CLONMEL -- We have scrubbed down the way students list items in their weekly journals while completing projects after reading suggestions from Kent Beck. Beck suggests keeping a running list of open issues and concerns for each programming task. Nothing is too small to go on the list. Whenever the next thing to do is not obvious, you grab the most interesting, easy task from the list.
This is also the essence of David Allen's Getting Things Done, which uses the same sort of list for planning work and reducing your anxiousness about unclosed loops and forgotten tasks.
As Mark Berstein notes, there is value to "writing things down gets them out of your head, reducing anxiety, and into a task-selection mechanism."
Kent Beck -- Test Driven Development ISBN 0321146530
David Allen -- Getting things done ISBN 0142000280
Mark Bernstein -- "On writing lists"