As all productive workers know, the end of a working day is just as important as the beginning. While the lead up to finishing time in the late afternoon usually sees the majority of workers counting down the minutes until they can clock off, productive workers that engage in a few simple rituals at the end of the day can help them get off to a fast start in the morning.
Closing rituals can help you pinpoint exactly what you have to do the next day as soon as you walk into the office, increasing the likelihood of getting more things done, and not having to take your work home with you. Here is a three-step routine to help you to make sure you start every day on track.
Triage your to-do list
Evaluate what you can realistically complete today, and what could be pushed back to the next day. Adjust your to-do list based on this. Any task that is non-essential can be moved further back, delegated to someone else, or removed entirely.
Review tomorrow’s calendar
While it is natural to focus on what you have to get done now on busy days, making a point of checking your calendar a few hours before you finish work can mitigate the possibility of forgetting about a commitment that requires preparation work. For example, if you need to prepare for a meeting tomorrow, judge whether you should start preparing this afternoon or first thing in the morning.
Update tomorrow’s to-do list
When you’ve finished all of today’s tasks, spend a couple of minutes reviewing tomorrow’s to-do list. Decide whether tasks need to be completed in a certain order or prioritise items based on their importance. Organising tomorrow’s to-do list means you can walk into work the next morning knowing exactly what you’re going to work on instead of spending precious time getting organised.