Contrary to what people say, it is actually difficult for an entrepreneur to be productive all the time than a normal professional. Why? There is so much to do, so many tweets to reply to, mails to send, blogs to read, people to message, and the result: more and more uncompleted tasks and unmet goals! And as the number of such tasks increases, the OCD also increases, either that or by weekend you reach a stage of not giving a damn.
That would have been cool if it didn’t correspond to more headaches the next working day. That reminds me to tell you what the Zeigarnik effect is: Uncompleted tasks and unmet goals tend to pop into one’s mind. Once the task is completed and the goal reached, however, this stream of reminders comes to a stop.
Now we can go back to evolutionary biology to discuss why it happens but I don't want to do that, instead let's see when does this take place? You may think that Zeigarnik effect happens till the goal is achieved, but that's not true. Even if you note down how you are going to that particular task, or write the next actionable item somewhere the reminders stop.
Even though they hadn’t finished the task or made any palpable progress, the simple act of making a plan has cleared their minds and eliminated the Zeigarnik effect. The unconscious mind apparently nags the conscious mind to make a plan with specifics like time, place, and opportunity. Once the plan is formed, the unconscious can stop nagging the conscious mind with reminders. That's why it becomes very important to put down to paper the next actionable item for that particular task.
You have your own hacks of being productive? Tell us about them in your comments.