I've never been much of a list-maker, but I grew up in a home where I saw my mom make a list or two on a regular basis. So, list-making is ingrained in my brain somewhere, though it may look a bit different to me than it might for someone else.
I've mentioned in the past that I am out of the house 3 mornings/week with my commitments to CBS and M2M. Of course, I wouldn't trade these commitments for anything, but they do make being productive a bit more challenging. What I've come to learn is to set modest goals for the days I am gone most of the morning. On the days I'm out, I usually make "mental lists" that look something like this...
1. Unload dishwasher
2. Feed, clean, and dress kids
3. Wash and dry laundry (I did not say fold or put away!)
4. Play with kids
5. Tell Daniel "I love you"
6. Make dinner
7. Clean up from dinner
8. Do not burn down house
By simply making a basic list of "must do's", in my mind, I am able to be productive on even the busiest of days. I suspect if you follow a similar principle, you will find that you can be productive on your busy days, too.