My Typical Day at WorkMuhammad Zeeshan Ali, PMP, PMI-ACP
Note: All characters in this article are fictional and any resemblance to a real person or real event is purely coincidental.
Just like any seasoned professional, I always make sure to reach the office “on time”. By “on time” I don’t mean the time I am supposed to be in an office but the time I usually reach the office (which is merely 30-60 minutes past the actual office time). But every now and then, I take the liberty of being late for 2-3 hours as I have to finish some personal work (Which I could have done after work hours or during off days but that is not what true professionals do).
Anyways, as soon as I reach the office, I go straight to my friend/colleague’s desk to have a meeting over a cup of tea. My friend is also somewhat a professional like me and takes the pro-active approaching by pre-ordering the tea. Not just that, he always makes sure that he has some snacks to accompany the tea. I think my friend adopts this approach to make sure that he gains some useful credit towards his profile for annual review (As I will be the one providing useful feedback on that).
We make sure that in our meeting, we cover all aspects of “What happened yesterday?”, “What we are planning for today?” and “Any issues related to performing our tasks at hand”. The meeting takes just over an hour and we do make sure that we clearly agree on “next steps” (which generally includes what we shall have in the lunch”.
After the early meeting, I go straight to my desk because it is almost lunch time and I have to do a lot of work before that. I start with reading different News and articles followed by visiting job sites (Job site visit is not for me, it’s for my friends etc.). As the social networks are blocked in my official network so I have to use my mobile to execute that important task. I then quickly jump into my official email box. I always categorise my unread emails into three categories; first one is which I have to reply to at my earliest (like the emails from Senior Management and Human Resource Department etc). Second category is the emails I have to mark and more to folders for response on some other Day (like emails from team members and other departments etc). Third category is the emails I just open to mark them read (like emails from clients etc).
After this tiring exercise, I move back to my friend/colleague to work on the “action items” of the morning meeting earlier. It sure does take a lot of planning and execution skills to close these activities and the most important activity is the procurement of lunch. After the follow up meeting I need a power nap to recharge my batteries. For this activity, generally I utilize a blindspot in the office which is otherwise used by couples for their “non-official” meetings.
After a short, 30 minutes, nap, it is time for the daily team standup meeting. I have purposely set this meeting during mid-day rather than at the start of the day in order to avoid clash with my morning meeting. Also if the Daily Standup is at the start of the day then I have to be there on daily basis in order to attend it. I am a very good Scrum Master and excellent task delegation skills. I have nominated that one person from the team, on a daily rotation basis, will conduct a daily standup meeting while another one will share the action points and any other meeting notes. Similarly I have delegated some other tasks as well, like gathering data and preparing important reports for which I like to take full lead to share them with the management.
I don’t smoke regularly but take the smoke break regularly so that I don’t miss out on any team building activities or any grapevine gossip. After some other routine tasks and any other meeting with Senior Management, it is time to take care of my fitness. For that there are several activities in the office or I can go to some health fitness club on the way back home. I always prefer using the facilities at the office because I don’t want to be the first one from my team to leave the office.
One important thing I religiously do, before leaving office, is that I send out task reminders to my team to follow-up and and to keep them away from wasting any time in useless activities. Also I shoot out some warning emails to the team members for any task delays or any violation of processes or an unfinished work at their end. I am very strict with processes and rules so I make full use of the official phone to make calls to resources to remind them of the emails I have sent them and ask them to respond to them as soon as possible. I also make sure that they have some official work to do especially on weekends so they don’t have any other thoughts in their minds.
After successfully managing my day through dedication and hard work, my day comes to an end.