How to Effectively Close Shop at the End of the Day
Jay runs at 100 mph. He’s productive for the most part but by the end of the day, he doesn’t know where the day actually went and just cannot wait to finally leave the office.
The problem Jay finds is his mind is unsettled on the way home randomly thinking about the day. He also finds the next morning feels like a week ago when he tries to remember where he left off from the day before.
If Jay has applied the Half Day Evaluation process, this will improve his odds but there is also an end of day solution.
First, two quick reasons why to close shop at the end of the business day:
Wind Down – closing shop allows you to wind down quicker because the events of the day have been processed properly and hopefully let go
Ramp Up – closing shop will create an organized process for the next morning to review to make planning more efficient and effective
So, what exactly is “Closing Shop” at the end of the day?
If you’ve ever worked in retail or a store that had normal business hours, there is a process to prepare the store to close. This process allows the store to be organized and cleaned along with the cash drawer reconciled to officially end the day and prepare the business for the next morning.
What if we adapted this same process that EVERY business applies to be personally effective?
Here are five ways to officially close shop at the end of the day by using the acronym of CLOSE:
C – Clean Your Area
If you simply did this and nothing else, it’s amazing how much better you feel especially for the next morning.
But if this became the 1st step in closing shop for your day, it will give you a sense of organization and order for the next day.
This could mean finding your desk from the past day, organizing, and closing down certain open applications on the computer. Sounds quick and simple but oh, what a difference it could make for you!
L – Look Back
After you’ve cleaned your area now it’s time to review your day by looking back at what happened.
Where did your day go? Did it match your original plan for the day? This is your time to reflect and do a quick post mortem of the past 8+ hours of how and where you spent your time.
You may get a fresh perspective analyzing where you were effective and where you lost time within this day.
O – Open Issues
After you look back, you’ll notice the open issues that did not get resolved. Why? Do they need follow-up? This is a perfect time to determine what to do with these open issues tomorrow or another time.
If you’re anything like me, I quickly mentally move on and often forget these important details that are critical down the road. And why? Because I didn’t remember them let alone create a plan what to do with them the next day.
S – Schedule Ahead
Here is your chance to give your tomorrow a head start by listing what a possible plan may be tomorrow while today is fresh in your mind.
After you’ve looked back at your day and then found the open issues, you could create a rough draft of a plan for the next day.
Sometimes we don’t plan because we feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to even begin. But what if we took care of that the day before by closing shop?
Give your next day a chance by having a soft game plan to work from the moment you walk in the door.
E – Explore the Wins
Most of the time we just cannot wait to leave the office and have something that bothered us within our day follow us all the way home.
But what if we found the good in the day and celebrated the positive? There is almost always little wins throughout the day but we often never reflect and celebrate the win.
It may be as simple as feeling good about completing your Most Important Tasks or nailing a presentation.
Explore the wins within your day and leave finding and celebrating the good you accomplished.
Hopefully by now you see the benefit in Closing Shop at the end of your day. Now it’s a matter of taking these ideas and implementing them within your day.
Motivated professionals who want to reach their full potential need to find small tweaks that produce major results. And Closing Shop is one that could make a huge difference in the quality of your next day.
I challenge you to begin by carving your last five minutes of today to implement …
Clean Your Area
Explore the Wins
What do you feel will be the most effective of the five Closing Shop action items for you?