Staying on task
- Do a procrastination dash and/or try the "(10+2)*5" hack.
- Break down a major project into microtasks.
- Script the first few tasks of your day.
- Design and use a productivity scaffold.
- Use Merlin's top 5 ways to improve your organization skills.
- Efficiently use your interstitial time.
- Become an email ninja. Here's my strategy and Merlin Mann's advice on writing sensible email messages and email productivity. The key idea to attain inbox zero. I also reduced the number of email folders I have (another method is the "trusted trio").
- Organize your files in a logical system. I use a hierachy of folders while Lifehacker recommends this system
- Batch similar tasks as much as you can.
- Make checklists for infrequent, but complicated tasks like packing for travel.
- Track your life with a daily checklist. I also keep a sleep log since I have trouble going to bed and waking up on a regular schedule.
- Use a box to keep items you need to remember before leaving the house.
- Keep notes in text and use descriptive filenames.
- Make a starting homepage with searchable links.
- Create a backup system and learn how to rescue your data.
Develop your mind
- Use a "30 day trial" to create an new, enduring habit.
- Learn to become mindful.
- Learn to live consciously.
- Learn how to cope with and protect yourself from difficult people who wear you down.
- Have good intentions and think positively. Here is a list of some intentions I made a while back.
If everything seems screwed up, remember you can always reboot!
For some other opinions, see these two articles from Productivity501 -- Interview: Becoming Effective and Interview: Biggest Time Waster.