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For many years, I felt that work on maintenance, organizing or tending to the garden of a system, was not a great use of my time. I always felt I’d rather be working on the actual project, product, initiative, whatever it might be.

Recently, however, I have felt the immense value of doing regular maintenance activities, such as ‘digital gardening’; the act of perusing notes and finding connections between them to add as backlinks, expanding upon points, reading and saving quotes and insights. Another example is maintenance of my project and todo list and ensuring I have clear next actions in place. Energy I put into this pays dividends as it helps me be more productive on the projects themselves. I easily win back more time than I put in on these types of activities.

Do you have other examples like this? I’d love to hear how you approach your productivity in terms of getting the tasks done vs organizing yourself to be more effective.