When under the gun, I often scan all my lists first thing and pick out key tasks for the day or week. I code those all as "4" on my Palm priority. (Note: I default my tasks to "5" priority). Next, I'll sequence 3 items as priorities 1-2-3; the rest of the key tasks remain as "4" priorities, and all remaining list items remain as "5" priorities. I use the floating event idea, too, but that's for my weekly compass activities (Covey holdover idea).
I've recently converted to the less is more notion that others have advocated, so my lists are much shorter, perhaps at most 2 items per project appear across all lists, and I update my lists with the next project action immediately upon completion. That idea might make consolidating lists even more attractive, b/c the consolidated lists would still not be *too* long.