Last year, I began a sort of "vision quest" to get more productive, organized, and focused. I've been on and off the wagon quite a bit during that time, but it's starting to take me less time to get back on the wagon.
For me, the breakthrough was finding David Allen's "Getting Things Done" - a book and much more. Like a lot of the people I know, I've been a bit of a "time management system junkie" for a long time (since my first Franklin planner and training course in the late 80's). Franklin (then Covey, then Franklin Covey, etc.) worked well on a number of levels, but it just didn't scale.
David's system is phenomenal for cutting through all the crap and getting you to a different plane of focus. If you haven't been exposed to it, Getting Things Done (GTD for short) is all about getting tasks (and all the other information that you need to track) out of your head and into a "trusted system" where you can deal with it on purpose. The key is identifying the "Next Action" for every project, wannado, gottado in your life. So, where do you start? Here are the first actions I recommend:
1. Buy and read David Allen's book Getting Things Done (see my link under "Recommended Reading" to find it) - this will get you through the basics
2. Buy and listen to the CD "Getting Things Done Fast" available from the store at David Allen's web site - this will really make it all "click" for you (at least it did for me)
Stay tuned here and I'll share some of the other hard lessons I've learned on this vision quest of mine in hopes that it helps you find your path more quickly.