Jun. 22nd, 2009

sarahmichelef: (Default)
AF Book 6/22 It's been about 5 months since I started using the Autofocus Task/Time management system - I'm pretty sure I posted a link to it back in February.  I'm still totally loving it.  I've gone through a couple of permutations of how I keep my list - work and personal all mixed up, on facing pages, one on each end of the book.  Now I'm back to the barest-bones implementation of the system - everything all mixed up in one book.  I don't even keep track of dates except the date I started and closed pages, and I could probably ditch those too.

I won't say that I'm a million times more productive than I used to be using this system, or that I stick to it faithfully all the time.  It works at its best when you have a lot of unscheduled time and can make your own decisions about what to do when - in other words, pretty much my entire life.  There were definitely times in the last month when I was operating on near-crisis mode (summer school will do that to you) that I hardly used it at all.

Two common "criticisms" are that it doesn't handle projects very well, or items with urgent deadlines.  In fact, it handles projects perfectly well and very flexibly.  On the pictured pages, there are multiple entries for "LJ/FB paper".  I need to work on that paper, and I have a list of related tasks either in my head or written down elsewhere.  (In my case, stuff like that goes into Journler.)  Urgent items... well, it depends on your definition of "urgent".  I put things on the list as soon as I know they need to be done (unless it's something with a way-far-out deadline like the paper I want to write for next year's ASA conference, whose deadline will be somewhere around 1/5/10) and have not had a thing slip through the cracks.  Items with longer-range deadlines, or things that are time dependent go in a calendar with popup reminders; those reminders are not to do the item right then and there but rather to put them in my AF list so they can enter my consciousness.

The notebook, in case anyone is wondering, is a Picadilly medium notebook.  Do not love - I've been using it since Feb.; it's already held together by duck tape on the outside and packing tape on the inside and it's only 1/3 full.  Shell out the $$ for a real Moleskine if you're going to drag a notebook everywhere with you.

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sarahmichelef

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