What a long day it has been! You gave it your all, and now you’re ready to leave work behind and recharge. But then you realize there’s still that last piece of the stakeholder presentation that you must finish and forward to your sponsor. That sinking feeling hits you hard, and suddenly you’re back in work mode, answering emails and working on things that could have waited for tomorrow. It’s no wonder you wake up exhausted the next day!
To avoid this kind of stress, it’s important to establish an end-of-day wrap-up routine. Depending on the nature of your project, you may even need to have an end-of-week or end-of-month routine too. You’ve probably already learned about best project management practices and know that every phase, milestone, or project requires a proper closeout. The same goes for your workdays.
As you prepare to wrap up your day, take a few minutes to consider the following questions:
What am I leaving incomplete? Make sure you leave yourself good notes so that you can pick up where you left off quickly. Also, communicate with anyone waiting for your work and tell them when to expect it.
What have I completed? If any of your finished items must be passed on to someone else, ensure you do so. Also, ensure that anyone who needs to know about your completed work is informed.
Do I owe anyone information? If someone is waiting to move forward with their work, give them the information they need before you go. If you can’t do it immediately, let them know when they can expect it.
Do I have pending communications? It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the daily emails and messages you receive. Ensure you can track your pending communications so you don’t forget to respond. And when you can’t reply right away, send a quick message to let the sender know that you’ve received their message and will get back to them soon.
Am I ready for tomorrow? Before you leave, take a look at what’s coming up tomorrow. Ensure you’re prepared for meetings or deadlines so you don’t start your day feeling rushed and unprepared.
By taking these simple steps, you can avoid the stress and frustration of realizing you’ve forgotten something important. So, rest well, my friend, knowing you’ve wrapped up your day like a pro.