I sometimes describe myself as a high entropy person. My natural state is one of disorganization and absentmindedness. When I was a kid, my room was always a complete mess. I did poorly in school because I was always missing homework assignments. While procrastination was a factor in this as well, the fact that I had homework often just wafted out of my head almost as soon as I left the classroom (to the disappointment and disbelief of my much more organized parents).
So when my colleagues at work occasionally make jokes about how organized I am, it causes a bit of cognitive dissonance. If I seem organized, it’s because of the systems and practices I’ve developed to overcome my natural state of disorganization.
Every task goes into my task management system because if it doesn’t, its chances of getting completed are miserably low. I keep the number of emails in my inbox at or near zero because if I didn’t there would be hundreds (same for unread items in my RSS reader). My desk at work is clean and organized because if it wasn’t you wouldn’t even be able to see the desktop.
In short, the reason I’m writing a “productivity” blog is because this kind of thing does not come easy to me. I think that’s important to be forthright about for honesty’s sake, and because I’m sure there are more folks like me out there. If you are, know that you’re not the only one who struggles with this stuff.