I am always on the lookout to increase my productivity and get more things done (which is what I tell myself when I eat dinner while catching up with TV shows, haha). The last couple of years I've sort of come to terms with a system that works really well for me (and I am constantly tweaking it to fit the ever changing tasks I do).
1. Having a planner
This is a no-brainer for me because I love writing things down and I forget things plus if I note them down in my phone its unlikley for me to check it again. My planner set-up for this year is a week on 2 pages (so you see the entire week) and every weekend, I fill the next week with what I have to do (appointments, meetings, classes, to-do lists etc) so I know to never double-book myself. It also helps to keep a track of what I've been doing which is great for reflection and cutting things off to do list is motivational.
2. Plan out your day the night before
I have a list app in my phone which is like a to-do list so I plan my day (pretty much every half-an hour) so I can fit the maximum amount of things in a day and also can feel pretty organized throughout. I find it easy to fit in time with friends and family int his format and planning the night before means by the morning my day is already planned and I feel super productive the whole day.
3. Divide big tasks into bite-sized tasks
This is such a big help at work. I feel that I keep pushing the bigger things for later and always procrastinate on them so I started listing down all the small things I need to do in order to finish a huge task and it helps! That way I can finish some of it one day, another couple on the next day and so it doesn't feel too heavy and it helps in minimizing my procrastination. It works really well for assignments too (just start with things like finding reading materials, reading them, taking notes, drafting, writing chapter by chapter, reviewing, etc and in no time you'd have finished about 80% of it and wont have to do everything the last minute.
4. Keep a track of the work you do at work/college
This is so helpful to me, seriously. I have an excel sheet where I keep tabs of every task I did that day just a list of everything so I can always check back and remember what day I did what. It also helps if you deal with customers so you can give them exact day that you attended to their call, etc. Just use Ctrl+F to find whatever and bam, you have it. I love it so so much and will continue doing it this year too.
5. Take mini-breaks
This is again something so important because the more you keep doing the same thing, the more exhausting it will get, so after every 45 minutes, I'll take a 10-15 min break and just read or make tea and drink it, anything but the work and by the time I finish and go back to finishing the work I would feel more energized. It's such a great tip if you're at a desk job sitting down all the time.
I hope this year you become more productive and keep striking through your to-do list! How do you keep organized?