Over this past year, I’ve been working on optimizing my productivity and balancing work and my spare time, learning a lot along the way about what has worked well and what hasn’t. Installing a workday shutdown routine is one thing I’ve found particularly helpful since it has helped me get my mind off work and enjoy my evenings more by being more present.
I hope this will inspire you to create your own routine.
The Benefits of a Workday Shutdown Routine
I’ve found quite a few benefits from setting up a workday shut down routine, both professionally and personally.
Just knowing when I’m done working, I know exactly what I need to do to kick-off my next workday. Furthermore, it also gives me peace of mind to spend my evenings being more present with my girlfriend or whichever plans I’ve got for the evening.
No matter your circumstances, working from home or at the office, you can benefit from setting up a workday shutdown routine. Setting aside time daily to round up your workday a prepare your mindset to focus on non-work-related activities will help you in a few different ways.
How a Workday Shutdown Routine Can Help You Professionally
Your workday shutdown routine is a time for you to catch up on any last-minute things before finishing up your day and prepare your next day, leaving unfinished business at the office. Knowing you’ve set aside time for any last-minute calls, emails, or tasks at the end of your day will give you more uninterrupted and productive time during your day. You won’t have to check your email on the fly during your workday. And the things you don’t have time to finish, you put on your WIN (What’s Important Now) list of first things to attend to the following day. Moreover, it will give you a head start knowing exactly which tasks to tackle first thing the following day at the office.
A significant reason you should try to establish a habit of running a workday shutdown routine is to let your mind unwind. That’s why it’s important to make your WIN list. It’ll help free your mind from thinking about all the work-related things you need to do the following day. Creating a margin to stimulate your mind with non-work-related activities will increase your productivity and creativity during your workday, giving you a fresh outlook on doing your best work.
This plays into why having a workday shutdown routine will also benefit your evenings spending them being more present with the family or whatever you chose to do after work-hours.
How a Workday Shutdown Routine Can Help You Personally
Some statistics show that work hours have gone up three hours a day since people have started working more remotely during Covid. People are spending their usual commute time working and not taking time for lunch breaks during their day either. Some statistics even show a spike in people working from midnight to 3 am!
Being in a situation where “the office” is just a few feet away, it’s easy to leave your laptop on and to check your email or work an hour or two into the night instead of spending time with the kids or your partner.
However, having a routine in place that will help you be more intentional about transitioning from work to choosing how to spend your evenings can make a positive difference in your relationships. Above all, it’ll give your mind some well-deserved rest from work and an opportunity for you to recharge.
Setup Your Workday Shutdown Routine
Now you might be wondering how an effective end of workday routine would look like. In that case, let me give you a few things you can do that will help you set up your shutdown routine.
First, make a list of things that interrupt you during a normal workday. That could be getting email notifications every time someone tries to take ownership of your time. And as a result, disrupting your workflow and productivity.
Next, write a list of things you can do to make sure you start your day hitting the ground running.
Now, list the things that would make it easier for you to leave work without having it nag your mind and thoughts during your evenings.
The last thing I would suggest to put on your list would be to set an intention for how you want your evenings to be. For example, you could tell yourself that the moment you walk in the door at home, you’ll give your partner and kids a big hug and a kiss. It could also be leaving your phone in a separate room when you get home. That way, you won’t get distracted by notifications during your time with the kids.
In other words, there are many things you can put on your workday shutdown list. I hope you’ll try it out, and feel free to let me know how it’s been working out for you.
Final Thoughts on Having a Workday Shutdown Routine
Having an end of workday routine has made me much more mindful about how I chose to protect my time when I’m not working. Spending the last 30 minutes of my workday help set me to hit the ground running the following day. I know exactly what I need to focus on and do. Moreover, it has helped me focus on being more present spending the evenings with my girlfriend.
Example of workday shutdown routine:
- 4.30 pm – Check emails and respond to the most urgent ones (20 minutes)
- 4.45 pm – Make your WIN list of things to do first thing tomorrow (5 minutes)
- 4.50 pm – Set an intention for my evening (2 minutes)
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