The do habit focuses your attention and energy on getting stuff done. You should be done with any procrastination, decision making, this time should be pure focused doing.
You need to be able to manage your attention and capabilities. There is only so much in the tank. Different tasks require different amounts of mental energy. You will find at different points of the day you have different levels of performance. Schedule tasks that are less taxing for times of the days where you might have a mental lull.
For me mid afternoon is a time of low attention so scheduling more mundane less taxing tasks for then means that although I am not mentally performing at a high level I am still being productive and getting tasks ticked off. 9am to 11am is a good time for me. I tend to schedule the more mentally demanding task for then, trying to ensure I am in the right high functioning mental state to deal with the more difficult tasks.
Depending on what task management tool you use you can tag tasks as to what level of attention they may need, so you end up with a list of what tasks would be best done at what times of the day. It’s not productive to try and do a task that requires maximum power during your most lowest powered time of the day just because its top of you most important list.
People often refer to “Multitasking” as a great skill they possess and how it makes them super productive. For most cases this is just not true. Following one task through to completion without interruption before you move onto the next task will leave you with more completed tasks and less tasks that just need something else doing before you can tick them off.
Multitasking and having many in progress tasks at once is counter productive. Everytime you pick up a task and put it down , then pick it up again, you will have that “where did i get to” thought, you then have to think and waste time getting back to where you where before.
The Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro technique was invented in the 80s and is very simple, work in short bursts of attention (25mins) then follow with a short by short breaks (5 mins). The timer should count down rather the time rather than count up this creates a buzz of being against the clock throughout the day. Large tasks can be broken down into smaller chunks. There are various apps you can download to your phone which you can use, the one I use is Repeat Timer Pro for iOS.
Go read the book.
Image from Flickr by Wittco.gmbh.