My Latest Book

Product Details

Also available on Amazon.com, Amazon.fr, and other Amazons and bookshops worldwide! 

To Think About . . .
If you want to be tougher, be tougher. Jocko Willink, former Navy SEAL Commander
My Other Books

Product Details

Product Details

Product Details

Product Details

Click to order other recommended books.

Find Us on Facebook Badge

Search This Site
Latest Comments
Log-in

FV and FVP Forum > FV2 ?? / FV 1-2 ??

Hello,

I Just had an idea for a tighter way of managing the dreaded catch all list (we love them really, don't we?)

I do get worried if I think I might be forgetting to do stuff by not writing it down. Being able to write items down also enables me to break down more complex things, and also weigh up priorities as I go. So, against the current trend here, I hope there is a small corner on this site for a longer list.

FV2 / FV1-2 (I don't think these names are taken yet, are they?) The basic idea for this version of FV is that it never gets more than 2 full pages long. This typically may allow something in the region of 100 active tasks maximum as there should never be more than 3 pages open at any one time (depending on page sizes - it could also be bespoke if using a digital version) with scope for frequent review and weeding out items. Below are the guidelines in rough:

One: Use the FV algorythm (OK, use FVP if you like, but I find it too tiring myself). Don't bother dating pages unless you need to, i.e. for your job etc. The root task is the first item within the active pages. If the root item happens to be on a page that is being dismissed, then the root item becomes the first item on the next page with items on it.

Two: Draw a line across the bottom of the next 2 pages and write '1' '2' (circled) near the end of the line. Only '1' or '2' will ever get written. Tip: at first it may help to do some wholesale filling in of '1' and '2' over several pages until getting the hang of it.

Three: When you hit the bottom of the most recent page 1 or page 2 with filled items (i.e. the page has just been closed with tasks): Review the existing page 1 or page 2 for any remaining items not done. (This of course will not apply when initially starting). Roll over only those items that really must be done by re - writing them onto the new page 1 or page 2 (which is by definition an open page). Note that the item can be broken down into smaller chunks or it could be re-phrased as a doable 'next action'. Once you have done this, then dismiss the earlier page 1 or page 2 by drawing a diagonal line from bottom inside corner of the page to the top outside corner of the page.

Repeat steps 1 - 3 ad infinitum (or at least until a new shiny system comes along for all of us!)

Sorry if it does not seem clear, I'm not the best at explaining things -- however I have mapped out some sketches and in theory it could work! I'll test drive it over the week initially and report back. Thanks for listening!
April 2, 2016 at 21:33 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
Update: 14 items worked on yesterday of varying importance. Inbox backlogs cleared. Happy with ratio of items worked on compared to limited time and energy available. Now 5 lines into second page, so no real deviation from FV / FVP just yet. Change: FVP algorythm deployed, feels more fluid. Satisfaction rating: 4/5 (4 out of 5) so far.
April 4, 2016 at 7:08 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
The overall direction of this research project seems to be interesting. If it succeeds you end up with a catch-all system but still don't have to manage an endless list.

One of the genius strokes of DIT is that you get a definitive "lag" for each incoming task: Now, Today, Tommorow, another scheduled date.

DWM was interesting that it managed to combine a catch-all list with this feature of DIT in a sort of inverse way. IF your task gets worked on it will be either in 30 or in 7 days max.

Maybe using DWM in combination with the FV algorythm is a possible solution? At least that's what I was thinking off after reading your post.

DWM has the problem of two entry-points. Maybe use FV with each task having it's DWMesque expiration date added to it and when scanning the list one would delete all tasks whose date is for today.

(This wouldn't work with FVP though, since you are not guaranteed to come back to the beginning of the list.)
April 5, 2016 at 9:11 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher
"Maybe using DWM in combination with the FV algorythm is a possible solution? At least that's what I was thinking off after reading your post."

Tried it. The two-entry-points made processing via the FVP algorithm ... weird. I have recently been working with a hard one-month cap on tasks... if I haven't touched it, it gets dismissed, no questions asked.

