During the last fifteen minutes of the day I go through a routine to help me decompress and plan ahead for tomorrow. These fifteen minutes are probably the #1 reason I am as productive and happy as I am each day.
For the last year or so, this has been the checklist I follow during my Daily Review:
- Gratitude – I write down three things that happened that I am thankful for. This creates a great list of responses for the question, “How was your day?” It also gives credit to God for the good things in my life.
- Pray – For years I would tell people that I would pray for them, but then forget. In the 3×5 notepad that I carry around everywhere, I write down the names of people I want to pray for every day. I also write down things on my heart that I want to ask of God.
- Creative Work – I keep track of all the projects I complete every day in an Evernote note. I use this list to measure how productive I am each week and to ensure that I am working on the right projects.
- Check The Religion Teacher Content Calendar – I remind myself of the projects that have the most priority and make sure I worked on them.
- Set Tomorrow’s MITs – An MIT is the “Most Important Task” for the day. I write down one, most important task for my work, my work at Ave Maria Press, and something that needs to be done at home for the next day at the top of my 3×5 notepad.
- Review the Waiting For List – I have lists of cards in Trello of projects I am doing, not doing yet, and waiting for. I always check to make sure the projects in the “waiting for” list are still things I can’t take action on while I wait for something or someone else.
- Organize the Inbox – I have a physical inbox with mail and other papers on my desk. I used to get so overwhelmed that I never touched it. Now the checklist item says “organize the top layer of your office INBOX,” which is much more manageable.
- Finish the 10 Ideas List – This is something I learned from James Altucher. Think of it like lifting weights for your brain. For years I’ve been making a list of ten ideas every day in my 3×5 notepad and I can say without a doubt that it heightens my creativity and helps me come up with ideas and solutions to problems I never would have thought of otherwise.