Finishing Early

09 April 2010, by A. Cedilla

In this short follow-up, a companion piece to Start Early, we’ll be supplying some additional advice, meant to apply to the very end of your day.

When the work day draws to a close, it’s usually standard procedure to do a little clean up and arrange your work area for tomorrow. Here are a few things you can do to ease the transition:

When planning for the next day – carry over loose ends from but don’t deal with them first-thing…yet. Some issues will invariably resolve themselves, wait and see. In the meantime:

  • Try out what Cal Newport of Study Hacks does: end your workday with a shutdown ritual.
  • Once you’ve left work, leave it. Let go – drop the pressing issues. Stop carrying them around in your mental backpack. When you get too involved (read:tangled into a corner) you lose perspective, and that can affect your decisions. Let go, and sleep on it. There’s time enough in the next day to deal with things, and by then, who knows, a solution may come from an unexpected source (your subconscious may be working on it even as you dream), or the situation have resolve itself because of an event entirely out of your control.
  • Enjoy the free time you worked for.

That bears repeating, it’s so important. It’s the core reason why you started early. Enjoy the free time you worked for.

Sometimes we’re so focused on earning a living, we forget to live the life we earned.

So let go of work, and take a walk. Visit your favorite cafe or bookstore. Enjoy the air-conditioning at the mall and people-watch.

Get your favorite take-out and eat a real meal, sitting at the table, using china plates and a metal spoon and fork for once. Maybe even light a few candles for ambiance. Don’t forget the wine glasses, even if all you’re having is Coke Classic. Hopefully you invited a few friends over. Have fun. Enjoy the time you made.

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