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I’ve got a routine that I’ve followed for years that completely complements and supplements my once-a-week Weekly Planning Time (which I adopted from the methodology outlined in David Allen’s best-seller, “Getting Things Done“). I’ve named the routine my 10 x 2 Daily Recap, and here’s how it plays out….
At the Beginning of the Day:
Before I begin ANY work for the day, I always spend at least 10 minutes — first thing in the morning — making sure I have clarity on the key things I want to get done that day. I do the following:
Review my calendar for the day to ensure I have adequate PLANNING time scheduled in advance of ALL of my client calls and meetings.
Ensure I have time BLOCKED on my calendar for any project/task that is likely to take 30 minutes or more.
Review the key goals I set at the beginning of the week during my Monday Weekly Planning time.
Review my “To Do” list for the day (which I maintain, using my favorite task management tool, ToodleDo.com), and make adjustments to the list, reprioritizing it as necessary.
Ensure I have adequate “cushion” in my schedule to handle my “To Do” list items and other things that always surface as the typical day plays out.
Ensure I have adequate time scheduled for my daily fitness routine (cycling or strength training, depending upon the day).
Do a quick review of my email inbox, ensuring I’ve noted/captured the important actions that need to be taken care of that day.
Those 10 minutes, first thing in the morning, help prepare me for a productive day. I enter the day FEELING IN CONTROL.
At the End of the Day:
Before I “shut down” for the day, I spend a final 10 minutes reflecting back on the day, recapping the day, and teeing up things for my morning 10-minute review; I typically do the following:
Ensure I have “follow-ups” noted in my “To Do” list regarding meetings/calls held during the current day.
Do a quick review of the coming day’s calendar to get my bearings and make note of any advance prep material I may need to assemble.
Organize my email inbox (most incoming emails will have been dealt with throughout the day — action taken if two minutes or less of time is required, moved into my “Handle in the next 24 hours” folder, or moved into my “Handle this week” folder, filed, or deleted).
“Clear” my “To Do” list and get it set for tomorrow morning’s 10-minute review.
Clear the top of my desk.
Ensure all “open loops” are in my master “To Do” list.
Again, I end the day and leave the office with a sense of control, and will be ready for a productive 10-minute beginning-of-the-day review the next day.
What type of routine do you follow to stay productive and maintain a sense of control?
Andy Robinson, Executive Coach
"Helping CEO's and executives maximize their influence and impact."