January 17, 2009

Autofocus Update

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple,
 awesomely simple, that's creativity. 
- Charles Mingus

I remember when I was trying to keep my GTD stuff to the absolute minimum, I came across this post and loved it.  Now here was a guy who knew how to keep things simple.  But check out all of his "contexts":
• Work-computer
• Work-errands
• Work-projects
• Home-computer
• Home-errands
• Home-projects
• Someday/Maybe

With Autofocus there are only two: work and home.  Keep a notebook on your desk at work and one you carry or keep at home and you're good.  You could even do it with clipped-together notecards like this fellow.  Whatever, it doesn't really matter.  Something as easy and simple as your favorite coffe mug.  And "someday/maybe" stuff will either be embraced and broken down or filtered out of the system easily in a matter of time.

So, like the recommended GTD "list manager" he discusses, this is easily sortable by context, because it's always being looked at.  It's easy to note a due date (if needed, but since you are always working off the list and doing everything "little and often" this won't be much of an issue).

It can be as portable as you want it to be (whether paper/pen or a simple online document) and as easily accessible as needed (I keep a single blank index card and a small pen on the go to capture anything while I'm out).

There is no issue with it forcing priorities on you and it is certainly robust enough to handle all of your stuff and there really isn't any reason to have it be searched or sorted in various ways. Your subconsious handles that for you.  In fact, as simple as I thought this guy's system was, there's not even a need for all those colors or codes.  Maybe two colors if you want to keep both your work and home lists on you at all times, but that's not for me.

Mind like water, indeed.