What do you do at the end of your workday? If you’re drawing a blank, I feel you.
I never used to do anything particular to end my workday either. I’d just kind of go on and on, sitting in front of the screen until I either ran out of steam or Rod would get the shits and insist I come downstairs for dinner. While that still happens occasionally, these days I have a little routine comprising a few simple rituals that signal the end of my workday.
You see, I’ve learnt that, for me, a really great day starts the evening before.
A few minutes intentionally rounding out my workday – even when I’m tired/in a hurry/can’t be arsed – pays dividends when it comes to making sure everything is set up so I’ve got the best chance of starting my workday fresh, inspired, grounded and focused.
And in turn, when I start my day off strong, I’m way more likely to end the day having knocked out my most important tasks, felt in flow and been laser-focused, and feeling great too.
All up it only takes about 15 minutes, but my simple end of workday routine makes it way easier to have a productive morning as soon as I fire up my MacBook.
Here’s what I include in my end of day routine:
What’s your stop work time?
First up, like I’ve mentioned before, I like to have a regular daily stop work time.
If I’ve got a big project on, or we’re gearing up for a launch, or inspiration has really hit me, there are times when I may work later than usual, but as a rule, I like to stop working at least 4 hours before bedtime.
If you’ve just started working for yourself recently and have been traumatised by boring or stupid structures that had been imposed on you in a corporate setting, you might be revealing in the freedom of working whenever the hell you want.
I get it.
But a few years ago I realised that lack of structure in my work day was actually contributing to my sense of overwhelm/chaos…
These days I feel a much greater sense of freedom and creativity thanks to the structure, routines and rituals I’ve set up in my business, rather than in spite of them.
I have a rule of not spending all day in my pyjamas (the only time I do this is if I’m knocked out with the flu or something). Instead, you’ll usually find me in jeans and a tea or yoga pants when I’m working from home.
As soon as I’ve finished my official ‘work’ for the day, I put my comfies on. (Yep, that’s why I’m rocking my trackies in these pics!)
I love using this journal throughout the day to track my progress against my most important tasks – it really does keep me productive and on track.
At the end of the day I take a couple of minutes to colour in any circles I’d missed (if you already use this Planner, you’ll know what I mean!) and complete the page.
I like to spend a few minutes doing a brain dump of all the work/other random stuff that’s on my mind. For example, something I want to remember to mention to a client tomorrow, blog post ideas, a task I didn’t get to, a tip a friend has passed on, or a new task I want to pass on to Sarah.
I find that 5 minutes or so of this little ritual helps me switch off from work at the end of the day. It’s on paper, so my brain doesn’t need to worry about holding onto the info and can more easily go into power saver mode.
I collect all the dishes that have multiplied in my office throughout the day and take them back to the kitchen. Seriously, where the bloody hell do they all come from? I always manage to find 3 or 4 glasses and mugs dotted about the room.
Clear desk policy
As part of resetting my workspace, I like to leave my office with a clear desk at the end of the day.
Even though many days my brain is fried at the end of the day and putting shit away feels like a mammoth effort, putting my notebooks, folders and stationary back in their rightful place always makes my morning’s feel fresher and full of potential.
I like to open a window to get some fresh air circulating in the room.
Even if it’s the middle of winter and I’ve had the heating on all day – especially then, in fact, I like to leave a window open at the end of the day to have plenty of fresh air circulating in the room.
I’m a big believer in the health-giving properties of fresh air.
Closing the door on the day
If you’ve seen my workspace, you’ll know I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated home office. I love having a door I can close.
If Rod’s at home, we have an agreement that my closed office door means I’m talking with clients and/or deep in the zone and to not interrupt me if it can be avoided.
Closing my office door is also my final and one of the most powerful end-of-work-day rituals. For me, closing my office door is a punctuating signal that it’s time for me to let the work day go and switch gears.
I hope my post has inspired you to think about your end-of-day routine, and what you could do to intentionally reset your workspace for an epic day tomorrow!
PS Wondering how to spend your time tomorrow to get the most out of your workday and winning more clients? Grab your FREE copy of ‘My Daily Success Habits Checklist‘ to track what I consider to be the 5 absolute must do daily habits if you want to grow your business, as well as some bonus moves to make if you have time:
Photos thanks to the lovely Lauren Campbell
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