Scott Powell recommends David Allen’s book Getting Things Done in his latest post. (In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a manual for personal productivity.) I’ve been using the GTD methodology (to a moderate degree) for the past few years. Over the past month or so, I’ve been re-reading the book and implementing more of the methodology. (It’s impossible to get it all on the first pass.) I don’t use all elements of the system — the overhead involved in the promiscuous proliferation of projects and files would kill me — but the basic strategy of dumping everything that needs doing into a regularly-reviewed external system has made my life soooooooo much more manageable. I’ve still got some tweaking to do, but I’m definitely humming along quite nicely these days. I’ve also established a regular time slot for dissertation writing, something I’ve never done before. That’s working wonders too.
In short, I strongly second Scott’s recommendation.