Once I change the status to Active, I have to take the extra step of managing my sales channels and selecting them (or select all). I just sent an email to Shopify Experts asking what the difference is between draft and active - if we still have to manage the sales channels. I will update this post when I receive a reply. Hope this was helpful.
Received this answer today: You are right that if a product is in 'draft' mode it will not be visible on those sales channels as it would need to move to active to be made available. And you are right that to change it to Active it still needs a time set for this action to be made live on your channels. Shopify calls this Future Publishing and the idea behind what we call Future Publishing is that for events where you have a 'launch time' it's really helpful if our merchants can set a time for certain products to go 'live'. This feature can be useful for example around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but even in weekly sales. The thing I recommend for people is to set the Publish Time for the next interval. This will make it live at the next earliest time for you. TO do this go to Admin > Products > Add Product > (Set Status) Active > Online Store > Schedule Availability > Select the time and date > Schedule Availability (button) > Save (Green button top right). Thanks to DJ Janssen!