My five non-negotiables at the end of the working day.
Checks clock: 5:30pm.
Action: Close computer. Run out of the office as fast as possible.
Regret: Not tidying off what I was working on.
Dread: Opening my computer the next working day.
After falling into this situation one too many times, I decided to ditch the dread and replace it with hopefulness by developing a list of end-of-day tasks that make my job easier and my mind clearer. I call them my non-negotiables.
Some days it’s a five minute job, other times it’s thirty minutes. Regardless of the time it takes to go through my non-negotiables my future-self always appreciates the effort that was put in by my past-self 💁🏼
Review delegated tasks
As a digital producer a big part of my job is assigning tasks and managing them through to ‘completion’. Often completion means: the client has been notified, the work accepted, and an invoice has been issued.
- Check status: If I don’t already know, check the status of the task with the assigned person/s
- Update the due date and the schedule
- Communicate to the assigned person, to other colleagues as required and to the client
I’m constantly triaging and responding to emails throughout the day. However, at the end of the day I do a sweep and make sure I’ve actioned every email and either:
- Delete: If no action or follow up is required
- Reply: If I haven’t responded and it doesn’t need too much compilation
- Triage: Make sure any actions from emails have been taskified in my to do list
Update to do list
This is perhaps the biggest one that I find impacts my headspace the following day. If I come into work and my to do list is a mess, I waste the first part of my morning working out what is a priority and where my attention needs to be for the day. If I was a coffee drinker, I imagine it would feel like missing my morning coffee and trying to dive into the day head on. This involves:
- Resolve: Mark any completed to dos as done
- Add: Add any additional to dos that came up during the day, or that I didn’t get to today that need to be done tomorrow or at another future date
- Update: Update any dates, tasks or priorities
This is my last step, and I call this my final sanity check for the day. All my calendars across the various apps I use at work are brought together in one place and it gives me a holistic view of everything on my plate. I make sure to:
- Confirm all upcoming dates are correct, mostly for tomorrow and the rest of the working week
- Update the date of something if it is incorrect. This often involves going back to one of the three steps above.
As it states, I make sure my workspace is tidy and inviting for my future-self to start a new working day.
… Now it’s time to close my computer and head home for the day, knowing that my future-self will be giving my past-self a lil’ high five 👏🏼
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