Hello everyone. Thanks very much for your great questions, and for having me here. Following are my answers, some thoughts on academic productivity, and some ideas from my consulting work with faculty. I hope you find them helpful.
Background of the problem
What’s the problem? Your jobs are hard. Positions in academia are some of the broadest and most demanding I’ve encountered in my consulting. As my client Mary Deane Sorcinelli  points out in her Peer Review article Faculty Development: The Challenge Going Forward (PDF),
The set of tasks expected of faculty is intensifying under increasing pressure to keep up with new directions in teaching and research. Thus, for example, new faculty members may need to develop skills in grant-writing or in designing and offering online courses. Seasoned faculty members may need to keep up with emerging specialties in their fields as well as to engage in more interdisciplinary work.
Further, without excellent self-management skills, people face significant stress trying to achieve distinction as scholars, teachers, and campus citizens. They sacrifice work and life balance, and risk burnout – a big loss for both the academe and the faculty member herself. Fortunately, there’s plenty to hope for. Clients and colleagues have told me that adopting a method to improve productivity is one the best steps academics can take to improve faculty success.
Answers to your questions
Adopting a method without its taking over
As an academic, I have a lot of projects going at once and haven’t been able to maintain the action-based ToDo list over time. How can I keep the productivity process from becoming its own project taking over my time and attention?