There's a lot of talk (and a few expensive books) about how to manage your time. The importance of this concept is huge. Most of us get caught up in the tactics of managing time and wind up managing a bunch of tasks and busy things that weren't even necessary in the first place.
Writing lengthy todo lists and spending hours tacking on numbers and letters to each can drain otherwise productive time. What's easy to do is to waste time tracking things that don't move you forward into becoming a satisfied (if not happy) and self-actualized (crazy buzzword) human being.
Covey's 7 Habits series does a great job of reminding us to recognize that much of what we typically do can and should be delegated. The rest of our demands need to be seen for what they are: urgent or important. Not all urgent things are important, but most are seen as such because they are urgent. Learn to recognize how to deal with unimportant urgent things but more critical is to do things that prevent unimportant issues from becoming urgent later on.
My favorite time management book as a whole is David Allen's Getting Things Done.
The most important element I gathered from his concepts (other than some good ideas on processing incoming information) is the need to get all your stuff onto paper or your preferred task tracking system.
Now, this might seem to contradict my earlier mention of how you can waste time on working to-do lists. This is still a danger. Keep in mind that much of the wastage comes from spending too much time on the system itself. Especially if it is counter-intuitive or not harmonious with your working style. You'll be forced to spend more time on system than on tasks.
This practice is easy to fall into and robs your energy from more important things like deciding which tasks to even do (versus delegating or scrapping all together).
The reason I so heartily agree with Allen on getting items into the system is that once there, you can relax your psyche. Alleviating worry about all the crap you've got to do is such a liberating feeling. It's like getting a massage when you didn't realize how tense you were. All of the sudden you feel your body again. You feel a sense of possibilities and can see potential in so many things.
Another beautiful thing about GTD is that no rigid system is imposed. Taking those lists and numbering them and lettering and sub-lettering ad infinitum. Systems like that tend not to work for a lot of people. When a system doesn't work for you, you don't use it.
Plus, people who are successful writing lists and micro-prioritizing them probably don't need a book to suggest such a system. They are probably doing such things intuitively. And good for them. I know people like this. They're (mostly) good folks.
For me, it's important to spend time assessing what in life is important to you. Decide what needs to be done to accomplish the important things in life and focus on those. Get all those urgent and necessary things into a system you trust. Delegate what you can and burn through the rest. Then you can focus on working toward the higher goal-oriented tasks you have set for yourself.
For more on this, be sure to check out this fascinating look at how to reinvent your work and your life. Catchy (okay, gimmicky) title with much to consider for an action plan. The 4-hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferris.