Just before closing time. Do you sit on nettles and count the minutes until you can finally turn off your computer? Or do you feel like many self-employed and “closing time” is a foreign word for you, because you work anyway and constantly?
In this article, I’ll tell you why, for a few months now, I have meticulously taken care to make a conscious decision to quit every day. And also, how this has brought my blog and my business forward. I’ll also give you tips on how to finish your working day properly so you can be more productive the next day!
Get out of the workaholic trap
One of the biggest mistakes I made at the beginning of my self-employment was that although I had planned lots of ToDos into my days, I did not have any time off. Are you familiar with that?
I thought back then, that’s fine. After all, I love my job, was full of energy and ideas and just could not stop implementing them. In the initial phase, you may be able to work longer every now and then, but that should not be a daily routine.
Meanwhile, I have been self-employed for a few years and somehow it has become natural for me to sit and work in front of the computer for about 12 hours a day. The fact that I work from home in the home office, I did not notice that. Until I deliberately led a book and noticed that I often change with the laptop from my study to the sofa and continue to work there. “Just get things done quickly” – which usually has dragged on for a few hours.
Although I often did not view it as work, because I worked on my own projects or it was just fun: constantly sitting in front of the computer and never switching off the brain is not all that healthy. And that does not necessarily help the business and blog. Because who is stressed (and even in the most beautiful job there are times stressful or stressful phases) is unproductive, makes mistakes and in the worst case, even sick.
So I decided in June that a fixed time for my end of work must come from. I can not do it every day, but I try to keep it (or even put an end sooner). And so far that has only been good for me and my business.
The benefits for you and your business when you REALLY call it a day off …
… and do not work until you go to bed and get started right after you get up.
Our brain needs rest. Let’s compare that with the engine in a car: it can be so powerful, but eventually it needs a break so that it does not overheat and breaks down.
Do you enjoy these breaks and regular distance from work. does that have these advantages:
- You make fewer mistakes because you get enough distance from your work and can go fresh every day.
- You’re more creative and brainstorm blogging, new products, lyrics for the long overdue landing page, … it’s easier.
- You have a better mood and no mood swings, because of the fact that you think out of the blue to work and a task that lies in your stomach.
- You have better relationships because you have more time to put in your friendships and partnership / marriage. In addition, if you do not think about work, but consciously leave it behind, you can really focus and listen to the other person. And do not just pretend, while in your mind you can add up to your ToDo list 😉
- You can sleep better because you’ve already experienced 100 other things that you can pass before you go to sleep and do not have to think about work.
- You are more relaxed because the level of stress in the body is not constant at the attack and you rarely get sick. Too much stress can affect your health and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.
3 pre-closing rituals that push your business
So how do you start now right after work? Take a few minutes to finish your working day. Just as some people have a ritual with which to start their day, I have bought a after-work ritual.
Here I present you my favorite 3 tasks that you can incorporate into your ritual. Do not worry, you do not have to reserve an hour for your after-work ritual, just a few minutes. They make it easy, so you can relax in the after work and productive start the next day.
1. Plan your tasks for the next working day
This is my most important after-work ritual. Take a note or open your ToDo list app and make a list of all the tasks you did not do that day. If you want, you can sort them by importance or urgency and set up an order in which you want to do them the next day.
This will allow you to complete the current day mentally and start working immediately the next day. You do not have to think about what went down yesterday. I often manage to do more with this method than I originally planned.
In addition, this ritual helps me to clear my mind and switch off. Once I give it up, I keep thinking of things that I can not forget the next day and I get worried. If you are on my ToDo list, then I know that I will not forget you for sure 😉
2. Clean up your desk
Especially if you’re working in the home office like me or you do not have your own study, it’s important that you keep things organized on your workstation and clear away documents, notepads, and so forth. So you do not run the risk of seeing something on your desk after work, which draws you mentally back into the world of work.
But even if you do not work from home, you should at the end of the working day to clear away all documents, dirty dishes and pencils or paper chaos. There are people who swear that order at the desk also brings order to the thoughts. Whether this is true is an open question, but at least then you will not be confronted with the legacy of the previous day the next morning.
3. Write down your achievements
Now and then I mention it in a blog article or on my social media channels: my success diary. This is a list of achievements and accomplishments that I have achieved in my business or blog. Just before the end of work is the perfect time to mentally review the day and update the list.
Often you will realize that you have actually done much more than you think. You can end the day with a positive experience and be satisfied with the work. And above all, if you have a guilty conscience every now and then because you “already” stop working, that’s a good way to show yourself how much you’ve done and give permission to switch off.
So you start easier after work
You think that sounds pretty good and you want to start your own after-work ritual. But you can not stop in time?
At the top I have already hinted at my most important tip:
Set a fixed time for your closing time
Also, or just because I do not leave the house to work in the morning, I try to make my daily routine as if I drive to the office. I get up at the same time, breakfasts, start work at the same time every day, and recently I finish my working day at the same time.
Of course I could start working every day at different times and then stop after 8 hours. For me, that did not work in practice, because I do not really get in the way and I lack the motivation.
Tip number 2:
Take something after work
What, that does not really matter. The important thing is that you can not move it. This can be, for example, a television series that you look at just after work every day and that helps you to immediately change your mind and relax.
But this can also be an appointment to the sport, where you can really pump out and be distracted. I like to attend courses at the local sports club, which I also enter in my calendar and only miss when I’m sick. On the one hand, the courses have the advantage that they start at a fixed time. On the other hand I have to go out for home and that is not the worst after a long home office day 😉
Do you make every day AWESOME? Or do you stop working when you’re exhausted or have everything worked out on your ToDo list?