Updated: Aug 30, 2022
If there is one tip I can give you to make you more successful in your career it's this.
Take the last 30 minutes of your work day to plan the next day.
So many of us take the last 30 minutes of our work days to squeeze in one more task. Or if it's been an extra long day we completely check out for the last half hour before logging off. My #1 tip for success is to take these 30 minutes and plan the next day.
Let's be honest, those last 30 minutes our brains are done!
By the time the last 30 minutes of your workday rolls around your ability to focus has been depleted, you are ready for a break, and finishing up one more task isn't going to make a huge difference. The lack of energy after a full day makes completing tasks harder and often results in work that doesn't reflect the best of your abilities. Face it, your brain is done!
Organizing the next day is the perfect low key activity to end the day. Placing tasks into buckets, prioritizing which ones are most important, and reviewing the next day's meeting schedule does not take a ton of mental energy. But the next morning you will be thanking your past self for the clear strategy for the day!
Organizing a to-do list at the end of the day creates a natural transition from work to home.
How many times this week have you left work only to think more about work as the night goes on? It's so frustrating! All you want to do is leave work at work and unwind. Yet your brain is playing the "don't forget", "did you send", and "did I check" game for the next few hours.
Taking time to stop your day, organize your tasks, and make a plan of action for the next day signals to your brain that things are tidy and organized. You can make notes for the things you forgot, the things you didn't send, and the things you need to check on for the next day. This leaves your brain at peace and allows you to unplug from the workday. You may find that your evenings are much more enjoyable as you are able to be fully present for the activities that matter most to your personal life.
Set yourself up for long term success.
Allowing yourself 30 minutes to strategize about your actions for the next day is crucial to long term success. You no longer spend the most productive hours of your day trying to plan. Instead, you are able to use your peak energy toward activities and tasks that drive your career forward.
You will feel more prepared for meetings, mentally ready for the busy days, and more in control. No more getting caught with bed head when the VP joins a team meeting! Most importantly you are giving yourself dedicated time to make sure that the most important tasks are top priority each day. Ensuring the most important tasks are handled each day will increase your effectiveness in the workplace and drive your career forward.
Let me know in the comments if you have tried this technique!
If you have a hard time prioritizing or need a coach to help you get into this habit, please reach out. I would love to help you take your career to the next level.