I know what you’re thinking — the only thing you want to do at the end of your work day is go home. By the time 4 o’clock comes around, I’m itching to leave my desk and ready to relax at home with a glass of wine and my favorite TV show.
But it’s important to set yourself up for success and reduce any anxiety about the next day. By following these five tips, you’ll leave the office stress-free and prepared to take on the following day.
5 things to do at the end of work day
Draft a personal to-do list for the next day
Check your inbox for any last-minute emails
Back up all of your work
Update progress on any goals or tasks you’ve worked on
Check in with your team and say goodbye
It’s always nice to start your day with a plan, even if things don’t always go the way you want them to. By drafting a list of things you’d like to accomplish the next day, you’ll end your work day organized and mentally prepared for tomorrow. It’ll help you stay focused and be less likely to forget important deadlines and meetings.
For an alternative take on to-do lists, check out this blog post.
This one can be so tempting to ignore, not because emails are difficult, but because we have the tendency to check our inboxes every hour of the day (even after we go home). I know I’m sometimes guilty of obsessively refreshing my inbox on my phone.
Always try to leave your work at the office. Before leaving, do a quick skim through your unread emails and respond to what you can.
Whether you’ve got client requests managed through your CRM, calendar invites, or even just simple asks from your coworkers, sifting through your emails at the end of the day and responding to anything urgent is a great way to make sure you ensure a healthy work-life balance. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to add anything important to your to-do list for the following day.
This one might seem obvious, but I need this daily reminder. I don’t know if there’s anything worse than finding out everything I worked on the previous day was deleted because I forgot to save my work or back it up to the cloud.
Before you head out for the day, make sure that you’ve saved any articles, workbooks, brainstorming sessions, etc., to your computer or drive, and then save them again for good measure.
It never hurts to be extra careful, especially when you’ve worked hard to get something done. Alternatively, you could use something like Google Drive, which automatically saves your work to the cloud.
Sometimes it feels like this tip can be a little tedious, but holding yourself accountable to your professional goals and larger projects is a great way to finish your day on a high note. You’ll be able to see all that you’ve accomplished.
A task management process that allows you to update your progress can give you a better sense of where you’re at in the larger scheme of the quarter or even year, and it gives you that little endorphin rush when you finally check a task off. Plus, when you use a project management tool, you can share insight into your progress with any teammates you might be collaborating with.
By the time you’ve finally finished all of these other tasks, it can be pretty enticing to make a beeline for the door, but this next task might be the most important of all: Make a point to check in with your teammates and say goodnight.
You don’t need to make a huge scene of your departure, but saying goodbye and letting your boss know what you did for the day makes a great impression and shows that you’re a team player.
If you work remotely, a quick message to your team through your company’s internal communication channel has a similar effect and ensures you feel like a part of your team, even if you’re not physically there.