It is very easy to just coast through the last hour at work. You start thinking about dinner and all the things you need to do at home and consider jumping out the door before the traffic gets too bad. Instead, you can choose to end the day strong which will set you up for a strong start the next morning.
Do you keep a to-do list at work? Most people do, either on paper or electronically. Before you leave for the day, it is a good idea to review that list. Did you get everything done you needed to for the day? Is there anything on the list that you put off that you can quickly finish before leaving? Taking time to review what you’ve done can help you organize the next day’s work.
Get Those Little Things Out of Your Way
It is easy to keep kicking a low-priority task down the to-do list. After all, it will only take you a minute to do, so you can do it later. Why not take that last hour to clean up those little things you’ve been putting off. Small tasks like that are the perfect ones to complete at the end of the day; they usually don’t take a lot of brain power or energy. Getting them off your plate can clear you up for the big things that you may need to tackle in the morning. Getting a number of things done before you leave can also help you end your day with a sense of accomplishment.
Get the Lay of the Land
The end of the day might be slow for you and for your coworkers, as well. Taking a few minutes to get up, stretch your legs and see how things are going for your coworkers can help that last hour fly by. It is good to interact with colleagues outside of meetings. This conversation may also give you an indication of places where you could offer assistance, if you have some free time. This tip is particularly important for managers and supervisors. Speaking to your employees lets them know you are available and interested in what they are doing.
Desks attract clutter. The end of the day is a great time to rinse out your coffee mug or your lunch Tupperware. You can also take the opportunity to sort through and toss out old papers that might be collecting dust in the corner. Coming in first thing to a neat and tidy desk can help start the morning right.
Get Ready for Tomorrow
End the day by determining your starting place the next day. Start your to-do list free of the emergent work that crops up during the day. That way you can prioritize without other urgent things pulling your attention away.