Autofocus revisited

Nearly two years ago I started to use a productivity system called ‘Autofocus‘, designed by Mark Forster of ‘Get Everything Done’ fame.  though I used the system for a while, and a month later was still enthusiastic about the system, As frequently happens I stopped using it after a few months, and resorted again to trying to keep everything in my head.

My new lecturing position is different to my previous one however, and whilst I do have some regular teaching, I also have intensive block weeks which require a lot of preparation, and also have distance learning students who I may not see face to face, but do have to regularly monitor.  Because of this, it feels like I am ‘juggling’ my workload a lot more than previously.  Clearly I needed to think again.  I tried a simple to-do list but this didn’t work for me.

So I’ve gone back to Autofocus, and writing down everything I need to do.  It’s very early days yet, but at least at the end of the day I can turn around and say ‘this is what I’ve done’ – Five items off the list yesterday, and two today (three once I’ve completed this blog post).

Why does Autofocus work for me?  I like the idea that there’s no prioritisation, you do what you ‘feel like’ at the time.  If you get bored with a task that’s OK too, you simply cross it off the list and add it to the bottom.  At the end of a page, you look at what you need to carry forward and write it again, if you don’t feel the need to do it, then highlight it (to show it’s never been completed), and forget it.

Mark Forster acknowledges that it’s no good for regular time-bound activities, but for anyone that has some degree of freedom in what they do, I can recommend it.

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1 comment so far

  1. […] upside of this that I can do what I want, and within reason, when I want.  Autofocus works really well for me as a day-to-day to-do list management […]


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