Thanks for the A2A, although I don't know why?There are probably a dozen management books and a thousand articles on this subject, none of which I have read. I suspect you should read a few articles, but with a grain of salt, because, it all depends on the person. We each have our own style, the things that motivate us, and the things that cause us angst. You will see people who say, "do the hardest things first, so that you know that you can meet your deadlines, because the easy things should be simple to ethe time it will take." You will hear advice from others that say, "do the easy things first so that you don't have distractions on the important projects." Either may truly work well for some people and either may work well for different types of jobs: the researcher, the first line supervisor in a service business, a manager of lab researchers, a planner of marketing campaigns, an IT professional implementing a twelve step super project over several months, or a CEO type that is trying to manage multiple projects, while doing long-range strategic planning, board reports, rewriting corporate policy all while having to discipline a problem Manager or Director, etc.I can tell you that I have tried both methods, in a variety of Supervisory, Project Leader, filling in for three vacancies simultaneously, and cleaning up an almost nonexistent accounting system while hired the day before the annual audit, and neither philosophy alone works for me.Get to know your work self? What motivates you? What keeps you up at night? What is important to the company's outsiders with whom you interface. What is important to your boss? What did the last person do best and worst and where do you want to shine in respect to those duties, those strengths and those weaknesses?Does having anything in the inbox bother you? If not, let it be, if so, sort it and manage your stacks of stuff with a To Do list. Do you like a reputation for exceptional responsiveness? Stay an entire weekend to get caught up so that you can handle everything as it comes in. Do you have some things that every single month or quarter or year? Study the pattern of when the info is available, how long it takes to get it done, and, if it is a multi-step project, make a special calendar/gant type chart that shows who does what and when and note where you are early or late so that this is easier next year. Do you have jobs that are so complex (multiple linked spreadsheets with internal links that if you were interrupted midstream, you would have to spend thirty minutes to get back to where you were? Come in early and do those functions only when no one is around or when you can close your door and mark it with a Do Not Disturb sign. Are you easily distracted by the things you like to do and are likely to avoid your important phone calls or meetings with your staff? Then, avoid those distractions by doing them first, or on weekends? Do you have greater ability to enjoy the creative aspects in the afternoon or the morning? Plan your work accordingly. Do you work well with giving verbal instruction versus written or do you benefit from the discipline of well crafted email instructions to your staff? Form the habit that works best for you. Ask your employees which they prefer. Are you even good at writing emails without them being misunderstood bad to instruction or your attitude. If you aren't any good at it, consider mastering it, organized writers are worth twice the money in business than those that can only function face to face. Likewise, what does your boss prefer? You are probably stuck there, training your boss to deal with your preferences isn't always an option, however, if you can write well, and they read from a real computer, not a phone, you could train them to love your thorough weekly report of accomplishments, things in process, and longer term items. They feel good about you, and you have documentation for your 20% raise at year-end. Oh yeah, this question was about managing your workload. Don't worry, we are getting close to the end, that is actually the easy part.I think everyone could benefit from how I do things, but, maybe some types would find me compulsive or OCD and say that I waste too much time making lists. But, I do not work best when stress is all I have time to manage, and my lists bring me great peace. And, as I said, get to know the "business you" so that you adapt your methods to maximize working from your strengths and reducing the likelihood that your weaker tendencies will negatively impact you.I maintain two and sometimes three To Do lists.he primary legal pad of To Do items of one item per line is sufficient for approximately a thirty day period five major items per week, some are multi step and will flow to next month's list. I print the list in small block letters so it is easily read even without my glasses and it forces me to write slowly. My second list is the five items I plan to do that day, generally on a large yellow sticky, including phone numbers and often stuck to the phone, including items I had no intention of doing but came in as an email request from someone, since I left yesterday. The third list is the Big Project of the Quarter, that has forty to sixty steps, the five year operating and capital budget, the annual audit, or the implementation of a new HR and PR System. I go through the inbox every day and empty it, it either is signed and sent out, thrown away, forwarded to another manager with my comments, assigned to an employee, or forwarded to my boss with thorough description of my recommendation and alternative options with pros and con's.I use small yellow sticky notes where file folder labels go, and then once a month "type up" printed labels. I keep several stacks of folders that I can get to this week on my desk, another half dozen of in-process (awaiting more info or time available) folders on my credenza. I go through every email that comes in within the hour it was received and act on it, so that I never have a stack of things to do that have unknown obligation of time commitment.