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FV and FVP Forum > What will help me complete X?

I'm still using FVP (not reverse, just the original), and I've discovered a new question that has made it really satisfying as well as forcing me get to work on stuff I might otherwise put off, and that's...

"What will help me complete X?"

I'm still playing with it, but there's something that feels really good about the algorithm pinpointing those things that are subtasks and putting them in a reasonable order. There's a little less resistance this way too, as the easier tasks tend to happen first. It also tricks me, but in a good way, by weeding out things that won't help me get stuff done, and before I know it, I'm working on something that I have resistance to without realizing it.
January 31, 2016 at 3:45 | Unregistered CommenterJesse

That's very interesting.

What's your experience if x is something you are resisting and the answer is "nothing"? Or does "help me complete x" include stuff which is completely unconnected with x but will allow your mind to prepare itself for doing x?

I must have a try, but I'm working on something else at the moment.
January 31, 2016 at 9:25 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Actually the more I think about this the more I am intrigued by it. It focuses one's attention on getting x done and so could solve the big problem with FVP which is getting the early tasks on the list done.

So I've abandoned for the time being the other thing I am working on and have started to try this out. I've slightly amended the question for my own use to "What will help me do x?"

Anyway, must stop and go to the gym - which I can normally resist all day. But this question has got me moving on it!
January 31, 2016 at 10:22 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I've only just started doing this for 2 days, so I don't have a ton of feedback, but to answer your questions...

'What's your experience if x is something you are resisting and the answer is "nothing"?'

Then I start working on it! It's kind of great, as the system/algorithm gives me permission to just start the work, even if I don't know how to proceed. If anything, I'll do a tiny amount of work on it by listing out all the things I don't know or writing an outline or next action.

'Or does "help me complete x" include stuff which is completely unconnected with x but will allow your mind to prepare itself for doing x?'

This happens as well. A new dotted task may very well have nothing to do with the earlier dotted task, but it will still help me do it. Something like eating when I'm distracted by hunger too much to work on my taxes. My brain may be trying to find the easy way out of the higher-resistance tasks, but who cares really! At least I'm doing something that's moving me forward. I personally have a problem with decision paralysis and perfectionism, so movement is good for me. And even if the task doesn't help me at all, the earlier task is still dotted, so I'll return to it sooner than later.
January 31, 2016 at 10:29 | Unregistered CommenterJesse

Thanks for your reply. So far I've used the question to do "Go to gym" and "Answer comments" so it's working well!
January 31, 2016 at 12:08 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I'm having a bit of a problem today with the question. It feels like it opens up an infinite loop of task leading to subtask...

UNLESS I am willing to cross off the subtask and NOT re-add it to the end, even if I don't complete it.

If FVP is unrelenting with getting one to continue to work on something, this question makes it even more so. Dotting something is giving it a lot of power. I don't know whether this is a feature or a bug, but I'm taking a break from my list to read this site and have some tea.
February 3, 2016 at 0:50 | Unregistered CommenterJesse

It's interesting that you are having this problem. What I found was that it was very good at getting the first task done. The problem came when the thing I really needed to be doing wasn't the first task (or even near it).
February 3, 2016 at 2:15 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
The effect of driving toward completion is what my "current initiative" hack was all about (here: )

To get even more focus, you could combine my hack with your question ("What will help me complete X?") during steps 4 through 6, where "X" is the currently selected current initiative.

The advantage of this combination is you first select the main thing you want to get completed -- and then hammer away at that till you are done -- rather than selecting the task that happens to be first on the list.
February 5, 2016 at 21:07 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
I have consistently struggled with stale items at the beginning of my list (part of the reason for my now-abandoned FVP/DWM combo hack). I've been kind of combining the "current initiative" and "what will help me complete" for the past couple of days.

I DO preselect the first item on the list... I scan forward, asking myself what I want to do before that item, usually with a rough "current initiative" in mind. When I come to an item that jumps out at me for the CI, I switch to asking "what will help me complete the CI?"

With this, I'm managing to chip off the old items that like to hang around forever and ever (I'm also preserving the no-older-than-a-month rule of DWM) while still making progress on the truly important stuff.
February 11, 2016 at 15:43 | Unregistered CommenterSarah