But I am seeing what I think of Leon's idea, treating a two-page spread as a "page" and a three-spread maximum (since my list contains both home and work tasks, and I routinely add 25 - 30 lines per workday, limiting the list to 100 tasks means that often my oldest tasks would be less than 72 hours old). I haven't yet had to dismiss a spread, so we'll see how it goes.
April 5, 2016 at 15:22 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Update: Broke some consistency as transferred notebook to a large moleskine from an A4 spiral bound notebook. (One of my ongoing many time management and stationery related OCD issues!). Plenty of scheduled appointments going on at the moment, so not stacks of discretionary time. 26 items worked on over last 2 days.

Felt very tired over last few days so I was pleased to be able to cherry pick items I felt I could do i.e. that felt fairly easy but still needed to be done i.e. they were compulsory work items.

In summary, very happy so far with this method (4/5) although to be fair it has been simply FVP so far as I haven't reached the point of dismissing a page. However I have noticed that I seem to be making an effort to clear tasks on page 'one' whilst being aware not to dump lots of items onto page 'two'. So I would say that it's helping me to keep the list quite focused and tight.
April 6, 2016 at 7:31 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
Name change (yes I know, I know...we love naming systems here, don't we!):

FVPOT.

Final Version Perfected One Two.
April 6, 2016 at 7:33 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
I'm finding myself VERY aware of the fact that I'm going to have to deal with anything on my list in the next 72 hours or so. It's definitely reducing the use of the list as a universal capture.
April 7, 2016 at 3:13 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Update: good day with system yesterday. Worked on 25 items. Although it's not the quantity that matters it did feel good to move the items on (especially the work related ones). Satisfaction 4.5 / 5. As Sarah mentioned, I noticed a conscious effort to slow the flow of incoming items. Lots of flexibility, which I like about FVP. I may need to dismiss a page for the first time today so I'll no a bit more after that. The first page I started is now Approx 4 days old and has 12 open items left on it.
April 7, 2016 at 6:55 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
Update: 20 items worked on today (professional and personal as I use one list only). Some carried a lot of resistance so it felt great to break them down by doing *some* work on them. First time a page has been dismissed is today (it contained 22 items worked on and 9 items not worked on). Very satisfied today - 5/5.

Modification: Entered date of page dismissal at the bottom of the page dismissed (in red pen at the moment as I'm tracking items worked on in red pen for this experiment). Just added this feature to be able to track interval periods of page dismissals.
April 7, 2016 at 22:59 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
My stats for the last couple of days...

Wednesday 6 April
*25 items worked
*2 items re-entered
*25 new items
*Net change: 0

Thursday 7 April
*10 items worked
*3 items re-entered
*1 item (not page) dismissed/weeded
*9 new items
*Net change: -2

Working with 3x2-page spreads, I haven't had to dismiss a spread yet. If that trend continues I'll drop it down to 2x2-page spreads (which would put my max list size at about 160 items).
April 8, 2016 at 15:10 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Update for yesterday: 23 items worked on, list size remains very manageable. I have 2 3/4 pages with tasks on them. The 2 pages have only one task and one task left on them respectively. Have got the weekend now and that is my danger zone for switching systems! Satisfaction is now 4 or 5 out of 5 unless stated otherwise. No further modifications needed so far.
April 9, 2016 at 8:18 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
Update: Ah, light bulb moment...weekends are tough with lots of commitments / little discretionary time for me. This, I think has been a key trigger for me abandoning systems and often over weekends. Clearly I get frustrated with a lack of progress and think a better system will solve this.

However, I did manage to work on 3 list items (one of which was crucial). Also, I was able to dismiss a further page (even before hitting the page dismissal point). So, the list isn't really expanding, which is great! 8 remaining open items on my current 'page 2' and 21 items on my current 'page 1' (7 of which are short term reminders for review or to transfer across to my calendar). 29 open items seems manageable, but I also feel a little more relaxed and 'in control' by having a universal capture feature...Overall, happy so far with FVPOT.

I may start a new thread with revised guidelines and name update and plan for weekly updates so this post isn't always at the top. Understandably folks could soon get bored of my ramblings (that's if they haven't done already!)

Thanks Mark, for you brilliant ideas and providing a platform for all to contribute ideas openly.
April 10, 2016 at 7:57 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
Leon:

Sorry, I haven't really paid as much attention to this as I should have as my mind has been on other things. But I've been reading the thread through this morning.

To summarize the method:

You use the normal rules for FV or FVP, except that when you fill the last line on the third page you delete the first page and all tasks remaining on it. In other words, you never have more than two full pages and one partly filled page.

