The Oft-Overlooked Daily Review
While we often create closing documents for our projects, it's only seldom that we create closing documents for our month, week or even day. However, if you feel like it's a struggle to get your next items done, these reviews may be especially helpful. Sometimes when delegating tasks, we under-estimate how long they will take.
Project managers often can under or over-estimate how long a particular task can take. When it comes to tasks, we tend to grossly misjudge the time necessary to complete the tasks to be done. While you might think it only takes thirty minutes to eat lunch, if you conduct a daily review, you might find it actually takes you an hour between procuring food for lunch, the chatting going on during lunch and properly chewing your food. If you write down what you did, how long it took, and notes about it, then you'll know this—and tomorrow's schedule will be all the more accurate because of it.
Before continuing on, you might want to download one of the templates I created for your daily review in Word:
MS Word Template for Daily Reviews View 1 - with text boxes to fill in
MS Word Template for Daily Reviews View 2 - with spreadsheets to fill in
When you're planning your day, it's important to try to give an accurate account of how long you think activities will take you to complete. You'll also want to record how long activities actually took you to complete.
Don't just record the activities that you planned to do, record everything you do—from the number of emails you sorted through to the lunch you took. Make sure you write down how long it took you. That way, when you need to schedule your day including similar tasks, you have a better idea of how long those tasks actually will take you.