Many people know what are they going to do. We grab a piece of paper and list what needs to be done. We create to-do lists and get to the work.
One level higher is knowing when you are going to do things. This is the realm of calendars and due-dates.
But there is one more level when it comes to improving productivity. One that opens your eyes.
I'm talking about time tracking.
I consider myself quite good when it comes to making lists of things to do and scheduling tasks. Even though I was crossing items from my to-do lists and moving things forward, I felt like I'm not doing enough. I felt like I'm wasting time.
Since I started to track what I do every day it was easier for me to spot any inefficiencies and address them. I write what I'm working on right now and start the timer. It forces me to focus just on that one thing.
Time tracking also introduced a feedback loop into my system. It shows me where my time goes to and lets me do something about it. The biggest insight for me (and probably for everyone who started tracking their time) was how much time I waste despite feeling "productive". One YouTube video here, some memes over there and suddenly 2 hours have passed. Time tracking can pick up inefficiencies for me to address.
Productivity systems are never complete. They evolve. But it feels for me that time tracking was the last big missing piece needed to take my personal productivity system to the next level.