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Discussion on: What do you do within the first 30 minutes of starting your work day?

okeeffed profile image
Dennis O'Keeffe • Edited

I have one of those small, cheesy "todo list" note pads.

I generally spend the start of office hours writing down all the things that are on my mind that need to be done. This includes aggregating small TODOs from JIRA, Slack, calendar etc. It might sound like repeating what is there, but it helps me keep an awareness of how the day looks in a centralised, analog fashion (emphasis on analog).

I always leave a little bit of space on the left, so then I go back over the list after writing all the TODOs and number them from 1..n in terms of priority to use throughout the day and also attempt to "guesstimate" and allocate time (generously). So it might look like this:

[  ] 5 (1hr) Prep notes for X
[  ] 4 (3hr) Add e2e tests for X
[ x ] 1 (2hr) Refactor X
[  ] 3 (30min) Email support about X
[ x ] 2 (90min) Write Performance self-review

I find it does the following:

  1. Sets me up for what my day looks like.
  2. Gives me an easily accessible place on my table to check things off and feel like I am accomplishing things.
  3. Helps me correctly position my availability to others and helps with saying "no" to things or knowing what can give.
  4. Helps position how much time I need on something to others. This is almost always impossible, but I've found over time that my "generous" time has refined and become more accurate to the unknowns.

It is also where I try to stay mindful of external things I also need to do throughout the day (doctor appointments, etc).

Maybe its just the routine of doing so, but without it can feel like I have no idea what I am doing and finish the day forgetting some of the important things that I have done!

nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚π₯𝐒𝐞 𝐝𝐞 π–πžπžπ«π

I love a good to-do list! It's not as sophisticated as yours, but it helps me quickly see what jobs I have on for the day :) I always prep my list for the next day just before leaving work.

kazamario profile image

If you have a W10 box, MS ToDo is awesome for the content in your image.