

· "—dinner": I wrote this down a few hours before I was supposed to make dinner because I wanted to remind myself I <was> supposed to make dinner, and I didn't want to forget in the midst of some very engaging tasks I was doing while processing the list. Heck I remember setting up alarms.

· "—dinner": I wrote this down, but I thought, nah don't feel like doing it right now (I live alone), so I did some tasks by doing circuits on my list until I felt like doing dinner.

· "—dinner": I wrote this down and thought, man I want some delivered food, so I ordered online then made some circuits around the list while waiting, making the context of dinner as my reward for squeezing in more tasks until it arrived.

· "—dinner": There were some things I needed to do before I could even start preparing dinner, so I let that context hurry me up.
May 3, 2018 at 9:09 | Registered Commenternuntym