Mark Forster’s ideas, as I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, have been very influential on my thinking about task and self management.
His 2006 post, made when he was still a time management coach, is an example of him developing his own methods to meet his own inconsistencies. And then, if that weren’t enough, to make the method as simple as possible.
Mark’s simple question – “How good am I feeling right now?” – and the simple grading – reply to yourself on a scale from 1-10 – are similar to other self-measures of subjective pain or exertion. But this question is so much more abstract and the results more powerful. Mark trusts the subconscious, the Undermind, your intuition, whatever you want to call it, to respond.
The other key component of this method is what you don’t do. Don’t try to fix anything, don’t try to raise the number, don’t try to make yourself feel better. That just puts more pressure on you.
Rather, ask the question, notice the answer, and then get on with your day. Many of Mark’s methods rely on such simple questioning, simply noticing what you’re doing and feeling. You are more powerful than you know, and tapping that power requires very little effort.
I tracked my responses to this question last fall, and started at 5 or 5-6. Over a very short time, it climbed to 8-9. These days, I’m pretty consistently at 7-8.
In the comments, one of the posters suggested changing the question. Mark replied: