In order to tackle the "Big rocks" timely, I have created this system:
First, I only have two input lists: Inbox and Info. Info is exacty this: Things to remember and not actions. It acts as a reminder. Inbox is everything else. Most tasks have a due date and/or a priority.
My day starts checking Two smart lists: Today and Focus.
Today: due:today OR dueBefore:Today
Focus: (priority:1 OR priority:2) AND ((dueWithin:"1 week of today") OR due:never OR dueBefore:now)
The most relevant is "Focus". It contains everything really important and shows me what I have to do in the next week that matters most. For me, priority 3 can be overdue. For you could be also 2 or none... You may easily adjust this search.
Another helpful smart list is "Week": (dueWithin:"1 week of today") OR (due:never AND (priority:1 OR priority:2 OR priority:3)) OR dueBefore:now
Notice that this list also captures items that have a priority but no date. Probably You might prefer to give a date to them too!
Lastly, in order not to miss anything, I have the list "No date": due:never NOT list:info
If you add some tags and/or places to the tasks, I think that this system is clean and clear enough to navigate through a sea os tasks quite easily.
Posted at 4:21pm on January 4, 2014