Internet is that kind of “thing”, that consists of many different components, elements, web sites, programs and all other things that are more or less effective in destroying our schedules. Everyone who has anything to do with the Internet has often the same problems – let’s call it: lack time.
I don’t believe, that it does not happen to you. I can’t believe that you didn’t ever forget about anything. I don’t believe that you didn’t ever forget about the real duties… because of something “interesting” from the web.
It happened to me… and I’m sure that it happened to you, too. Therefore, I began to lay the plan of the day. But not one in which you have a list of tasks for a day… not one in which you have an hour and a task for this hour. Such a plan will not fulfill its role. Sooner or later, everything will be just more and more delayed. And we… we will be more and more irritated, because of looking at the growing number of things, which for some reason had been not realized.
Once I have tested various forms of planning… I came to the conclusion, that there are two main things that are the best for me:
- let’s call it: daily research news
mail + micro-bloging + todo lists
and now in more details…
daily research news
Every morning after coming to work, when my computer is on and I already have a coffee… I begin to “watch news”. “News” is not really a news, in sense of new article. It’s more like – what’s new. My daily morning ritual is as follows:
- preview google adsense (I have to check how many times visitors viewed an ad yesterday, and is there someone, who clicked on it)
- view stats of RSSes from websites, in which I participate (via FeedBurner)
- view stats of all websites, in which I participate (via google analytics)
- start to read articles from my RSS reader
Very important in this whole ritual is to keep the right order… because it causes that I begin by things, that take me the least time and finish by things, that take me much more time. The reason is really simple… after each click, after each sip of coffee – I’m just more awoken.
And so… for adsense I need to consecrate no more than half a minute (quick glimpse at the yesterday’s stats + maybe summary stats from the entire week).
FeedBurner takes me about a minute or two (click on each feed separately, in order to see the specific numbers).
Google Analytics takes me about five minutes – a quick glance at the chart with monthly stats, after what – I change the range to last two days (yesterday and a day before or yesterday and today) and get acquainted with the specific numbers (visits, avg. time on site, bounce rate), and the key words.
At the end there is a Google Reader (yes – each one software that I use in the morning belongs to Google). I usually have to spend some time in this, due to the relatively large amount of informations that flows to my reader in one day.
And so after 30 – 45 minutes after coming to work, I am ready for further (the most important) work. In between time I learned about everything, that had happened since yesterday.
mail + micro-bloging and todo lists
Mail, micro-blogging and todo lists are completely separate issues, but they occur alternating… that’s why I see them as a one thing.
First: e-mails. I open all of my e-mail accounts and remove all unnecessary messages. After that: I react on all the others.
By “react” I mean reply to all these messages, which require the response… all put the rest on the todo list (I will write more about my todo lists a bit later). By the way… I try to reply for all non-spam messages, always. Even if this message would be on the todo list. My answer will look like “I will try to check it in the evening, because now I do not have enough time for it”… but what’s the most important: sender receives a response.
Second: micro-blogging, which means for me a quick glimpse at twitter‘a and after that – quick glimpse at the other local micro-blogs, on which I have an account. I have to check whether someone wrote to me or whether someone mentioned something about me or the projects, in which I participate. Alternatively, I leave a short note. At this point… additional applications (such as twihrl) greatly accelerates the process.
And finally, todo lists… that is, what causes that I do not forget anything important. I have three main lists (sometimes under the “main lists” could be several sub-lists…. but I try not to do this too often). Thanks to a small number of lists, anything do not distract my attention and everything what is important can accomodate on one computer screen. My three main lists are: ‘private things’, ‘things related with my job’ and ‘work-things, not related with my job’. And so… on the first list there are positions like: change tires in a car, order dog food. On the second list there are things related to my job (projects I’m working), which I can not forget. Then, on the third list, I write about any issues related to work, but not directly connected with the company, that I work with. On the third list for example, I can put information that I need to change the website layout, which I created after working hours or just put ideas for entries on my blog.
I have only three todo lists – that is why I can often see them all on one page (and sometimes even on a single screen). Such a small number of todo lists make it easy and quick way to set the right priorities. I can focus on the needs, that require my attention now, and defer these ones, that can wait. And at last… thanks to the fact, that these todo lists are as simple, as they could be (without specific dates and hours of implementation) – I do not feel such a huge pressure on my back and I can focus at work, which I have to do.
Now alternately… deal with all of the most important tasks from the lists; remove or reply to all unread messages in my mailboxes; and from time to time… read and write on twitter, much less on any other social media sites (such as facebook or linkedin).
In short, it’s worth to systemize your day job… I bet that the benefits flowing from that kind of plan, will be visible to the naked eye. Just try!
And now… how does your day job look like?