Ten Questions To Help You Analyze Your Work Routine

Over the course of my career, I have spent hours painstakingly analyzing my daily practice routine on bassoon to maximize the outcome of my work in the studio.

This begs the question….


About a year ago, I jotted down the following ten questions to help me analyze my work routine.

Open your calendar right now and ask yourself the same 10 questions.

My guess is that they will help you set priorities in the same way they helped me.

1. Are you blocking off time every single day to create? (Especially those of you with desk jobs!)

2. Are you setting a 2-hour block at least twice a week for deep work on big projects or ideas? Give yourself space and time to let your ideas flow.

3. Are there moments in the last couple of weeks that you look back on as examples of good prioritization of the most important tasks and projects that will advance your career? Can you replicate those moments in the future?

4. What block of time gives you the biggest gut reaction in a bad way? Can you reduce/change/eliminate that block of time in the future?

5. Have you set time aside time for research, experimentation, and professional development to fuel your creativity and your career?

6. Are you scheduling a maximum of 2, 1-hour daily blocks to check email? You have got to create boundaries around email.

7. Do your scheduled meetings have a clear goal and purpose? If someone else scheduled the meeting, do they have a clear reason for putting something on your calendar?

8. Can you cut the length of scheduled meetings, move the in-person conversation to email, and/or say no to (at least) one thing on your schedule next week in order to give yourself a little room to take a breath?

9. Are you tracking your sleep?

10. Are you scheduling enough time for rest, self-care, and fun with family/friends to avoid burnout?

Thanks for reading and please share the tweaks you have made to your daily routine to help you advance your career in the comments below.

Photo Credit: Kelly Sikkema

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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