Tips for Staying Productive at the End of the Work Day


It’s that time of day: your clock is telling you there’s any hour left before you head home, and your productivity is waning. Resist the urge to mentally call it quits for the day, and adopt some of our tips for maintaining focus.

These tricks will help you develop healthy, productive habits that will transform your last hour at work.

1. Tackle your email. About an hour and a half before you leave for the day, do a complete review of your inbox. Determine which messages

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require a response before end of business, delete or archive ones that don’t need a response, and move the other messages to a folder you know you will deal with later. Also take this time to finish any drafted emails you may have started and left unfinished. Lastly, close your inbox to avoid distraction. You’ll check it again before you leave, but for the next hour, close it. You’ve addressed what is most pressing for the time being.
2. Get up. Really, get up. Take a lap around the office, go get a snack, take a restroom break. This will help energize you and give you focus to get as much out of the last hour as possible. It will also clear your mind a little and give you a fresh perspective on the tasks at hand.
3. Get organized. What’s on the agenda for tomorrow? Use this time to review your to-do list. Are there any items that can be pushed? What is the highest priority? Rearrange your list if necessary, so that you are able to be efficient with your time the rest of the week. It also helps to remind yourself of any meetings or tasks tomorrow so you can gauge how busy your day will be.
4. Pick one small task and do it. Realistically, an hour isn’t a tremendous amount of time to knock out a significant item on your task list. However, you can certainly get started on a high-priority item and that might make it easier to dive back into in the morning. Or, alternately, save your time-consuming task for morning and do a handful of small tasks tonight that will help clear your plate first thing tomorrow.
5. Do one last check. Lastly, open your email for the final time. Don’t compose any new messages — you are merely using this time to see if there are any urgent messages you shouldn’t miss. If not, shut down your computer and save the rest for tomorrow.

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Filed Under: Business Tips

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