Public Domain picture: http://www.photos-public-domain.com/2011/01/01/notebook-and-pen/ Public Domain picture: http://www.photos-public-domain.com/2011/01/01/notebook-and-pen/

Autofocusis a very simple system of organization and personal productivity, created by Mark Forsters, is oriented to action more than to the organization. Its philosophy is that the mind automatically captures the focus of work from a list of tasks. According to Mark Forsters, the system works because “is a reference framework that balances the intuitive and the rational of the brain… When these two ways of thinking are balanced we are able to make rational decisions that are fully consistent with our deepest emotions and feelings”. Este concepto facilita la motivación para hacer las cosas, evitando la procrastinación.

Autofocus advantages

The main advantages of Autofous are the following:

  • Allows  you to focus on what’s important.
  • Allows  you to process deeply the most important projects and tasks.
  • Allows you  to process a greater workload.
  • Allows you to process quickly the routine tasks.
  • It is natural and simple. The use of a single list is more suited to our way of life and work.
  • It is flexible and fast.
  • Discovers the procrastinated tasks and those that are irrelevant.
  • Identifies and focuses, naturally, the tasks that are required at all times.
  • It is not rigid nor strict.
  • Eliminates stress.

Tools needed

A notebook, a pen and a highlighter.

Preliminary concepts

With Autofocus, the only existing list is the notebook, in which we add, always at the end, each task or idea that emerge at any time, without evaluation.

Processing

Processing with Autofocus consists of eight easy steps:

  1. Read quickly all tasks of the page, without taking any decision or action.
  2. Read, slowly, the tasks of the page until a task highlights for you. Don’t prioritize tasks. Let your mind sits and decides which task to perform. If after passing a task arises the feeling of wanting to return to that task, execute it.
  3. Work on this task for as long as you believe appropriate. When you think we’ve done enough, stop the execution of the task.
  4. Cross out the task. If it is not finished, rewrite it at the end of the list before you cross out it.
  5. Review the page again. The page is the drive on which you focus the work, while an task highlights on the page.
  6. If no task is highlighted on the page, go to the next page and repeat the process.
  7. If no task is highlighted in the page on the first pass, and this is not the last page, all tasks on this page must be discarded by marking them with a highlighter. If your mind does not capture any approach, these tasks are not so important at the time and distract us from the main objectives. Later, we will review them to assess why they were discarded and if its interesting resume them.
  8. After the last page, return to the first page with active tasks. It may be helpful mark each completed page with a special mark on one corner of it.

Some tips

  • Use the common sense. If something has to be done immediately, do it.
  • Do not add implicit tasks: prepare dinner, go to the gym, etc.
  • Include track points and comments in order to track the system.
  • Use a notebook for each location: Home, Work…
  • Always have the notebooks available in order to registry the ideas and tasks that can arise at any moment.

Have you already used Autofocus? What is your experience?

Interesting links

Oficial Page (in Spanish): http://markforster.squarespace.com/spanish

Blog: http://markforster.squarespace.com/blog/

Foro: http://markforster.squarespace.com/forum/

 

 

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