It really depends on what job you are performing, but as a Manager of a Project Organization (work from home), here is my day:
6:30 Wake up and look at my calendar, add to my to-do list based on notes from the day before and prioritize my day
7:00 - 8:00 Breakfast, get my son to school, shower
I then spend most of my day on the phone, whether it be on financial related meetings, one-on-ones with my employees, status meetings, etc.
At other times, I will work on providing financial status updates, prioritizing work for my employees, working on resourcing for different projects, and other sorts of management-related issues.
I try to take time for lunch and always block that out on my calendar. It is important to make sure you get up and move once in a while!
I also try to give myself 30 minutes at the end of the day to finish up any odds and ends (I put this on the calendar).
When I start my day it is all about setting priorities and managing time to be as efficient as possible. Making a to do list ensures no task is forgotten and helps with prioritizing task.
I usually begin by checking all emails and responding where needed. When an email requires more than a response but there are multiple task linked to completing the email then I prioritize those based on urgency.
Task that are recurring: daily reports for example are completed after emails are answered and urgent task are completed unless they are needed by a specific time.
Moriscia recommends the following next steps:
I work from home so it might look a bit different than a traditional cubical job, but might be interesting to you! My hours are 6-3 everyday (to align with my office's time zone in Texas), have a dog and a cat.
- Wake up around 5, 530am. Make some coffee and take care of the pets (feed the pets and walk the dog). If I have some time left, I like to sip on my coffee while reading some news
- I start my work day by checking emails and preparing for my meetings for the rest of the day
- My day usually consists of about 40% meetings, and the rest are working times
- As an Marketing Analytics and Program Manager, I spend a lot of time in excel trying to analyse data, and look for opportunities for growth for our business. I also spend a lot of time looking at ways to problem solve certain issues at work as well. I usually define the problems that need to be solved and work with an analyst on the analytics
- I also spend a lot of time program managing. That means creating program briefs, set up timelines and program requirements. If a program is ongoing, I'd check on the progress to make sure everything is on track. A lot of problem solving here as well
- Meetings are usually over the phone, usually over apps such as Skype or Zoom. I don't usually do video conferencing - mostly voice calls only. In most calls, someone would always share their screen to show everyone what the call is about or to present. Presentation skills over the phone is extremely important as you don't have the luxury to observe people's nonverbal cues in the room
- My lunch hours varies depending on my schedule, but it's usually anytime between 11 - 1pm. It heavily depends on when I have meetings and when it's the most sensible for my and my coworkers' time zones
- I get off around 3pm to walk my dog, play with the pets and enjoy the rest of my day!
Tom recommends the following next steps:
Every day starts out with understanding that I choose to have this job and be in this position. I am happy to have a job and don't take it for granted. When I wake up and head to work, I make sure that I greet my coworkers and team members before settling into my workday and opening up my email to see what I have to accomplish for the day.
I usually spend most mornings, for a couple hours, answering emails. After that, I have several meetings through the day about the company, decisions that need to be made, or the direction we've decided to head in. From there, usually have some one on one time with the people that report to me on the team, and then end the day with making sure I have no open or outstanding items from my day at work.
I close everything out by communicating with everyone that I will be leaving and make sure they don't need anything else from me, I wish them well, and leave for the day.
bryan recommends the following next steps:
I manage a staff of 40 acquisition professionals who negotiate contracts and grants for the Library of Congress. I ride my bicycle about an hour into work, shower and change, and brew a cup of tea to start my day around 8:00. I review the day's schedule of meetings and events to be sure I am prepared, review reports on work getting done and needing to get done, and check email for emerging issues or questions. I call or "walk the floor" to talk to my staff about any issues with their work and find ways to help them address them. This gives me a good sense of where I can focus my energies.
Around 9:00 I chip away at the issues. For example, a contract specialist may have run into a snag in a negotiation where a company does not want to agree to federal contract terms, so I review the positions and recommend a way to break through the impasse, or if that proves unsuccessful I may call the company's management to escalate the issue.
Another example is where a client needs expertise to get some work done, such as design a new software application to modernize their business operations. This starts with an initial call or meeting to assess where they are with their needs (i.e. how mature their requirements are - have they described their needs in a statement of work or other document? Have they research commercial applications available in the marketplace? Do they have a good cost estimate and an approved budget?). The next step is to sketch-out a plan of action and identify and assign resources and timeframes to get their work done and schedule a time to follow-up to be sure the work is moving forward.
A typical day will involve a series of meetings such as a brief senior staff meeting to ensure our leadership team is aware of issues and imperatives across the organization, an interview with a potential employee, a project management review of a major contract where the project manager from the Library and the company report their progress and issues with their contracts, a contract review board where a contracting officer present her or his work to legal counsel and executive management to ensure that the proposed contract conforms to laws and regulations and represent a fiscally sound investment. Other items may include a review of key internal controls and performance metrics to ensure the operations are being effectively managed and executed, review of audit reports and investigations to identify potential issues that need to be addressed, and presenting findings or briefings to staff, clients, or executive audiences.
I break for lunch around 12:00, usually to eat a sandwich or heat some soup while reading a book at the table in my office. While occasionally I will do work that absolutely needs to get done, I do my best to read something completely unrelated to work - as a mental break to allow me to re-focus and come back to it with renewed energy. From time-to-time I go out for coffee or to lunch with a colleague to build or maintain a professional relationship.
Throughout the day I will receive phone calls, emails, text messages, and "drop ins" asking questions or for help. I treat each person with professional courtesy and respect, even if it takes me from a project I was working on. I strive to address each thing promptly by either answering the question or taking an action to research and follow-up. If I am able I will do the work then and there. If not, I will schedule it for a later time and let the person know when they can expect something from me or I will delegate it to one or more of my staff to do (and follow-up with them). This allows me to balance competing priorities and demands between resolving "crises" and investing the important energies in focusing on long-term strategic objectives.
To be sure I am maintain a healthy balance I schedule time to plan and execute projects and initiatives to improve my own operations. I host working groups of professionals around the organization to identify and tackle challenges such as automating the work processes and flows to eliminate time-intensive manual processes, improving the quality and reliability of information and data available to my staff, clients, and executives to provide greater insight into our contracts and grants, and enhancing training programs for staff and clients to ensure we are able to deliver the highest quality services.
Around 6:00 I change back into my shorts and t-shirt and head back home to unwind, usually feeling tired but good that I've done something meaningful with my day.
Ronald recommends the following next steps: