There are just some days when even the most well-stocked project management battleship can’t outmaneuver the little attention-attacking gunboats that sneak up to it. During those times, you have to get off your titan system momentarily and fight more hand-to-hand, more primitively.
The good news is that you’ve probably already got a weapon close at hand whose biggest asset is that it simply can’t get too heavy to lift.
Take out a little yellow sticky note and write down no more than three things that you want to finish before the end of the day. I don’t care what time of day it is.
Make that little, square, yellow piece of real estate your day and tune out everything else. Forget everything else. Even that heartbeat.
Excellent advice. As much as I like to - nay, need to - keep my life organized with a task manager,* there are just some days when I'm drowning under a sea of things I know won't get done, making it nearly impossible for me to focus on the few things that must get done.**
No Post-It note for me, however. I don't want the adhesive staying with me after the work day is over.
* Currently Remember the Milk, despite the goofy name, thanks to RTM's ability to keep my lists on the Aetherwebs, my Android phone, and my iPad (albeit in an ugly, blow-up-the-iPhone-version-2x interface - folks, I need that native iPad version yesterday, thank you very much). I would love to use OmniFocus, despite the fact that I find it possibly too complex for what I need, but it has no Android version, and that's possibly the most important one in my system - if I can't add a task or remind myself of a task on the go, the whole thing is no good.
** Yes, I know, if I managed to break down large projects into individual tasks, the way the GTD system tells me to do it, then I could prioritize those tasks and not have the task tsunami arrive on shore. I've come to accept that I'm not that organized.