Do you know how Jeff Bezos starts his day? Well, I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t care also. All of us have different body clocks and no one knows you better than yourself, so you are the best judge of when and how you start your day. I know you are wondering, where this is leading. Hold! I am coming to the point.
I want to talk about rituals at your desk, at start of your day and only that matter to you:
- Look at your appointments – The first thing you should look at is your calendar, so that you can plan the rest of the day around your committed time slots.
- Complete other morning rituals – These are the other interesting things that you want to do every day. I love to look at day’s Dilbert strip. I also download a technology book from Packt (they give one free e-book every day). Once I used to read one chapter from The Daily Drucker. Recently, I started reading a piece from the book “Elements of Style” by Strunk and White.
- Scan your sources of work – You get your work typically through means, such as emails, chat messages, phone calls, Meeting notes, etc. Scanning them all and checking if you have gotten hold of all the commitments, should be another thing to do.
- Review the list of other rituals – You may also have some weekly rituals or monthly rituals – such as making some weekly report or posting on social Media on a particular day of the week. You may also have some rituals that do not have a fixed frequency, such as cleaning up files on your cloud storage. Get hold of any action that comes out of it.
- Review your To-do-List – This is the last ritual and after which you glide back into your grind of the day.
As you see, this act of doing work rituals clarifies the scope of your work and ensures continuity in what you want to do, day after day. This is good. But here comes the great. Choose a spreadsheet or a document or a notebook, whatever you prefer and make a PRECISE checklist of all these rituals, including list of your sources of work. Then, perform them every day, not from your memory but by referring your checklist of rituals as we do not want to rely on our memory for this.
We may have different body clocks, but what is common to all of us is limited short-term memory which we want to keep free for planning and analyzing and not memorizing our work items.