A great personal organizational system or to-do list isn’t going to get the work done. It’s still, after all, just a list of work – not actual work done.
Problem is, even for well-organized and successful people, lists can be counter-productive. They can be intimidating, and actually cause paralysis instead of productivity.
The cause? Too many options, and/or lack of conviction on what really to do next. Lists either aren’t built in priority order, or the individual doesn’t really believe in that ranking. If you find yourself staring at a to-do list and not taking action, it’s because you’re not really sure what to do first. Add to that the other distractions not on that list that might be easier, more fun or just a stall tactic (email, voicemail, Facebook) and you spend more time stalling than doing.
The only cure to this is to just get started. Start with a good list of what to do. Make it as prioritized as possible. But when it comes to doing work, force yourself to just get started. Picking something, making progress and getting it done, is far better than spending more time fiddling with the order of things.