I have written before about my morning routine and how it is important to me, LINK, but I have also developed a couple of end of day routines that I call resetting to zero.
At the end of the work day
I take all of my email boxes down to zero – I either action them, file them or delete them all. I use the Getting things done method of having @action and @waiting folders in all of my work accounts. I like having an empty inbox, it means I am not wasting brain power looking at emails that I have already seen and read. I also use filters for work subscriptions to go directly into a ‘read’ folder for me to look at when I have time. I have a personal gmail account that few have the address for, my yahoo which I use to sign up for online shpping etc. So this means I am focused when I open each email account.
I don’t understand how people can cope with hundreds of emamils in their inbox – how do you know what to deal with when you open it? I recommend following the GTD and declaring email bankrupcy – file it all in one folder if you must or delete it. If there is something urgent people will follow up and then stick to emptying it at the end of the day, it really is much less stressful.
Then I close my laptop and clear my desk, I hate having a cluttered desk, there is very little on it and what is there has its own place.
While I had a week holiday a while a go I tried leaving out my art supplies on my desk rather than packing them all away. It actually freaked me out a little bit, when I came in the next morning and rather than my lovely clear desk there was stuff everywhere. Still I believe it was worth the experiment but I will stick to my clear desk.
Before I go to bed
I refill my water bottles. I like to be in my office for about an hour and a half before I go downstairs and I drink a lot of water especially first thing.
I write my daily log, a la Austin Kleon, but I focus on things I am grateful for, I write my fitness rehab and food journal. Both of these take minutes to do because I use little icons and write a couple of words for each ‘thing’.
I do about 5-10 minutes of gentle yoga to ease out the niggles of the day. I may or may not read, and then I do my a prayer bead practice. Then I turn out the lights and maybe listen to an audiobook or music for 15 mnutes.
This resetting to zero at the end of the work day and the day means that I de-clutter my mind and my space, allow me to not spend so much time thinking about work or life. Of course this isn’t perfect and I do find myself thinking about work at non work times, but it is a very good starting point. And of course the next day I know exactly what I need to focus on and I don’t need to wade through a messy desk, inbox or to-do lists, everything is at zero with the day mapped out.
What about you – do you have end of day routines?