The Four Phases of Productivity
On a basic level, we can divide day-to-day productivity into four phases:
If you don’t capture all meaningful to-dos that come your way, they might slip through the cracks. To-dos can come from many places, so you had better have a plan for capturing to-dos regardless of their source.
If you don’t organize your to-dos, you’ll end up with an overwhelming and unwieldy list. It’ll be tough to figure out what to work on next, with such a jumble of tasks in front of you. You should have a system to file your to-dos neatly.
If you don’t plan when to work on your to-dos, you’ll end up working haphazardly. You’ll do things just because someone was nagging you about them and ignore important work that isn’t as loud. This is not a recipe for prioritizing what’s important, so plan your days intentionally.
Finally, if you don’t do, you can be the world’s champion of capturing, organizing, and planning, but you’ll still get nowhere. Being organized is important, but not sufficient.
Figure out which phase is going wrong for you. Then fix it!