Autofocus: Getting Things Done

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Mark Forster is the author of a number of time management books and the creator of the Autofocus system.

The Autofocus system is basically a list of all of the things that need your attention. Its very similar to what I call a dump list.

According to Mr. Forster’s system, you start by making a list of everything that you have to do. He recommends using a spiral notebook (I agree) but you could use your computer or an electronic device if you’re more comfortable with that.

Here are the quick start instructions for Autofocus:

The system consists of one long list of everything that you have to do, written in a ruled notebook (25-35 lines to a page ideal). As you think of new items, add them to the end of the list. You work through the list one page at a time in the following manner:

1. Read quickly through all the items on the page without taking action on any of them.
2. Go through the page more slowly looking at the items in order until one stands out for you.
3. Work on that item for as long as you feel like doing so
4. Cross the item off the list, and re-enter it at the end of the list if you haven’t finished it
5. Continue going round the same page in the same way. Don’t move onto the next page until you complete a pass of the page without any item standing out
6. Move onto the next page and repeat the process
7. If you go to a page and no item stands out for you on your first pass through it, then all the outstanding items on that page are dismissed without re-entering them. (N.B. This does not apply to the final page, on which you are still writing items). Use a highlighter to mark dismissed items.
8. Once you’ve finished with the final page, re-start at the first page that is still active.

The system is very simple – simpler I think than it sounds. I also think that it might work for ADD Moms because it appeals to our need to do things when we’re in the mood.

I am going to give this system a try and see what I think. What about you?

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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