One of the most important findings in building my daily routines is that it is a huge help to have a framework in place that helps me guide what I should do next. I keep coming back to this question: how to decide what to do next?

I’m using what I’ve dubbed my three layered approach. Whenever I want to know what I should work on next, I’m following these three steps:

  1. I’m opening my calendar to see if I have scheduled anything that I should be working on right now. In my weekly review I have created the outline for my week and drafted blocks of time where I want to work on.
  2. If there is nothing in my calendar or I’ve finished the scheduled item, I’m moving to OmniFocus and I’ll be processing all the tasks scheduled for today.
  3. Done with the tasks? Only now I’m moving to my email.

One thing I’ve added to this structure is that I’m scanning my inbox every morning to see if there are urgent emails I should deal with right away, or things I should move to my calendar so I’m sure I won’t forget them. But in general, email comes last. I have my own priorities I should get done first. This system helps me with completing this goal.

I’m curious if this structure would work for you as well. Let me know if you have any thoughts or ideas on how to improve this approach.