December 22, 2018

Stop, drop, do

Reading time: 2 minutes

My five non-negotiables at the end of the working day.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple emoji for 'stop sign', in front of a light blue zig zag shape across the bottom

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

Inbox 0

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

Review calendar/s

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.

Tidy desk

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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Aimee Cowie

Wanna be tap dancer, annoyingly organised, to do list aficionado and digital producer. See what else I've written here.

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