The connection between Lego and productivity
It's a sunny Saturday afternoon. I just built the Eiffel Tower out of Lego. Yes, I'm over 6 years old or 14 that the piece advised as the "target audience", but I think Legos are one of the most amazing toys that don't have an age limit.
Why do we love Legos so much? While building I tried to analyze the answer to this simple question. You start building a Lego by the instructions and it just sucks you in. If you are one of those people who left Legos behind at age 9 you might as well pick one up. There aren't many things more relaxing than building one and focusing on the small pieces that will build up into something big in the end.
I realized the small pieces are what makes it so addictive. When you pick up the handbook given with the toy you immediately see small steps you need to take and you see what they will become.
^ This is what you see first.
What does this page tell you? Just find the 6x6 square and you are done with the first step towards your goal. It doesn't show 3-4 things grouped together (or rarely but in a way it's still easy to figure out what to do). It usually shows you one thing you need to do and it shows you visually.
It just drives you. You immerse yourself in the tutorial and follow it closely because that's the shortest way to get to the result.
How does this connect to productivity? WTF? Well, what I was thinking of is that I'm most successful in programming, in being a CEO, in strategy when I break down my tasks into pieces so small it feels trivial to follow along. If I write something like
 Connect homepage to database
 Write email to Mr. X investor / client
When the page in this example has like 5 queries and the email should consist of 10-12 paragraphs I don't really feel like starting. Not sure if anyone else is like this with tasks but I just wanted to point out that if you struggle with the task at hand you usually say it's too complicated.
You struggle because you are looking at a large chunk that is essentially a system in itself. Whenever you start working on the task you will have to first think through the whole system and store it in your memory which itself gives you mental trouble depending on the size of the piece.
You are showing yourself the piece I highlighted in the picture above. You don't see the 6x6 square. To get to the 6x6 square you need to think the whole thing through that takes time and mental power away from you every time you stand up from your desk and go to get a drink. Every time you have to get out of the loop, which is pretty often in current workspaces.
The next time you hit a task that feels too heavy ask yourself how to start on it and if you are a visual type sketch the steps in your notebook. This method is powerful. Don't put too many things on one page though. Just sketch 2-3 steps down and turn the page. Your time and productivity are more expensive than the notebook.