Instead of allowing our mind to perform optimally, many of us fill our brains with life's mundane details and rules. Worse, we spend endless hours thinking about the tasks and projects we're trying to juggle.
To cope, we put them on "the list" which often grows faster than we can tick off the items. We need a functional system to hold these details until the appropriate time to take action.
Some will choose to computerize their lists and if that is your choice there are a number of resource tools online. Others will simply want to write their "To Do" list the old fashioned way. The key is that once you make your list, it is important to prioritize each item....and then follow the ranking.
Don't let your "To Do" list grow faster than you can tick off the items by eliminating nice-to-do things, noncritical or small things. Also, don't just glance at the list once a day but refer to and revise your list throughout the day.
Simply divide your list into three sections: urgent & important, important but not urgent, and urgent and not important (those that can be delegated to others or taken care of after you have begun to handle the "important" items).
Since it is unlikely that you will achieve all your priorities in one day, simply include those left undone and re-prioritize for the next day. Be careful not to add too many things to do without priority and time considerations (to guard against feeling less than competent).
Ensure your "To Do" list is to be made up of single-step actions not assignments. Major projects need to be broken down into specific action plans with detailed tasks.
Don't try to keep multiple "To Do" lists. When you write down the task yet again, you are blocking your mind from thinking clearly and creatively. The left-brain, that supplies logic and linear thinking, keeps its own list and tends to be untrusting of your multiple "To Do" lists.
Above all, be in alignment with your list. That includes high priority personal items that give you work/life balance: going to the gym, calling a friend, going to your child's event, or spending quality time with your life partner.
Source: When Doing It All Won't Do: A self-coaching guide for career women. (ebook edition $0.99, Workbook Edition in paperback $13.41)