Whether you would like to use a notepad (paper) or Word (or some other electronic format) try the following exercise for one week:
First thing every morning, before opening your email or checking your text messages, take 5 to 10 minutes to write down all your projects, to-dos, and reminders. Then highlight the top three things that are most important to you.
Next, look at your calendar for today and schedule (block off) 30 minutes in your day to focus on these op three things. No matter what happens during the day consider this 30- minute block as a scheduled meeting that cannot be missed.
When it is your scheduled time; make sure it is uninterrupted, so you can truly focus on what is important to you, and turn off your cell phone if you need to.
At the end of the week; review the week. If you have stuck to the plan above, you should find that you are a little more relaxed and you have accomplished what is important to you.
Turning on your email “first” is a dangerous trap that most people fall into. By the time you start replying to everything in your inbox; before you know it, the day has started to slip away, and you have probably forgotten what “you need to accomplish”.
If this week has helped you; make it a new habit and try to stick to it.