Hi Trina, actually I was referring to writing down long-term goals (like fitness, income, career goals) rather than daily tasks but I realise I didn't make this clear in my original post! (Have edited it slightly now!).
But, in terms of daily tasks lists - I agree, it is that real sense of accomplishment that makes it work so well. It has become a time-management cliché but it does work! You get a feel-good factor which motivates you to go on and complete your next task (well in theory anyway!) But I have the same problem, I haven't yet formed a solid daily habit of doing this and like you, I easily get distracted first thing and can then sail through the day working on whatever seems most important at the time, without a clear list of what I actually need to achieve.