Hopefully your experiments with capturing and reviewing the stuff in your life has relieved some mental unease. Now it's time to figure out what to do with these obligations. The control philosophy has you decide in advance how to spend your hours. It rejects the default approach of allowing your days to unfold in a chaotic and inefficient manner.
The control philosophy emphasizes the importance of assigning specific blocks of times to specific tasks. This approach is significantly more effective than the to-do list method, which has you constantly ask yourself "what should I do next?".
There are two good reasons why time blocking works so well. First, by assigning times to tasks, you're forced to face the reality of how much work is on your plate. This prevents stressful pile-ups and all-nighters.
Second, when you block your time in advance, you make more efficient use of your day. For example, you're more likely to use empty stretches of time in the mornings and afternoons (when your mental energy is high). Students following the to-do list method, by contrast, tend to wait until the evening, when there is no more excuses for not working, to start. The result is late nights and rushed results.
Time blocking is hard to get right. The most common problem is to fail to put aside enough time -- leading to a schedule breakdown. There are several ways to address this issue. First, be specific about your tasks. Instead of saying "start paper," you might instead say "take notes on the first three chapters of book X." When you're specific, it is easier to estimate how much time will be required. Second, when you do violate your schedule, which will happen, simply adjust it at the next opportunity. Flexibility is key to making time blocking work. Finally, be patient. From my experience, for example, it can take up to 6 weeks to tweak your autopilot schedule into something you follow regularly. With this in mind, don't despair as you struggle with the control philosophy in the near future.