Monday, February 07, 2011

AF4 observances

Some things I’ve observed in the last few weeks using AutoFocus 4.

-          Combining my work and home autofocus lists has been clearly successful.  At first the list seemed too big, but the bigness of the list encouraged me to reduce the size and focus on those items that are truly important.

-          The amount of time I spend prepping my list at the beginning of the day is about 20 to 40 minutes.  This seems a bit long at first glance, but I feel like it gives me a solid start to the day and I never feel like I don’t know what to work on next.    Here’s my morning routine:

o   Run through my AF4 list and make sure things I worked on yesterday got crossed off

o   Take stats on my list (I love the numbers!)

o   Quickly go through my email inbox and put important emails in my todo folders

o   Run through the todo folders and add unflagged items to my af4 list.  Upon adding to the book, I flag the emails.  I also unflad and remove emails that are completed.

o   Run through my calendar and add today’s items to my af4 list.

o   Go through the list and put a light pencil mark by the items I deem to be important for today.

-          I’ve been hovering between 40 and 60 items on my active list at the end of each day.  I would like to push this down to 30-50 items as a way to simplify/focus my life.   I am getting better and tossing out the junk, but I can still see room for improvement.

-          I’ve stopped splitting my list between “backlog” and “open” lists.  It’s all backlog.   I also move around the list a little more freeform, depending on my mood.

-          I’m using double-columned pages and that keeps my whole backlog about 3 pages long.   I start feeling uncomfortable if it gets longer than that, and I use that pressure to get me to work on things or just drop them from the list.

-          I’ve started writing items down in the future.  My book is about 4 days/page.  If I think of an item that will need attention in about two weeks, I flip forward 3-4 pages and write the item down.   About 3 items from any particular day are added to my current list because I have “caught up” to something I wrote down earlier.



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