Become efficient by finishing strong

Become efficient by finishing strong

 20 Apr 2017

Have you ever got to the last hour or two of your working day and started to tail off and imagine the cold refreshing Punk IPA or that glass of Vasse Felix Chardonnay that is waiting for you once you have finished?  Of course you have and if you haven’t you might just be thinking that now.  We all know the importance of starting your day off well to gain momentum and achieve as much as we can but it is often overlooked just how important finishing your day off strong actually is.
We all have a limited amount of brain power that we can utilise throughout the day, in fact, it is widely documented that our brains can only handle a certain amount of decisions in between rest periods before we start making what would normally be ‘stupid’ mistakes.  Knowing ourselves and our brains better will allow us to manage ourselves much better and become even more efficient throughout our day.

Finishing your day off strong could mean a lot of different things to you depending on the work that you do but I have put together a list of effective end of day practices that will help you achieve more throughout your week.
1. Reflect on your day – Spend 5 – 10 minutes going through what you have managed to get done that day and celebrate in your head any wins, small or large, that you have had that day.  Make a note if there are any practices that you have noticed need improving and indeed anything else that you are doing well or is getting you good results. 
2. Plan – the more choices that we make the more tired we will become.  Putting a plan together for the next day in your last hour of the working day will allow you to hit the ground running in the morning without having to make any needless decisions the following day.  If you have a presentation or an important meeting coming up the next day knowing that all the last-minute details that you need to complete are already covered and in your calendar, will let you get to sleep easier that night without running through all the things that you need to remember.
3. Shut Down Complete – Dr Cal Newport’s book Deep Work is a great read from a guy who is passionate about having no social media accounts to avoid any extra distractions to complete deep work throughout his life.  One of the takeaways that I loved from this book is his “Shut Down Complete” process.  Each day he closes all tabs on his computer and shuts the computer down, tidies his desk and then says the phrase “Shut Down Complete” out loud so that his brain realises that this part of the day is done and he can then subconsciously begin to process his day. The whole process of clearing up your desk and shutting down your computer allows you to come in and start fresh each day without the stress of 15 open tabs and 6 jobs that need to be completed from days gone by.
4.  Avoid Multitasking – Preventing ourselves from running out of brainpower fuel at this time of day can ensure that the work that we do complete is done to a high standard.  Avoiding multi-tasking and removing the temptation to continually switch tasks preserves our brains ability to function.  There is a lot of research that states we should avoid multi-tasking all the time as our brains are still working on other things rather than paying full attention to the task at hand so removing such practices from your end of day routine will help you finish strong.
5.  Send a thank you email – Go out on a high at the end of each day.  Send a thank you message to a colleague, client or supplier with no motive other than to express gratitude.  Do this every day and you might be surprised at the compound effects it can have on your happiness levels both in work and in other areas of your life.
Try and implement any of the above tips into your day and let me know if it makes a positive difference.  And if you didn’t like this post bear in mind that I wrote it at 5pm on a Wednesday…go on, finish strong.


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