The Daily Review – Crossing the Finish Line

More thoughts on deciding what you want to accomplish before going home from work.

Think about the activity of defining what you want or need to accomplish that day as creating a finish line for the day.  Many people continue to “work” after the workday is over — to check email, answer calls, stress about problems at the office — when really what they should be doing resting, relaxing, and giving their full attention to their family and loved ones.

By doing a Daily Review each day and deciding exactly what you intend to accomplish that day, you are creating a “finishing line” at the end of the workday. Once you cross that imaginary line in the sand, you can put the day behind you and start shifting your attitude, heart, and thoughts towards the next part of your day — whether that’s exercise, recreation, or family time.  Practicing the Daily Review allows you to clarify your thoughts, collect yourself, refresh, refuel, and renew yourself by having a feeling of accomplishment.

Since I have started this practice, I am far less grumpy when I arrive home. I feel more in control, and am more clear about what I have accomplished.  Most importantly, it enables me to “switch off” from work when I’m at home and engage fully with the people I love most.  Crossing your finish line each day is something that not only leaves you feeling satisfied and fulfilled, but motivates you to finish well.

About Michael Keithley

3 Responses to The Daily Review – Crossing the Finish Line

  1. khymenko says:

    I find daily review very helpful at work. I have it in the morning processing mail, inboxes, next actions, waiting and calendar. This bring a rough plan for the day. Usually before going home I have all planned items crossed out and this raises worm feeling 🙂

    I’m extending this now to also take control of my spare projects and family/home related actions.

    • I agree the daily review is a very useful addition to standard GTD that really helps set up the day. You get a real sense of what your day looks like – how much discretionary time you have, what your priorities are, what your commitments are, etc.

      Curious as to how you define “spare projects” and if you separate your family/home related actions out other then by context. For example the next actions that have to be done at home.

      • khymenko says:

        I use Nirvana to keep all my GTD lists. I used to have separate categories in it for personal and work items and changing category kept me with actions related only to one category. Now I’m changing this. I put everything in one area to easily track personal things I need to do while I’m at office (like make a call/mail, print, scan, etc).

        Actually I have three major areas:
        Spare projects (I’m software developer and working on some pet projects in my spare time)

        I have several contexts as GTD suggests. Just basic ones like @home, @computer, @office, etc.
        Also I have one tag for everything work related.
        As I want to quit my day job and switch to independent development I have tag for week goals helping achieve this bigger goal. I call it focus.working-happy 🙂
        And I have special focus tag for week goals from Self/Family/Home area.

        At weekly review I set week goals for each focus area.
        At daily review I pick at most 3 Most Important Things for today. They must include at least one action for focus area. If it looks like I still have some free time in a day I fill it with normal actions.

        Week goals and MITs in my GTD implementation are inspired by Leo Babauta (his blog and books).

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