Gregory Hammond, Negosentro | There is no shortage of advice on how to prepare for a successful workday at the beginning of your workday, but there isn’t as much advice out there about how to wrap up a day in a way that makes you feel productive and ready to take on the rest of your day and prepare for tomorrow. We think that having a routine to end your workday is important to the success of your job, business, and life in general. That’s why we’ve put together this list of three things you should do at the end of every workday to prepare for a better tomorrow.
End on a Positive Note
By the time 5 p.m. rolls around, you are probably pretty tired of thinking, working, and just being upright in general. For many people, their day doesn’t end when they clock out: they need to get dinner on the table, tend to children, help with homework, or maybe even go to a second job. It’s important to leave your “day job” on a positive note to set the tone for the rest of your day. If you leave your workplace slamming doors or thinking negative thoughts about co-workers or your boss, it can ruin the rest of your day, and set you up for a terrible start to tomorrow. Because we wear negativity like a jacket, we need to learn to leave our work at work. One way to do that is to always leave on a positive note, no matter how bad the day turned out to be. How do you do that? Give a compliment to a co-worker, invite a friend out for a drink, write down all the things that went right throughout the day. Whatever you need to do to walk out of there feeling good, do it.
Clean Your Desk
Many people spend a few minutes each morning tidying their workspace in preparation for the work that they will do. Rather than waste valuable productive time in the morning, get into the habit of cleaning your desk or work surface before you leave the office. This will give you a few minutes to unwind and create a pile for your “to-do” list tomorrow. You can trash what you don’t need, and it won’t be hanging around in the morning to distract you and clutter your workspace unnecessarily. Leave your computer or work tools out where you can access them as soon as you get to work the next day because the morning is when people are the most productive. Setting yourself up for success at the end of your day can have as much impact on your work productivity as doing things in the morning to get ready for the day, except you save yourself some time. And let’s be honest, when it’s 4:50 p.m. and you are about ready to clock out, you need something to fill the time anyway, so clean your desk.
Make a List
Rather than leave the office and continue to think about all the things you need to do tomorrow, make a list before you leave the office. Many experts recommend setting your schedule first thing in the morning, but a little future planning never hurt anyone. Plus, doing this at the end of your day doesn’t leave your brain in “work mode.” You can do a brain dump at the end of your day and then get on with your life outside of work. Double check that list when you get to work the next morning and add anything to it that has come up, but otherwise, one good brain dump a day is usually enough. Doing it at the end of the day frees your mind from work and lets you go home with a clear head.
Whether we like it or not, the majority of people need to work to make a living. We might as well find ways to enjoy ourselves and make life a little easier for us while we are at it. Rather than waste valuable production time in the morning, spend the last few minutes of each workday preparing for the next day. You’ll like that you have a plan of attack ready when you walk in the door, and it will help you feel like you’ve accomplished something that day, even if it turned out to be a terrible day at work. On Friday, take the time to plan the following week so that you have a good idea of the things you need to accomplish before you leave the office. Many people will say to do this on Sunday evening, but don’t waste any of your valuable personal time on work stuff. Friday afternoon is a great time to get your thoughts on paper and make a plan for next week.