When it comes to productivity there is one big secret that is rarely discussed. A lot of people talk about GTD, Agile teams and numerous other methods and practices out there. But no one talks about the biggest thing - do what you love.
I firmly believe work should be fun and while the saying "do what you love and you will never work a day in your life" is wrong on so many levels this post is not about picking that apart. When work is fun you will want to do it and getting started is often the hardest part of being productive.
For the last 10 years, I have worked on websites and marketing for clients because this is where I have fun and enjoy my work. Every day I arrive at my desk and start working through my task manager for somewhere between 10 and 15 hours. As you might have guessed this doesn't feel like work to me so I have plenty of motivation to get started every day.
In other aspects of my "work" life, I also find things enjoyable. For example, writing on this site. While this is not my main day and I don't directly make any money from my writings here I do see this as a form of work. I have to write every week to keep a constant flow of high-quality content on the site or readership will fall. I often write multiple times a week on this site as I gain a great benefit from the writings in the clarity of mind it gives me.
It is here, however, I have found myself lacking motivation in the past and not wanting to write new posts. Sometimes this site has felt more like a "job" than a hobby. At this point, I had to remind myself this is supposed to be fun. The reason I lost interest in writing as I started to take it too seriously. I started reading books as fast as possible purely for new insights and topics I could write about. This was not the reason I started this site, although a big part is writing about ideas from books to gain the mental clarity around thoughts - it is also about coming up with my own thoughts.
Once I have realised this I was able to make a number of changes in how I approached this part of my life and started to have fun while writing again. Sure enough, this worked and now I have written for 3 days straight giving me a bank of content scheduled and ready to be published over the next 4 weeks.
So, the biggest secret to productivity is - have fun.