David Allen’s best-selling Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity argues that lists, calendars, and files are properly used to capture everything that can distract from the task at hand. This book is well worth reading if you’d like to raise your task-handling capabilities to ninja status.
Allen emphasizes that, when working, it’s best to focus on the smallest next step of any project. Overwhelming projects become much more manageable when sliced into bite-sized chunks.
The downside of this system (popularly abbreviated GTD) lies in the possibility for creating endless pseudo-work in generating and managing lists, and never getting to the larger sustained thinking projects that are critical to academic success.
Nevertheless, Getting Things Done can be very helpful in managing administrative activities and a great deal of life’s daily trivia.