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Business, Focus Edition Fifteen rules for finishing off the day


By: Jim Prigg •  4 years ago •  

Ever noticed how some people always seem to start each day fresh, energised and organised? Why is this so? Perhaps the way they finish off the day before is an excellent way of looking at each day anew because there is no mess (physical or psychological) to come back to from the previous day. No Mess. No Stress

Like any good idea you need some positive aspects to concentrate on so you can make it work. We share these tips, tactics and techniques to get you started.

  1. Clear, clean-up and tidy your desk.

By clearing your workspace, it will enable you to start the new day with a clean slate in all respects. There is not the drag of looking at untidy, unnecessary and worrying paper or unfinished projects. You don’t have to go looking for “stuff”. It will save you time. You don’t carry yesterday’s mental baggage. You will have a sense of freshness to tackle the new day’s work load

  1. Try to have only one working item or project on your desk

At any one time, focus your attention on that one activity that needs to be completed. A simple working folder of jobs in progress puts all your work under consideration in the one place that is easily accessible and tidy.

  1. Throw unnecessary paper in the bin

Get into the habit of removing rubbish and unwanted paper from your desk each day. This will also assist your ‘clear desk policy’. Generally, if something is on your desk for more than 30 days you really can question its relevance. If you do require it for future reference, simply scan it and store it an appropriate place on your computer. Remember to label it properly so you don’t lose it in jumbled electronic filing system.

  1. Put files away each day

Keep files off your desk unless you are working on them. Store them in a well organised online facility. It is not good from a security perspective to have valuable company information on display. The same goes for computer files.

  1. Adjust your priority on tasks for the next day.

What may have been B minus task today can become an A double plus task tomorrow. So check the urgency and time frames of tasks that need to be completed at the end of each day. Reallocate them according to urgency and necessity according to your rating and those of your superiors or teams.

  1. Check the time of your first appointment the next day

If you know what your first commitment for the day will be, you can plan to be ready for it. This also allows you to book travel time to that appointment if it is off site and any preparation you may need to do beforehand.

  1. Start your “to do” list for the next day before the end of today

Priorities change over a day. Carry over important tasks from your current day’s list, add new tasks for the following day and delete those you have completed. Make adjustments to your priorities list as the day unfolds. That planning will certainly save you a few valuable minutes both at the end of the day and the next morning.

  1. Put your reading file in your briefcase

Start a reading file. Carry it with you to read on your way home, on public transport, while you are waiting for an appointment or while you are in a queue. You can get through your reading a lot easier if you carry it with you and make the most of each opportunity to read and reduce. Particularly with I-compatible electronic devices

  1. Wash your coffee cup or empty your water bottle

Start each day afresh by cleaning up the night before on domestic issues. It is scary the amount of time you can lose by getting caught up in conversations in the tea room or at the water fountain, isn’t it?

  1. Switch your phone on to voicemail if appropriate

If you are not going to be in the office until later the next morning, let people know. This will allow any early morning callers to leave you a message. Have you noticed there is a difference between time management and hiding from colleagues or clients

  1. You may like to change your voicemail message if you are not going to be in the office the next day

This lets callers know where they could reach you at an alternative number or the time frames when you will be reachable. It will save you a lot of time and “telephone tennis”

  1. Get those final email messages and memos out tonight, not tomorrowRule number one of creating positive business momentum is to have other people being busy for you, not the other way around. 15 minutes tonight sending information can save you 30 minutes tomorrow morning.
  1. Switch off your computer, screen and printer

Be environmentally friendly and save power and money where you can. It also helps the efficiency of your technology to give it a rest.

  1. Remind yourself of your achievements of the day

Take a few minutes to remind yourself of what you achieved in your day. Mentally check off what you have achieved. You may like to record it in a journal or diary. Celebrate your successes. If you don’t congratulate and reward yourself, then chances are neither will anyone else take the time. There is nothing wrong with bathing in the glow of your own personal achievements each day.

  1. When you switch off, switch off!

Let go and go home. Leave work at work if you can. Ask yourself this vital question; “If that email or memo is not answered tonight will the world as I know it change?”. Sometimes you have to make a decision about relative importance, your own sanity and time management. Learn to enjoy your non-work times with your friends, your family, your pets, your hobbies and own special forms of relaxation. Attention to those aspects of your life can have an important bearing on your job satisfaction, effectiveness and efficiency.


  1. Identify those points that you need consider and then implement.
  1. Discuss with your team any changes that you need to make that this checklist has uncovered for you.

This article is reprinted with permission from Jim Prigg CEO and founder of Knowledgemaster Pty Ltd. Knowledgemaster is an online resources company that delivers practical sales and soft skills tips, tactics, techniques. Learn more about winning business programs and courses by calling Jim on 03 5232 1500 mobile 0408 520453 or [email protected] .

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