This is part of a new ongoing series I will be writing about how I use the Todoist app to manage my tasks. To see all the Todoist posts, just click here.
Peace of mind is absolutely essential to me.
I am a pretty level-headed guy, but if I feel like things are piling up around me, my brain begins to go haywire. I lose control of my productivity, my time, and my energy… and that’s how work gets put off.
Because I’m a freelance writer and author, I don’t have anyone to keep me accountable and on-track when these things happen. When things spiral out of control, it’s up to me to get back on track.
And more importantly, it’s up to me to make sure that I stay on track. With Todoist, I’m learning to do just that.
One of the biggest developments in using the Todoist app over the past month or so has been my new, recurring End of Day Review task. Below is a screenshot, and then I’ll run through how it works.
In future posts, I’ll talk about my labels and all of those fun things, but right now, here are the highlights of this particular task and how it works in my life.
First, it recurs every day at 3:30pm. That means I get a notification on my phone, no matter where I am, telling me to do this task. My goal is to spend 10-15 minutes on it to end my day during the week, and then knock off so I can exercise at 4:00pm and then have dinner/hang out with my family. Having it scheduled at 3:30pm gives me time to wrap up whatever I’m doing and get up to my office so that I can do this.
Within the main task are a number of subtasks. This helps me check them off, one at a time, and be sure that I am consistently doing these specific tasks. Rather than just leave it at “End of Day Review”, these subtasks always bring to the forefront the important tasks that I have to do so I don’t gloss over them.
- Clean out my Download folder. One problem that gets me anxious is disorganization. I like a clean computer where everything is filed away where I need it. I take a lot of screenshots and deal with a lot of documents throughout the day, and my Downloads folder on my Chromebook can pile up very quickly. Every day, I start by cleaning this one out.
- Clean out my Google Drive folder. After that, I go to my default Google Drive folder and do the same thing: organize what needs to be organized, delete what I don’t need to keep, and deal with files and documents before they sit for too long. This also has a dual effect: if I come across a document I want to save (see “Scan and toss paperwork” below”), I don’t have to think about organizing it at the time. I just save it in Drive so that it’s safe, and then I can move it where it needs to go later. Documents, recipes, etc. This means I can do it all in about 2 minutes instead of having to devote a Saturday afternoon to cleaning out my Drive.
- Clean out my inbox. Self explanatory. Although, with the advent of snoozing emails in Gmail, I can really clean it out. I rarely leave emails in my inbox for very long, and I can now snooze upcoming bills or other notifications that I need to remember, but not at the moment.
- Scan and toss paperwork. Just like my computer, my physical desk space needs to be clean. But papers pile up quickly. Bills. Letters. Insurance paperwork. Drawings from my son. I use the app Scanpro to quickly snap photos of all of these documents, and then toss them to the shredder or the recycling bin. I’ve set up Scanpro to automatically file these scans in my default Drive folder, so I know they will get organized and not pile up. And it keeps my office clean.
- Journal prompts. The rest of the tasks are three prompts I have to run through to review my day in my journal. I keep my journal in Google Docs, and I have a separate document for each day I’m working with. The first thing I do in the morning is write in my journal, so I open up that document again and start three new headers with those three prompts. These force me to look at my day actively and analyze what went well and what didn’t, forcing me to reflect and improve for the next day.
And that’s it! Normally, this process takes me about 5-10 minutes if I’m doing it every day. And it’s usually the last thing on my task list in Todoist, which gives me extra satisfaction heading into my evening.
Do you have a routine for the end of your workday?