Routine Procedure – Tuesday & Wednesday

Day two and three: I am trying to follow a routine that will maximise my productivity…


0830 – A soggy start to the day but managed to check my emails on the train and read a few pages of my book

0910 – Just made it into the office, grab a cup of tea before heading to my desk. On the way I am stopped by the CEO and asked to get a flip chart for a meeting taking place in the boardroom. Have to locate a flip chart and carry it into the Boardroom.

0925 – I haven’t even managed to turn my computer on yet! I’ve just been asked to remove papers from the 20 Board packs I put together yesterday afternoon. I have to photocopy the new papers and add these to the packs. The Board packs have to go out this morning so I prioritise this over everything else.

1000 –   Finally turn my computer on. Rather than spending an hour sorting through my emails I decide to condense it to half an hour so that I am back on track with my routine. I’m not happy with the state of my inbox!

1030 – After a hectic start to the day I decide to take some time to remind myself of the things I need to get through today. The task list seems to be growing by the minute. I make a mental note that if I can complete the top 5 tasks today then I’ve achieved something.

1100 – First task of the day is to hand out the Board papers to the various Directors in the company. This is a good opportunity to see other colleagues and have a break from my desk. Return to my desk at 11.25 and start working on my other urgent tasks. They are quite small tasks like booking couriers and meeting rooms but they need to be done.

1200 –  Well I think the way today is heading I will be unable to follow my schedule. I’ve just been asked to type up a series of notes that need to be completed by the end of the day. Everything else will have to go on hold for the moment, including lunch.

1700 – I finally finish typing up the notes and hand the completed documents over to my colleague. Luckily my Directors have been in meetings for most of the day so they’ve not needed me to do too much for them. However, the notes did take longer to complete because I still had to answer the phones and speak to those asking me questions directly. My colleague mentioned that there might be more urgent work on this tomorrow so I decide to be prepared and spend the next half an hour looking at what else is urgent and has to be done today. I think I will have to come in early tomorrow so that I can finish the work that I was expecting to do today.

1745 – On the train home trying to clear some of my emails from my iphone. Yesterday was obviously the calm before the storm!


0759 – On the early train into work. Over night I received an email asking for more help on typing up notes, which will again take the best part of the day. My plan is to get in early and  clear as many small tasks as possible so that I at least start the day on the front foot.

0835 – In the office at my desk, picked up a coffee on the way in. Necessary! I’m glad I spent a small amount of time thinking about what I can get done first thing this morning. I feel quite focused and am able to tick a handful of tasks off quite swiftly.

0930 – Have a quick meeting with my Directors to let them know I’m working on an urgent project and may take slightly longer in responding to their requests. Start working on the main task of the day.

1200 – I‘ve been working through the notes for the last few hours and have managed to get quite a bit done so decide to take a break so that I can check emails and reply to a few voicemail messages. I have a very untidy inbox which does drive me crazy so I clear as much as I can and file the remaining emails. I also check through all of my directors emails and make sure they have everything they need for this afternoon.

1300 –  Nip out of the office to grab lunch, it will be more “al-desk-co” today than alfresco dining.

1320 –  Eating lunch at my desk reminds one of colleagues that he needs to book a table for dinner tonight. He asks me where is good to eat and then asks if I could book him a table. It is for tonight so I book the table straight away.

1345 – Have been working on the notes for the last few minutes when a Director that  I do not look after asks me to get some refreshments for a client he is meeting with. Despite this technically not being my job I would normally do this sort of request but I have to get these notes finished by 3pm today so call reception and ask them to provide refreshments for the client. It is still an interruption but does take slightly less time.

1450 – Proof read my work and hand the typed notes over to my colleague with 10 minutes to spare! Take a short break to make a cup of tea.

1500 – My perfect routine has definitely taken a few knocks today! Looking through my task list, I need some quick wins to get me motivated again so I fire off a few emails and send a couple of invoices to the finance department. Despite completing a massive task for a colleague I don’t feel like I’ve achieved much the last few days. My task list is looking worryingly long.

1530 – I still need to complete the slide deck that I started on Monday so I work on this for the rest of the afternoon.

1645 – Check through my emails and follow the procedure that I set out in my perfect routine, it takes longer to clear my inbox as I’ve not been able to deal with many emails today, particular those that require further action.

1730 – I print off my task list to take on the train home, I can look at this in the morning and get a better sense of the work that I can really prioritise and complete tomorrow

Follow me on twitter @PracticalPA

You may also like