5 things I do every day at work

I really love the idea of sharing “day in the life” type posts, but honestly, every day at my job is different. For example, some of the things I did today are:

  • Shared publishing ethics resources with a journal editor.
  • Debated about whether a journal issue date is the date the issue is open or the date it is closed.
  • Formatted journal articles into an official publication template.
  • Contacted an instructor at my university about a publishing course he’s offering and shared open publishing resources.
  • Shared with everyone why the plural of “octopus” is “octopodes”.

It got me thinking about the things I do every day in my job. This is part of my routine, and what sets me up so that I can do whatever other jobs I need to for the rest of the day. Those things are:

  • Eat my breakfast at work. This is always a cup of oatmeal and raisins and almonds with brown sugar and fruit. I get cranky and bleary if I’m hungry, and I don’t work well that way.
  • While I’m eating that breakfast, I read my e-mail and whittle down new e-mails to zero. Delete the garbage, flag the stuff to do for the day.
  • Use my standing desk elliptical for a half hour after breakfast while clearing out e-mail. This gets my brain awake and sets me up for an active mind all day. (Note: I will use the elliptical periodically throughout the day, especially if I have a task that doesn’t involve a lot of writing.)
  • Make my to-do list by hand in my handy PLOS notebook. This list is prioritized, usually written in different colors of ink.
  • Open Twitter and put it on my second monitor and scan the news of the day. Share any important developments with my colleagues, especially those manning the office Twitter account.

Most of these routine things come directly from my years as a graduate student, especially those years when I was working on research projects and not taking classes. If I didn’t set the mood with my daily routine when I was working from home, I would inevitably lose hours of the most productive time of my day while I tried to scrape through e-mail or work on a dissertation chapter before my brain was awake. (I am a mid-morning early-afternoon worker, meaning that those hours are my best.)

It’s been tough adjusting to office life over the past couple of years after being on my own schedule and free to work whenever I wanted. These routines help me find a bit of that old life in this new setting. What kinds of work routines do you have?