Thanks so much for the great advice. I think what I am going to do is embrace a lot of what people have suggested here. I am going to create a hybrid of DIT and GTD and see how it goes. I use Outlook 2007 and here is how I have set things up. The tasks list is setup per standard GTD with my next action context lists and one column with due dates. The To-Do bar on the calendar page is setup to show only those next actions that have a due date on or before today. Thus, I will create my closed list from my next actions list for the day. I will strive to complete my most important next actions -- which are on this closed list -- and once I am done with them, work from my standard context lists. Of course, if something unexpected, urgent, and important comes up during the day, I will deal with it and not fret that it is not on my closed list.
Janezo, thanks from another fellow "drowning in academia"! I actually have been blocking off time for my graduate students and other projects as you have suggested.
I think the bottom line for me -- at least right now -- is that I need a bit more structure in my approach. I guess I am one of those people that thrives more on structure -- but too much structure!
Best to all,