Having down time is essential for business owners. It’s tempting to work morning, noon and night (and on the weekends), but it’s not really sustainable in the long run. Especially if we want to stay married or have any kind of life outside of work. (Kids? What kids?)

How effective is your day-end routine?

 

But even if you are able to step away from the computer, are you really present with your family and friends? Or are you busy thinking about work?

Routines are the key to making the most of your time in your business and your time with family. We’ve already explored the benefits of business routines, but there’s a key routine that you need in business to make sure your family gets 100 percent of you when you’re with them.

So let me ask you this: What does the end of your work day look like?

If it looks a lot like a messy desk, a computer that just goes to sleep (rather than being turned off) and you checking your email on your couch, read on. It’s time you learned how to close out your day right with an effective day-end routine.

What does the end of your work day look like? Learn to close your day right.Click To Tweet

1. Make Time in Your Day

First and foremost, you have to make time in your day to close it out properly. That means you’re not working up until you have to race out the door to pick up the kids. Block off at least 30 minutes at the end of your scheduled work time to close out your day right. This is a non-negotiable.

 

2. Close Out Tasks

You can’t turn your work brain off when you have to-do’s hanging over your head. Be sure to close out all your vital tasks for the day. Double check your to-do list, send invoices for completed projects, record any payables you had and and look through your open client projects. You should know exactly where every project stands at the end of the day.

Close out open tasks at the end of the day; know exactly where every project stands.Click To Tweet

 

3. One Last Email Check

It’s not a good idea to keep your email open all day (too many distractions!), but you should check it one last time before closing it out. This gives you the chance to respond to clients and follow up on leads, without making them wait until morning. Then close that email tab! Anything else can wait until morning.

 

4. Prep for Morning

One of the best ways to have a productive day is to start it with a clean work environment. Clean off that desk before you walk away from it at the end of the day. And make sure that you have a priority list ready when you sit down at your computer in the morning. You can do this on a project management system, like Trello, or even a hand-written task list.

One of the best ways to have a productive day is to start it with a clean work environment.Click To Tweet

 

5. Turn Off Distractions

This is where the willpower comes in! Turn off your computer and walk away–and don’t look back until morning! That means you have your email notifications turned off on your phone, along with any other work-related notifications (Trello, Asana, Voxer, etc.). If you use social media for work, you should also have those notifications turned off. And avoid the temptation to respond to work posts after you’re done for the day. I promise that nothing will explode!

Your end-of-day practices are something you should repeat every single day. It sets you up to have a productive day and, even more important, that down time you so dearly need. And the better you complete your routine at the end of the day, the more efficient your morning will be.

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