The heart and soul of effective and efficient traditional time management is the daily list of things that need to be done.

It should be made daily (at a time that is relevant to the type of work you do or the shifts you work), when you are free from interruption and distraction. Most time management experts suggest making this list at the end of the workday to prepare for the next day. One expert, Alan Lakein, is generally considered the father of time management techniques. In his book, How To Control Your Time And Your Life, he suggests making the list before the inevitable distractions of the day occur. This list should be used to prioritize daily activities and provide the foundation and direction for the day. Too often, we find ourselves responding to urgent tasks that need to be completed and not working on things that are really important. However you make this list, all items must be prioritized. A common approach is to check off as many items as possible, without first tackling the most important ones on the list. This approach is deceptive and provides a false sense of accomplishment. It is counterproductive because tasks of real importance may never be completed. Accomplishing one important task, or even a part of one, is better than accomplishing multiple unimportant tasks.