In my mind, the guru of productivity has to be David Allen, the "Getting Things Done" guy. I have been able to implement a few of his ideas and they have made some impactful differences in my ability to, well, yes, get things done...
1. Be disciplined enough to take your "to dos" and distill them into tasks, real tasks. I think all too often we tackle "projects" as tasks and get stuck. We try to tackle BIG things, when we should take a little time to plan and break things into actionable bite size steps. For example, if you want to paint the garage, buying paint and paintbrushes isn't all you need to do. You probably need to move things out of the garage to make room, you may need to buy paint or shelves, etc. And maybe you need to decide if there are some things to give to Goodwill first to clear out some space.
Put some simple thinking into the actual action steps and tackle them a little at a time. Drop by the store to buy the paint after work one day, take 20 minutes one night to peruse the garage and see what you can just get rid of...bite size pieces helps you get on the path!
2. Have a "place" for everything. Folders, desk drawers, bookshelves, closets, storage shelves. Whatever it is, find a place for it. Mail, CDs, books, clothes, toys, you name it, it should have a place.
Our island in the kitchen used to be a holding place for everything in our house. Used to frustrate me that when I'd go to fix dinner, I'd only have this little square to prepare food. So, I set up a mail system and both my husband and I have gotten very diligent about putting things where they actually go. The only problem is now there's more of an incentive to eat in versus going out!
3. If you're not sure where to start with a task or project, any little step will do. Building my business website was a bit of a daunting task. I had this blank slate to fill. Where to start? Since I tend to be a whiteboard fiend, I just picked up a marker and started putting down ideas, phrases, anything that came to mind. Next I organized the brainstorms, and started writing a paragraph or two. It's still evolving, but just starting, got me going.
Just try one little step today...I did. After seeing more books I want to read, I set a goal to read 2% on my kindle every day! I'll be through a book in 2 months, easy!