If you’re anything like me, time management can be an issue. When you leave work, your brain doesn’t stop focusing on that day’s tasks. Throughout your evening, little things pop up in your brain saying, Hey … don’t forget you have to work on me tomorrow. I’m not going away, so there’s no point in acting like I don’t exist.
Inevitably, I send myself email reminders of the things I need to do the next day throughout the night. C’mon, don’t act like you don’t do the same thing. I know that when your spouse gets up and goes into the other room, you quickly pull out your phone and email yourself. You’re hoping they don’t come back in and say, “Are you with me or your work?!”
So how do you avoid such time management silliness? Here are five simple things you can do to free up your mind when you leave work:
- Block it off – Set aside at least the last 15 minutes of your workday, so that you can focus on “wrapping up” your day. This can be very difficult for some people because there is still time left to do other things. However, if you use this time wisely, you will discover that it will create at least an hour of more productivity the next workday.
- Send it out – Go through your emails and answer anything that hasn’t been answered yet. You saw them come in, so you know what needs to be done with them. Answer them quickly, so you’ve done your part to get those topics moving.
- Write it down – The to-do list is one of the best time management tools there is. Studies show it can actually create up to two hours of productivity in your day. Why? Because without it, you are bouncing from task to task as you remember them. While the day is still fresh on your mind, do a quick brain dump of all the things you need to do tomorrow and then prioritize them. When you hit the door, start with the top of the list.
- Clean it up – In How To Declutter Your Mind, I discuss how your mind is organized the same way your desk is. Yep, I just heard the audible OHHH from a lot of you. If your desk is a mess, even if you know where everything is, your subconscious keeps telling you that you have to do something with all of that stuff. Take a couple of minutes each day to clean it up! Read the post, trust me.
A little time management will change your day. If you will spend at least 15 minutes doing each of these, not only will your next workday be considerably more productive, but your night will be, too. Your silly subconscious won’t be talking to you all evening about work, so you can focus on what matters most…like your family.
Question: How does your day usually close out?