• Chanelle S. Reynolds is the head of DEI programs for the Washington Commanders NFL team. 
  • She starts her workday with prayer, meditation, and exercise before addressing high-priority emails.
  • Here's what her morning work routine is like, as told to writer Robin Madell.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Chanelle S. Reynolds, the diversity, equity, and inclusion programs lead at the Washington Commanders. It has been edited for length and clarity.

My day starts between 6 and 7 a.m. 

I believe the key to success and productivity lies in your daily habits. For me, following a consistent morning routine that incorporates self-care is important before starting work. 

As someone deeply rooted in my faith, I start each day with prayer and meditation. I then head to the gym to work out. Both of these activities help me be focused and level-headed throughout the day. 

I work in-office Monday through Friday and sometimes work remotely from home. I like working alongside my colleagues in an office setting and the feeling it gives me of being part of a team.

I plan out each workday the night before

This includes rearranging my calendars if necessary and preparing for meetings. Once I sit down to work each morning, I check my calendar to confirm that there are no last-minute meetings or sudden changes. I then check my emails and messages on Microsoft Teams.

Each morning is different, but I do like to check my emails first to answer questions or requests from my coworkers. I do this to make sure my teammates aren't waiting on me for answers or approvals to avoid causing a blockage in their workflow.

After answering emails, I begin to work on projects according to their due date and level of urgency. Projects with a quicker due date take priority over projects with a deadline that's further out.

I have regular check-ins with our internal ERGS, or employee resource groups

These check-ins are designed to provide guidance, answer any questions, and assist with programming. When managing specific campaigns, I conduct weekly check-ins with various departments throughout the company, which may include the marketing department, creative team, social media team, or content team. 

I love the energy of having many innovative and creative minds on a call to diversify the input and maximize the outcome of our DEI program. I truly believe that teamwork makes the dream work.

For planning and to-dos, I use Outlook as well as regular pen and paper

I live by my Outlook calendar, as it catalogs all of my meetings, special projects, and reminders. Because I'm a visual person, the calendar is color-coded and categorized by event type. 

For example, meetings are coded in red, planning sessions are coded in blue, and personal events such as doctor's appointments are coded in green. This helps me keep my day-to-day activities organized. 

To help manage projects, I also use Trello, which allows me to list different components of the project in detail and check them off as they're completed.

If high-priority or urgent tasks pop up that I need to finish that day, I like to use a paper pad and pen to write them down so I can see them on my desk and remember to do them. 

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