One of the best ways to start being efficient is getting in the habit of making lists. My husband often makes fun of me because I have lists for everything! I have multiple lists going all the time. Here are my most common lists that I have at any given moment: groceries of course, lists of things I need to do for the day, week, & month for work and personal, lists of bills to be paid and when they are due, gift lists for birthdays & Christmas holidays. I also have lists for our upcoming trips and things to do and things to remember to pack. This allows me to remember things over time and add them to the list to make sure they are not forgotten. In addition, by making these lists and having them handy, you can always add to them and lower the risk that you will forget something or overlook something.
Every morning I start out with a list broken out into two sections, things I must do and things I would like to do. These lists can be created on paper, on the computer, on your white-board at work, on your calendar, or even in your phone. I like to always have my list with me so I will usually choose my phone for my personal items. At work I have a white board right next to my desk that allows me to see at a glance everything I need to accomplish and the deadline for them. That way whenever I think of something I need to add or if I need to check something off I don’t have to go hunt down the list anywhere, it is right next to me all the time.
Look at your lists often so that you remind yourself of things you need to do. Decide what method works for you when an item is completed, whether you check it off or erase it. I have my lists broken out by project and I do not erase anything until the whole project is completed. This allows me to look back at all the things I have already completed so I can easily determine if anything has been missed. Just remember that everyone can have different ways of doing their lists, the important thing is that you have one!