The last 15 minutes of your work day are among the most important—because in a very real and direct way, they can determine your success and productivity for the following morning.
So let me ask you: Do you leave your office in a mad dash each afternoon, eager to get home to your family? Or do you allow yourself just a few minutes of extra time and discipline to organize your schedule and your office space for the next day’s endeavors?
If you’re not in the habit of ending your day well, don’t worry: I’ve got some tips you might find useful.
Make the Most of Those Last 15 Minutes
A few things to do before signing off for the evening:
- Update your to-do list. Whether you have an actual paper list or you use an app, go through and check off today’s completed activities, then roll over the ones you need for tomorrow.
- Review tomorrow’s line-up of meetings. Are you prepared for all of them? If not, allocate time to get ready the next morning. And, are there any non-essential meetings you could cancel? If so, by all means do so, and free up some more productive time.
- Clean up your desk area. Organize it in such a way that you have a clear, blank work space to begin your next morning. Related tip: Schedule any PC updates that need to be done over night, or else just power down.
- Say goodbye to your team. Don’t just rush out. Actually take a minute or two to thank employees and colleagues for a good day.
- Turn off work-related notifications before you leave, including email. Allow yourself some time to truly engage with your family life and to simply decompress once you get home.
- Pause to reflect. What was your day’s biggest accomplishment? What are you most thankful for? What are you most looking forward to tomorrow?
By completing this brief checklist, you can end each day on a high note—and begin each new one with a bang.