So, to cover these deficiencies, I've resorted to technology. I use:
- Taskwarrior. It's a good todo list, fairly straightforward. I organize everything onto different projects.
- A python script that tells me what I'm supposed to be doing at any given time (it even asks taskwarrior if it has any todo items that are planned for the timeslot). It notifies me, and plays a sound every time I'm supposed to be doing something else, like eating lunch.
-Emacs org-mode. Just started with this. It's pretty fun, and covers some of the gaps that the other two don't fill.
I'm not the biggest fan of smartphones, since I inevitably either lose the charger, forget to charge it, or lose the phone - but I'm hoping that a cheap, long-battery life one will come out at some point.
With taskwarrior, I basically add items to any number of lists for different projects, like 'household', or 'work', or 'hobby', or 'learning german', and so on. Then I set out in my timetable how many hours per week I'm going to devote to each project. Then my computer tells me what I'm supposed to be doing at a given time. This is nice, because it means you can do something like devote 1hr per week to something like learning about vector calculus, and you don't forget you meant to do it, then feel guilty after a month has passed.
This is kind of frustrating when you see all those self-improvement books and people saying they 'achieve success' by twisting their will and forming the right habits.
I also use taskwarrior, this is really a wonderful to-do list manager. Along with Khal to plan things (even if I can't stick to what I schedule, this is still stimulating to layout tasks in a calendar), it gives enough confidence to keep the head high and not sink under all the work that awaits me everyday.
The last sentence sum it up for me, these tools just help me to accumulate confidence and get things going.