I've got a loaded first couple days to this week, and I spent most of last week getting my work life reorganized with the help of Things, my favorite To-Do list program for Macs. All my projects, areas, and day-to-day stuff is in there. I'm way more efficient when I choose to use it, which is weird because every few months I fall off the map and get behind. Plus, there's that 8 million days overdue date on my screenplay...
Woke up this morning, worked out, then hit the email. Lots to get through, and a number of things to do before I headed in to a meeting at 3pm. Tracking your goals and tasks not only helps them get done, but gives you a sense of accomplishment as well. When I have trouble prioritizing, I also drag events around and put them in the order I know I can tackle them best.
Most efficiency experts recommend a few things when it comes to To-Do Lists:
1) Always make your list the night before, that way you can begin to organize your day around completing tasks, not reacting to new challenges
2) Accomplish your most difficult task first, that way you start your day with a feeling of accomplishment.
3) Limit yourself. Rather than listing everything you have to do, focus on two or three major things.
While note based on GTD necessarily, Things has some similar organizational elements that help me out. You can create things that are actionable now (Today), soon (Next), repeated tasks (Scheduled), Someday, or put them in a general Inbox for quick jotting. The better you master these and incorporate into your own workflow, the more beneficial the program and its lists become.
Definitely check out the program if you're on a Mac. I really need to get the iPhone version to keep everything synced up. But I got a lot done today, and I'll do more before I sleep. Never a dull moment in the endless morass that is freelance.