Making it routine

Routine Procedure – Monday

This week I will be trying to follow my ideal routine, as set out in last week’s blog, to maximise my productivity at work. I will start today and see how I get on for the rest of the week. I’m excited about following a routine and getting to 5.30pm without too much stress and disappointed that I haven’t completed everything that I needed to and also being able to look back on a successful day. Here are the results of day one:


0830 – So far so good. The train turned up on time, I managed to get a seat and was able to check my emails and calendar for the day ahead.

0910 – Arrived at work, immediately I had one of those “sorry but before you sit down” requests. I head back down five floors to get an ink cartridge for the printer. I pick up a cup of tea on my way back to my desk. Say hello to colleagues. My Directors are all in a meeting so no chance to connect yet.

0930 – I seem to be back on track with the routine, I managed to check my emails and follow the procedure. I’ve replied to quick and easy emails and sent holding emails to those that have asked for more detailed responses. 0940 – First interruption of the day. Senior manager asks when one of my directors will be free. I email the director asking him to contact senior manager.

1030 – Checking through my to-do list and have added 5 things from my emails over night. Luckily they are not urgent and have not affected my plan for today. 1035 – Sales call; end the discussion as quickly as possible.

1100 – My first task of the day is to put together a slide deck for the HR director, this includes analysis of excel data. This will take me much longer than an hour and a half but I will make a start and work on this throughout the week. The deadline is Friday.  I make a good start as it is still fairly quiet this morning.  1125 – One of the Directors has popped out of the meeting to ask me to scan a 40 page document without removing the binder for another colleague in the meeting. This takes 10 minutes. Coming back from the scanner I have a voicemail message, quickly return the call to another PA to set up a meeting with her Director and mine for tomorrow morning. This was something I needed to do so I can tick that off the to-do list.

1245 – I decide to stop working on my slide deck as I’ve managed to get a quarter of the way through. The Directors finish their meeting so I pop into their offices to say hello and check they are okay.  1250 – I sit with one Director for 20 minutes to go through his task list and walk away with six additional actions. Take 5 minutes to add them to the to-do list.

1315 – I have a quick look at my emails before heading out for lunch.  Take 45 minutes for lunch, mainly spent queuing in the bank!

1400 – Check emails and follow procedure. I also have a voicemail message which doesn’t require any actioning. Send off a few emails and feel pleased with quick win progress.

1430 – I feel like I am following the routine fairly well, but it does seem to be a particularly quiet day! I have had to make other tasks a priority including booking an in-house lunch for the CEO for a meeting tomorrow. 1510 – Take a long phone call from a PA from another company setting up a series of meetings for my CFO. The meetings are taking place in my office so I have to book the rooms and catering, add task to the to-do list.

1530 – Grab a quick cup of tea for myself and a colleague.

1535 – Carry on working through my task list and have a
fairly quiet afternoon without too many distractions. Odd!

1645 – I stop to check my emails. I’ve received an urgent email from the CEO’s PA asking to set up a meeting for tomorrow morning. Sort the meeting with her via the phone to save going back and forth via email.

1715 – I’ve added quite a few tasks to the list today so spend a few moments rearranging the tasks  to reflect priorities for tomorrow. I have lots of small but essential jobs that need to be completed by close of play tomorrow and also a few meetings scheduled.

1745 – on the train home.

I think today was a good start to following the routine, despite a few interruptions during the day I did get a lot of work done. It was a quiet day in the office and I’m not sure how the routine will fair tomorrow when all of my Directors are in and out of meetings and I have a few scheduled for myself as well.

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