When work is almost over for the day, the very last thing you want to think about is more work tomorrow. However, as blogger Todd Henry reminds us, using those last few minutes of each day to plan what comes in the morning can save you lots of stress.
Picture: Alan Cleaver/Flickr
In the same way that stopping in the middle of a writing groove can make it easier to know where to pick up when you start again, ending each day by identifying what needs to come first tomorrow helps keep your energy focused. A simple sticky note with the last thing you were working on or an open window with an in-progress task can be all the prompting you need:
Here’s a two-minute strategy for lessening procrastination and creative block by ending with the beginning in mind:
1. Before you close out your work for the day, capture any open questions that you are currently working on. If you were to continue working right now, what would be the very next thing you would do?
2. Write those questions and the next thing you would do on a post-it, or a sheet of paper, and leave it where you’ll see it the next day.
3. Determine right then what you’ll do first when you next sit down at your workstation. Establish a starting point for your work. This will give you immediate traction.
Of course, intentionally leaving work unfinished just to restart it later can potentially turn into procrastination, and some work is just done better in the morning. However, if you want to give your future self a nudge, make sure you have a specific task to start with.