How to Properly End Your Workday to Set Yourself Up for a Better Tomorrow

A productive day starts the night before. Use these tips to make your tomorrows more manageable.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Cassie Gasaway

Whether you’re a morning person or not, it can be challenging to start your workday in the right headspace. Fortunately for you, there are things you can do to set yourself up for success — and they start the night before.

Having a work shutdown routine, aka a few tasks you do at the end of each workday, can help you mentally and physically disconnect and disengage from work, which improves work-life balance. It can also help you perform more productively the following day. All archery retailers and manufacturers should consider creating a work shutdown ritual or routine.

Establish Your Work Shutdown Routine

The key to a work shutdown routine is to keep it simple. Don’t complicate the tasks and don’t spend too much time doing them, or you won’t do them at all. Before we dive into a sample routine, realize that at some point during the day you should determine when to stop working. It’s easy to get consumed in a task or try to accomplish “one more thing” before you go, but if you’re always running late and chasing your tail, you’ll quickly burn out. Be smart and set boundaries. Determine when you will leave the office and factor in about 10 minutes to complete the following four things.

Talk with your coworkers and confirm details about joint projects. Photo Credit: ATA

1. Check in with Your Colleagues

Briefly connect with your employees or co-workers to discuss the status of any projects they’re working on. Take the opportunity to discuss and confirm deadlines, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

2. Review What You Accomplished

After you’ve taken stock of your team’s progress, take a minute or two to reflect on the day. Think about what happened, what was accomplished and what you wish was accomplished. If you realize you could have handled a situation with a customer or employee better, visualize how you can improve next time. If you were satisfied with the day, give yourself (and potentially your employees) a pat on the back. Assessing how the day transpired can help you improve in the future. Reviewing what was and was not accomplished can also help you create a to-do list for the next day, which brings us to the third item in a simple work shutdown routine.

3. Make a To-Do List

Use a pen and paper, a note-taking app or a Word document to jot down what you need to do the next day. Try to order the list with the most important or difficult items first. Doing them right away helps you feel focused and accomplished, which makes it easier to complete future tasks. Creating a list helps you get everything out of your head so you can mentally let go. It also helps you prioritize what needs to be done so you can hit the ground running when you arrive at work, rather than reassessing where you were and what you were working on the night before. The next day, use the list to plan your schedule and stay on track.

4. Clean Up Your Physical Workspace

Lastly, before you go, tidy your desk by filing papers, throwing away trash, and completing time sheets and other lingering paperwork. Studies show that a cluttered, disorganized environment impairs our ability to focus, restricts our capacity to process information and ultimately keeps us from doing our best work. An organized, clean workspace reduces distractions and helps you easily find what you’re looking for, including the to-do list you just created. Plus, it’s nice to start the next day with a literally clean slate.

Once you’ve completed your work shutdown routine, you can turn off the lights and go home knowing you finished the day in a good place and set yourself up for a successful tomorrow.

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