How to Clean Up Your Productivity System for Better Results

Bright yellow lemons and cleaning product
Bright yellow lemons and cleaning product
Photo by Crema Joe on Unsplash

Daily Review

The daily review would include your normal end of day routine. Move unfinished tasks and get a good start on prioritizing the next day. But it would also have two other functions, both of which need to be given actual attention and not just rote action.

  • Evaluate Unfinished Tasks

Check All Collection Points

A sound task management system should have at least one and preferably several collection points. They should all have some sort of inbox. This is where random, free-form thoughts and ideas go. Where you jot down things you think of during the day, but don’t have time to add into your regular system.

  • Web Clippings — As the name implies, here is where clipped web pages go. Not all of these will be related to tasks or projects.
  • Waiting — This task is waiting on someone or something.
  • Someday — You don’t want to forget about this stuff, and you may or may not get to it at some point in the future.
  • Reference — These aren’t tasks, but a repository for notes and reference materials. Much of the stuff in the web clippings will end up here.

Evaluate Unfinished Tasks

This is the key to the whole process. Instead of sliding unfinished tasks into the next day, you need to evaluate each one and determine why it didn’t get finished and when or if it needs to get completed. Don’t just keep moving things around that need to get done, or more importantly, don’t need to get done.

Weekly Review

Since you’re actually doing your review daily, this becomes not just a review but also a cleanup.

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