Assess – Decide – Do: Natural Productivity

More than a year ago, I was traveling to Thailand. It was my first trip to South-East Asia. I clearly remember the colors, the smells, the images and the overall excitement mixed with curiosity. I had an incredible time during that trip. I don’t know if it was the visual shock or the cultural difference, the jetlag or my raw food diet (at that time) fact is, at some point during that trip, I had a sort of a revelation. It came in the form of three words: Assess – Decide – Do.

During the trip, those words repeatedly came into my mind until I realized they were my unconscious response to a lot of questions. How do you get up in the morning? How do I get to that place I want to visit? How do I get to the airport? How do I manage to write the blog posts I planned to write on this trip? All those questions stacked up somewhere in a darker corner of my mind, until they got a sudden and unexpected response. Assess, Decide, Do. While my conscious mind was busy absorbing all the fresh experiences, my unconscious mind had to come up with an answer to all those questions.

During that trip, I started to follow that short sequence of activities more and more, hour after hour, each and every day. I started to calm down and assess what I want to do, then decide if, when and where I want to do that, and then do it. I practically started to slice up my reaction to outside stimuli following this pattern. First assess, then decide, then do. Somehow, it seemed to work. The events were flowing down easily, I was focusing exactly on what I wanted to focus, while still maintaining a high degree of awareness. As I told you, I still remember the colors, the smells and even the noises.

After I got home, I put those words apart. There were things that needed to be done, bills to pay, meetings to attend to and so on. But somehow, the words kept popping out in my head. And somehow, I started to apply that sequence to other parts of my life. I started with work. In a matter of days, I started to experience a smooth flow and a surprising increase in my productivity. I said surprising because I’m not a lazy person. And then tried to apply it in my personal life. And then in my relationships. The more I practiced it, the better I became at. Eventually, I took this to a whole new and bigger level. After a few months of trials and errors, I was sure that I was into something really good. And by lack of any other name, I named this a “life management framework”.

What’s This Ebook About?

After I realized that I finally discovered something, I started to write about it. There were a few articles on the blog, all of them very well received. I started to incorporate feedback from my readers in it and also started to share these ideas with my friends. Basically, everybody who was exposed to the ideas seemed to “click” with the approach. At some point, when all the structure of the framework was clear, I started to build an app for it. Exactly, an iPhone app. There must be an app for everything, right?

During the app building process, I applied the same framework rules: I assessed, I decided than I did what seemed to be necessary to move the app forward. It took me roughly 30 days to build that app, without any prior knowledge of Objective C. It took me roughly 30 days to build that app, without any prior knowledge of Objective C. (No, this was not a mistake, I deliberately wrote that twice. Just to get it right.)

Now, the app is in the AppStore for more than 2 months, the latest version syncs your data with Dropbox iCloud, there is also an iPad version and so on. It may look like I started a business on this idea and to a certain degree, that’s right. But this perception of business will have to stop at the level of employees, though, because I don’t have any. I did everything by myself. Everything. The app, the blog, the promotion. Everything. Oh, and in the process, I had to handle the reconnection with my 13 year old son, I had to take care of my 4 year old daughter and also manage the separation details from my ex-wife. Just in case you’re thinking I had nothing else to do than to write on the blog, on the ebook or write Objective C code.

And still, every morning when I look in the mirror I see a healthy man, doing what he loves to do and enjoying a life of balance and fulfillment. This is what this ebook is about.

Let’s Get Practical Here

Now, if you made it till here, you must need some real life data, not some motivational stories. You’re right. I have what you need.

The ebook is structured in 3 levels: the conceptual one, the practical exercises and the tutorial for the iPhone/iPad app.

You start by learning from a very high perspective what Assess, Decide, Do means, how your being is acting on each realm and how you can identify your life imbalances using only the 3 aforementioned realms This will sound more like what I write on my blog on a regular basis. Many chapters are sharing large parts with the articles already published.

Then, in the second part, you take the framework to a real life ride. You start to apply it to relationships, to personal crisis management or to strategies for dealing with interruptions. This is the practical stuff. Once you have the concepts clear, you start to apply them to various areas of your day to day life.