Have I got that right?

A few points:

1) It would probably work with AF1 as well (and possibly other systems, such as just circling round the list as a whole).

2) I don't see much point in numbering the pages. Except at the very beginning, whenever you fill in the last line on a page you delete the first page. Sometimes you may already have deleted it, but you will know that because there will only be one other page. (Most of us can count up to three!)

3) As far as I can see without actually trying it, the system would put a lot of pressure on doing the first page, while simultaneously putting a brake on the entry of new tasks. That's all to the good. However I'm wondering whether there would be a tendency after deleting a page to try and catch up with entering tasks you've been holding back on entering.

4) Have you tried it with a different number of pages? It occurs to me that one full page and one incomplete page would approximate more to a no-list system but with more flexibility.
April 10, 2016 at 10:12 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark, some good questions. I will try to answer as below:

< You use the normal rules for FV or FVP, except that when you fill the last line on the third page you delete the first page and all tasks remaining on it. In other words, you never have more than two full pages and one partly filled page. >

Pretty much correct (I'm using FVP algorythm presently). Except I included 'Roll over only those items that really must be done by re - writing them onto the new page'.

< 1) It would probably work with AF1 as well (and possibly other systems, such as just circling round the list as a whole).>

Agreed. Although I do find circling the list more tiring than FV and FVP.

< I don't see much point in numbering the pages. Except at the very beginning, whenever you fill in the last line on a page you delete the first page.>

Agreed. I'm not the sharpest tool in the box, so I prefer idiot proof instructions! Personally, I think I might forget and lose where I am. It's a feature I find helpful as it acts as a prompt.

< 3) As far as I can see without actually trying it, the system would put a lot of pressure on doing the first page, while simultaneously putting a brake on the entry of new tasks. That's all to the good. >

Agreed!

< However I'm wondering whether there would be a tendency after deleting a page to try and catch up with entering tasks you've been holding back on entering.>

I've not found this to be a problem so far. Note - I don't / have never included very routine items, for example 'wash up' or 'make lunch', I just sort of do those things...Also (what I learned from you firstly with AF, I think) items can be 'chunked up' to deal with rather than flooding a page with lots of small spin off items.

< Have you tried it with a different number of pages? It occurs to me that one full page and one incomplete page would approximate more to a no-list system but with more flexibility.>

It's a good idea -- and I haven't tried it. It's certainly something that could be tested. I think what I'm doing at the moment though seems to be hitting a good elapsed time span for me personally, especially as I work during the week and have weekends off (but use one list).I don't know, it's something I could test but ideally I'd like to test this current idea for another 3 weeks at least so I can draw up some reasonable conclusions.

A question for you, Mark: What sort of algorythm could work really well with this page dismissal method? Also, how could the algorythm be designed to target current initiatives, i.e. items that one want to apply sustained effort and focus on?
April 10, 2016 at 21:24 | Unregistered CommenterLeon
Leon:

<< What sort of algorythm could work really well with this page dismissal method? >>

Have you tried one-page FVP? You make the first active task on the page the root task, apply FVP rules to that page only, and move on to the next page when the root task has been done. Would probably work with FV rules too.

<< Also, how could the algorythm be designed to target current initiatives, i.e. items that one want to apply sustained effort and focus on? >>

See my blog post tomorrow morning.
April 10, 2016 at 21:53 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Just another update on my progress with this system...

Friday 8 April
* 21 items worked
* 3 items re-entered
* 2 items weeded
* 23 new items
* List net -2
* Oldest item 5 days

Saturday 9 April
* 10 items worked
* 3 items re-entered
* 2 items weeded
* 10 new items
* List net -5
*Oldest item 5 days old

Sunday 10 April
* 7 items worked
* 2 items re-entered
* 8 new items
* List net -1
* Oldest item 6 days old

As for the weekday / weekend problem... it's true that, due to the nature of my work and family commitments, I have LESS discretionary time on the weekends. So I may not get as many items done from the list, but I don't expect to, either.
April 11, 2016 at 18:50 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Leon. Curious - how many lines on one page?
April 17, 2016 at 2:59 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Jane
...Around 35 / 36 in my large moleskine.
April 17, 2016 at 15:22 | Unregistered CommenterLeon