Most of us feel pulled in more directions than ever, expected to work longer hours and get more done. To help you battle this overload, create rituals—highly specific behaviors, done at precise times, that become automatic and no longer require conscious will or discipline. For example, go to bed at the same time every night so you consistently get enough sleep, or work out as soon as you wake up to be sure you get exercise even when you don’t feel like it. At the end of each work day, write down the most important task to accomplish the following day; when you return in the morning, start on that task before doing anything else. By creating and sticking to these rituals you’ll free yourself up to focus on the important things.
Adapted from the HBR Guide to Getting the Right Work Done.