One idea that has worked for me is to use colour in my “to do” list. The tasks that must be done today, I write in red. The tasks that I would like to do today, but wouldn’t be a problem if I did tomorrow, I write in blue. Finally, tasks that I have to get done in the next week or next few weeks, I write in pencil. Then I focus my efforts today on the red ink tasks first. Once I have accomplished my high priority red ink tasks, I move on to the blue ink tasks. However, if I don’t get to the blue ink tasks today, it’s not a problem; these same tasks will become red ink high priority by tomorrow or the next day. Same goes for the tasks that are penciled in today; eventually they will be a red ink priority. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make a new colour list every couple of days.
As a result of my colourful “to do” lists, my list of tasks not only feels shorter, but I keep my priorities straight.