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In the last episode I spoke about routines that were primarily designed to facilitate personal and work life improvements. However, those are not my only routines and I wanted to explain another of my most helpful daily routines–my end of workday routine.
Many of us are plagued by perfectionism and workaholism, even when we don’t identify with these addictions in our workaday lifestyles. My end of workday routine is designed to help me close the door on my professional life and re-establish a line to my personal life. It is a productive way for me to switch gears and regain focus amidst the many shifts needed to be most effective throughout my workweek.
While my end of workday routine is not the exemplar for everyone, the best thing for me to do is to explain mine so you can modify the means to your ends, via a routine. The best way to create productive compound benefits is to establish routines, and closing out your workday is one of the greatest ways I’ve found how to.
Firstly, I review my outstanding tasks and projects for the day. This includes reviewing completed items and capturing those tasks or projects that I have not yet. Alone, this one tactic helps me identify new tasks that need to be done or items that need to be followed up on in the coming days or further out, closing an open loop that once plagued my productivity system.
Next, I follow something similar to Peter Bregman’s 18 Minutes routine (see the template provided) for connecting with people based on gratitude, and recognizing successes, challenges, and lessons learned.
Finally, I review my calendar, projects, and tasks list for the upcoming day so that I can start to mentally problem-solve and prepare for it. I also give a quick review of what I have on the calendar for the rest of the day, which may include going to the gym, yoga, or a dinner or other social activity with friends or family.
By following this short but useful end of workday routine, I’m able to rally energy to clean up loose ends of my day, get excited about my personal time, and be more prepared for upcoming days with less stress and greater motivation.