Assess, Decide, Do – Natural Productivity


“Traditional productivity is expressed through Gantt diagrams. Milestones, deadlines and resource allocation.

Natural productivity is expressed as a spiral. You approach your goal in smaller and smaller circles, taking into account all the new information that you obtain after you finished some parts of it.

And at the same time, by incorporating this new knowledge, you grow, you climb. You’re not going horizontal, milestone by milestone, in a dumb, monotonous and stupid march.

You’re evolving.”
– Dragos Roua, in Assess – Decide – Do Natural Productivity

What is Assess, Decide, Do?

My friend Dragos Roua just released his latest ebook, Assess – Decide – Do Natural Productivity.  To summarize, he breaks down productivity into three buckets/phases:

  • Assess: your current situation, your options, your goals
  • Decide: establish if you’re doing or not what you assessed, chose an option, chose a path
  • Do: walk your path, enjoy it, be there, be in the moment, in the present, in the now and here

I think it’s a powerful decision making tool, and really cuts through some of the mess to give you a simple, doable productivity system. He has also created an iPhone/iPad application that goes along with it.

My favorite aspect of the book was how it had some juicy nuggets of insight, but for the most part was filled with actionable advice to get you actually doing. One point he makes early on is that if we get stuck doing too much assessing and not enough doing, we never get anything done. On the other hand, if we simply skip assessing and deciding, and spend all our time doing – we may end up wasting our time on tasks that don’t matter to us.

An argument can be made for every phase being the most important, but for me, I think the key really is deciding.  As I’ve discussed in a previous article on metawork, I know all too well how to overanalyze and “overassess” a situation, and once I get going I can finish tasks relatively quickly.  However, sometimes I do get hung up on simply not making a decision – and I enjoyed Dragos’ tips and strategies for working through that.

Here are some of my favorite insights from the book.

Favorite Quotes from Assess – Decide – Do Natural Productivity

“Each decision you make will kill your current reality and will force you to replace it with another one.”


“Prioritizing your doing means give room to what’s important now as opposed to what you thought it was important yesterday”


“If you start doing something, finish it. Or cut it out, if you can’t do it anymore.  One of the most subtle ways to procrastinate is to remain stuck in a project or task for ever.”


“Productivity is not the ability to do things efficiently. It’s the ability to have a real life while doing things efficiently.”


“Assess, Decide and Do are not inboxes: they are levels of commitment.”


“Forget deadlines. Instead let’s have livelines.

A liveline is different from a deadline in that it creates a new starting point. The point where you start something on the foundation you just finished, something alive.

You restart the movement.”

Get the ebook now –  Assess – Decide – Do Natural Productivity

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