And finally, in the 3rd part, you actually see, screenshot by screenshot, how to use iAdd for iPhone. This is the “tutorial” part of the ebook. I felt like a practical section was not enough. I needed something very “in your face”. Step by step. That’s what the third part is.

That’s it. This is the ebook.

I said it before, I will say it again: I suck at writing long, boring and deceiving sales pages. I simply can’t afford to insult your intelligence with all kind of cheap incentives, when I know that you know better than me if you need this ebook.

What Others Are Saying About It

As you may already know, the ebook was on pre-order for 48 hours on my blog. Since I wanted to have some feed-back, I kindly asked some of the people who read it to give me some impressions. These are real people, with real blogs and real lives. And, to my surprise (well, not quite 😉 ) they gave me feedback for both the ebook and the app.

Ian Peatey –

You will like the book if you:

  • want to know how Dragos is so damn productive
  • want a method to help you get productive yourself
  • want to know how Dragos is so damn laid back AND productive at the same time.

You will be wasting your money if you:

  • hate Dragos and wish him to live in poverty for the rest of his days
  • are perfectly content with both your productivity and level of laid-back-ness.

Lyman Reed – (iTunes feedback)

iAdd is an excellent app if you want to get out of the “add things to a list and then cross them off” world of productivity. It incorporates much from the GTD world (such as Contexts), but really shines in the area where GTD leaves off – where we assess what’s important to us and make decisions based on what we want to do.

The app is based on Dragos Roua’s Assess-Decide-Do framework – without an understanding of this framework, it could easily be mistaken for just another to do list with what seem like some extra useless steps. I strongly suggest that the user takes the time to learn the framework (links are in the app) to get the most from it.

It’s now my go-to iPhone app for productivity, especially when it comes to using the Assess realm for idea collection. It may even have convinced me that purchasing an iPad would be worth it – unless of course Dragos is planning on creating a version for Windows. Or even better, a Google Chrome extension (hint, hint…)

Eric –

Assess Decide Do is a revolutionary way of approaching Life Management.  It’s more than managing productivity, it’s a framework to underlie day to day decision management.  Assess Decide Do clearly organizes the pre-decision, the decision, and the post decision (or doing.) Decision making can be a challenge, but Dragos makes it easier by creating a process that allows for all the information gathering to happen first, and then the decision follows a simple go/no-go format.  I have struggled with many forms of organization, and I despise task lists.  Assess Decide Do is a great alternative to the task list, and is really a much more comprehensive solution to organize my life.  It really is a Life Management Framework.

Ruben Berenguel

When I read about the ADD framework in Dragos’ blog, or about the iADD application, I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it was not the correct time, or I just didn’t get it at the moment. Then, I was offered to review the ebook, and reading chapter 3 opened my eyes. I definitely needed to buy that app: it was my workflow. Said and done, I bought it a few hours ago and can’t stop thinking about how much attention to usefulness Dragos put in it. If you have found other to-do apps useless, this is for you.

Pat Flynn – (iTunes feedback)

I agree with one of the other commenters. This really helps take the GTD mindset to a whole new productivity level. Understanding which tasks are most important to us is key, and I’m really glad I have an app to help me with this now, because I often lose my way throughout the day. Thank you!


The ebook is only 17.99 USD and you can buy it right here:

Get Natural Productivity!

I do hope it will give you at least a fraction of the benefits I had from creating it.

6 thoughts on “Assess – Decide – Do: Natural Productivity”

  1. This e-book looks interesting. You really enjoyed writing stuffs that attracts a reader. You have a great positive feed back there. As Andrea DeBell said more success and write more e-books for us.

  2. Pingback: Assess – Decide – Do (An Organic Approach to Life Management)
  3. Dragos,

    I got introduced to your blog via one of the blogs that I subscribed to. And I am starting to read your posts, particularly those about productivity. I find your content really valuable.

    The reviews I’ve read so far about your new ebook “Natural Productivity” are very positive and really helpful in understanding what the ebook is all about.


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