Have you ever been at work when you notice there’s only 30 minutes left in your shift? It’s usually not enough time to start a new project, but it’s also too early for you to go home, so you watch your clock as it slowly ticks away until it’s time to leave. This happens more often than not, but what can you do to finish out your workday on a positive and productive note?
How you finish your workday is critical as it holds a large impact on your work, productivity, and attitude. Take time at the end of your shift to get you ready for tomorrow. So here are three ways you can end your workday better and stronger.
Review and Plan
The first thing you to do is look over your to-do list to find out if you’re where you need to be. There might be some assignments you’ve overlooked or a reminder of what needs to be finished before you leave. If you don’t like your progress, plan what you need to do and when you’ll get it done so you don’t get further behind.
This is your chance to reflect. Think about what you’ve accomplished and how good it feels to be productive. If you’ve fallen short on some tasks, take the time to make a new to-do list. Determine what needs to be finished tomorrow and how you’re going to do it. If you have a new to-do list, you’ll have a head start the next day and be more productive.
Check-In and Check-Out
Depending on the type of working relationship you have with your manager, visit with one or all of your supervisors to discuss the progress of any tasks you’re working on. This way, you can get caught up on any updates or changes that need to be made. Check in with co-workers to get any updates from them and to make sure everyone is one the same page.
Talking to your boss and colleagues will not only help everybody stay on task easier, but there are real emotional benefits from saying goodbye to people before leaving. Most people think it’s important to say hello in the morning, but it’s just as vital to say goodbye instead of silently heading out the door. By giving proper farewells or even an honest compliment, you are showing co-workers and managers that you care and can improve everybody’s mood throughout the day.
Tidy up and Shut Down
It’s rather defeating to walk away from a big mess after a busy day, which confronts you in the morning or after a fun weekend. Before leaving, clean your workplace by organizing your desk, throwing away trash, or cleaning and storing your tools. When you come to a clean workplace in the morning, it gives you a feeling of starting the day off fresh.
If you work in an office setting, you can use the last of your time to clean your email inbox of forwards, newsletters, and any other old messages. Emails can back up quickly increasing your chance of missing important information.
It’s also important to shut down when leaving. Leave your stress and worries at work. Turn everything off and disconnect yourself from your network. Turn off your smart phone or disable email alerts and enjoy your time off to recharge.
If you use your last few minutes to end your workday right, you’ll be more productive and will be less likely to feel drained and burned out. What are some ways you have made the most out of the end of your workday?