1. Start every week by setting your weekly goals. Do this either on Sunday evening or Monday morning. This should be your main guideline for what you are planning to do. You don’t have to set specific tasks yet, just write down what your expectations of that week are.
2. Start the day by taking your time and creating a daily plan. Create tasks that you are really planning to complete that day and make sure they are connected to your weekly goals.
3. Do one thing at a time. Some people say multitasking is the answer to increasing your productivity, but I have to disagree with that. Pick one task at a time and complete it. A useful strategy is also doing the thing on your list you dislike the most first, because that way you definitely won’t have to postpone it to the next day.
4. Know your limitations. This is especially important, when you are planning your week or day. Think about how much time a single task will take and be realistic. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, since that will only bum you out and you won’t stick to the rest of your plan. And remember, always leave yourself an extra hour or two to complete everything, because you know as well as I do that things often take more time than you first imagined.
5. Clean up your home. I’m not joking. You’d be amazed to see how much more organized you become once you take the time to throw away things you haven't used in ages, put everything you need in the right place and then keep it that way. Not to mention that if you know where everything is, you won’t waste your precious time looking for it.
6. Establish a routine. This is particularly useful for things you have to do every day, especially if you don’t like doing it. Make sure you do it at the same time every day. This way, you won’t forget it and you won’t feel under pressure that you have so much to do and don’t know when you’ll fit it all in. If you run, for example, go for a run every day at 7pm (or am, if you prefer). But the point is you won’t be thinking all day you have so much to do and you have to go for that run as well. You will feel at ease knowing, that there is a time and a place reserved for all of your activities.
7. Reward yourself to increase your motivation. If, at the end of the week, you managed to check off all the goals you set for yourself for that week, treat yourself with something you really enjoy. If you’re otherwise a very busy person, reward yourself with a couple of hours, or even a day, off and do something you really enjoy. But be careful to first actually complete your goals and then reward yourself. The reward should keep you motivated, but you shouldn't be thinking about it all the time. If you are planning to add the reward on your list of tasks, make sure it is placed there as a following task to the things you actually have to complete.
8. Start using a planner. Forget about sticky notes. If anything, you will be even more disorganized by having things written down all over the place, or, you might even lose them. The worst thing about having too much to do is thinking about how much you have to do. Just do everything you can right away and write the rest of it down. There are some great task managers out there that really can help you stay on top of things. Tasknik is one of them. Tasknik is also the first todo app in the world that enables you to set dependencies on your tasks - this way, those tasks that you cannot complete without doing something else first remain hidden.