For many of us, the last 15 minutes of the workday are difficult. After a long, busy day it can be tempting to take it easy during the final countdown.
But the most successful people recognize that those last few minutes are crucial to finishing tasks, preparing for the next day, building relationships, and keeping work at the office.
Today I"m discussing the four things successful people do in the last 15 minutes of each day.
Number 1: Clear out your inbox
For many office workers, email is the first thing they look at in the morning and the last thing they see before they leave at night. With so much important communication taking place via email in today’s business environment, it’s essential to stay on top of your inbox.
Sometimes emails that seem tedious or difficult to answer sit unopened in our inboxes all day, but the end of the day is the time to push through and make sure nothing important is left unread. On top of that, there’s a satisfying feeling that comes with looking at a message that says there’s nothing left in your inbox.
Number 2: Plan first steps for the morning
Mornings can be almost as challenging for productivity as the end of the day, so if you can use some time each day to plan out the first tasks you’ll do the next morning, you won’t have to waste time at the day’s start getting your thoughts in order.
The other major benefit is that it helps make sure your professional concerns don’t bleed into your personal life. This step can help you relax in the evenings because you won’t be thinking about what you need to do the next day or if there’s something you forgot.
Number 3: Strengthen relationships
The end of the day is also a good time to connect with coworkers about something other than work. Is there a local restaurant you want to try? Suggest a lunch out of the office sometime. Just started a new TV series? Ask if anyone has seen it yet.
It’s also a good time to find out more about your coworkers’ lives. Take a minute or two to ask what they’re doing that evening and take a genuine interest in their answer.
Beyond simple small talk, you can connect with coworkers in a deeper way in those last few minutes too. Look to see who is still in the office and ask them how you can help them get to a place that allows them to leave for the night.
Step 4: Officially end the day
So many of us take our work home in the evenings, but that can be a bad practice for our stress levels and relationships outside of the office.
To help separate your mind from the stresses of the workday, take a few minutes before you leave to practice some thoughtful disengagement. This should be the most important part of your day where you transition into the personal part of your day.
Taking those few minutes to disengage can help you go home feeling refreshed and avoid workplace stress outside the office.
So that is 4 things you can do in the last 15 minutes of each day to help you become more organized and balanced.
Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the fun, smart services for businesses looking to level up. What do you do in the last 15 minutes of the day? Let Emily know by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.