All You Need to Know About Daily Tasks

time management Jul 02, 2020

Every night before bed, I grind coffee for the next day.  I’m a coffee snob and fresh ground tastes so much better.  The grinder is LOUD and would wake up my household if I set it off at the crack of dawn when I get up.  

If I forget, then I’m stuck drinking instant coffee.  GROSS!

The coffee grinder is a key player in my shut down ritual.  It sets me up for a great day.  The rest of this ritual includes reviewing my calendar for tomorrow, choosing my top 3 priorities, and setting my clothes out for the next day.  All of this takes only a few minutes.

The morning brings another set of routines.  I start with coffee (of course) while it’s brewing I meditate.  A fresh cup of coffee in hand, I settle into my cozy office chair and read.  Then I will journal and if there’s time left before the clock strikes 6:30 I will stretch and stare at my inspiration board.

We define routine as, “commonplace tasks, chores or duties as must be done regularly or at specified intervals; typical or everyday activity.”

As parents, we put a ton of effort into setting up morning and evening routines for our kids.  When’s the last time you’ve thought about your own?  Think about what you want to include and write it out.  The simpler the better.

A routine turns daily tasks into a habit.  A habit is something we do with little thought or effort.

What other daily tasks can we simplify?

Spend Less Time on E-mail 

I had a client in my office just last week and gasped when she showed me her phone.  Over 4000 emails!  That number staring back at me each day would stress me out.  And the complaint I hear most often from busy women is they can’t get a hold of their email.

Inbox zero was a method popularized on the internet.  I’m not a freak about getting to zero, but I refuse to let my email rule my day.  Here are a few ways I manage the daily chore of email:

  • I don’t open email on any device before 10 am.  I’m most productive in the morning and I’m not willing to give that time over to someone else's’ priorities.
  • I schedule an hour each day that I dedicate to email and other administrative tasks (checking social media and texts)
  • Before I shut down my devices for the night, I will scan through email to see if there’s anything urgent that needs a quick response

You might not have the option to put email off until later in the day.  That’s OK, but you don’t need to respond to every email right away.  

Let’s Prep

Some of the most memorable moments in life come from when I jump in without overthinking.  Like that time I was backpacking through Europe with my brother and we made the spontaneous decision to jump on a train to Prague.  

Living in the moment is FUN, but a little prep work goes a long way.  

My best days have all required some prep work.  It’s an effortless part of my evening routine to lie out what I’m wearing and look over my calendar.  Last Saturday we stayed out too late on the lake and I forgot.  Sunday morning came, and I slept late.  Instead of getting up before the family and prepping for the week ahead, I snuggled into my bed and slept late.  It felt luxurious, but I paid the price by losing time with the family on Sunday to get my prep work done.

Want to spend your evenings winding down, not prepping for the next day?  Try setting up for your next day when you leave the office or switch off work mode.

To-Do or Not To-Do

I could make a list of all the way you can keep a task list, but I’ll spare you the details (for now).  However, you keep track of your daily tasks, make sure it’s working for you.  To break free of the busy cycle, make progress on your most important tasks.  

Prioritize your list.  Making time for the daily tasks that are important, not just on fire.

That means when you’re working from home this summer and Parker asks for you to go swimming after dinner, you put on that swimsuit and let the emails wait until tomorrow.

When You Can’t Delegate, Automate

I’m a pen and paper girl, but the tech geniuses out there are making it easier each day to automate our daily routines.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Alexa news and weather briefings
  • Alexa lists (besides grocery lists, I keep one for Target and Costco)
  • Reminders on the iPhone (“Hey Siri, remind me to call Dad when I get in the car”)

What are some of your favorite ways to work through your daily tasks?  Share what systems and strategies work best for you (and why you love them) in the comments below.  

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