For many folks, the last hour of the workday is the most difficult part. You’re tired, your brain is unfocused, and you’re basically just counting down the minutes until you can finally clock out. But Reader’s Digest reports that — surprise! — that’s not how successful folks spend the last hour of their workday.
As you might guess, successful people spend their last hours at work in a productive way. There are a few specific things that they do, which you can try out yourself. Hopefully, they’ll increase your sense of satisfaction at work.
First, successful people spend some time reviewing their day. In the drive to be “more productive,” many folks immediately begin making to-do lists for the next day and getting stressed out, but it’s vital to reflect on what you’ve already done that day — and what you want to do better. This increases your sense of accomplishment. It’s also a great time to brainstorm solutions to anything that went wrong that day.
Successful people also use this time on maintenance tasks that are low-energy yet make a huge difference in productivity. These are often the things that get postponed forever: delete old emails, unsubscribe to junk, update your LinkedIn profile, or tidy up your desk. Getting any of those things done makes everything else you do just a little bit easier.
The last hour is also a great time to create a list of goals for the next 24 hours or so, then create a list of action items to work toward those goals. This is different from a to-do list because it’s about finding concrete ways to accomplish what you want to get done, not just listing what you’d like to get out of the way.
Others like to use the last hour to reconnect with the actual humans in the office who they work with. Gauge their moods, check in with them, or say a friendly goodbye before you leave for the day.
It’s ultimately up to you how you choose to spend your last hour at work. But you don’t have to be in full zombie mode! You can still relax a bit — but actually get stuff done, too.