Basis for my daily operations is a reliable task management and a continuous inbox processing as well as a proper operational planning. While performing my daily operations, I follow three basic rules:
1. Single-tasking: I avoid working on several tasks at the same time because switching between active tasks just wastes my time by refocusing. Thus, I try to process one task after another.
2. Important tasks first: Every day, I start working on the most important tasks of the day before processing my inboxes or before reading news etc. Otherwise I might loose too much time without processing the important to-dos.
3. Buffer: Based on the findings of my time tracking, I started to structure my day more and more by adding buffers for several recurring activities:
- Inbox processing: I reserve about half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening for my daily mailbox processing and I “try” to keep my inbox closed for the rest of the day to stay focused on my tasks. I process my inbox as described in “inbox processing”.
- Unplanned activities: I add a buffer of about 30 minutes to my daily schedule for spontaneous ad hoc activities.
- Daily planning: Every morning, I need about 5 minutes to check what has to be done during the day. In the evening, I take about 10 minutes to reschedule tasks I could not complete and to update my journals. Every Friday, I widen my focus and check what is coming up during the next week.
Beside visiting meetings, I “simply” process my tasks according to the importance during the day. The importance is calculated based on the due date and the priority. Fortunately, toodledo.com is doing this for me.
Finally, whenever I complete a task, I decide what action has to follow the completed task to accomplish the overall measure/project and I add this to-do to my task management as next action.