I’ve developed an organizational system based on the principles of the Focus and Context systems, with the additional goal of emptying my Soon list every day, that so far suits my lifestyle perfectly.
Here’s how it works:
At the start of each day, I review my Later list and move items that I want to accomplish that day to my Soon list.
I also consider moving some Later items to Never, if they have been languishing at the bottom of my Later list for a long time.
Next, and at each context change, I choose which items I want to accomplish before the next context change, and bring them into focus at the top of my Soon list using the “focus” button.
The idea is that I must handle each focused item before I change context again.
Note that “handle” doesn’t necessarily mean “complete”. If something comes up and I need to change contexts in a rush, I may make a conscious decision to “un-focus” some items (if I still want to do them later today) or move them to Later (if I want to do them tomorrow).
At the end of the day (my last context change), my Soon list is either already empty, or I empty it, since I won’t be doing anything else that day.
Using this simple system, I can handle everything there is for me to do every day with a conscious, informed decision. Nothing is ever forgotten or accidentally missed.
Amazing results with a simple system! It almost seems too good to be true. And that’s why I call it “deceptively simple!”
Next time, I’ll walk you through a typical day to show you how this works for me.