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January 2, 2022 3 mins

End your day feeling calm and accomplished

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Episode Transcript

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Speaker 1 (00:05):
Good morning. This is Laura. Welcome to the New Corner Office,
the podcast where we share strategies for thriving in the
new world of work where location and hours are more
flexible than in the past. Today's tip is to create
a shutdown ritual. Identify the steps you need to take
when you stop work so you can start again quickly,

(00:27):
knowing you're on track for all your big goals. I'll
offer five questions to guide your shutdown and then describe
what each entails. First, what were my big accomplishments today? Second?
Did I do what I planned to do today? Third?
What new tasks came up today? Four? What's the hard

(00:49):
landscape for tomorrow? And finally, what are my priorities for tomorrow?
The first question is pretty simple. You want to start
your shutdown ritual by recognizing your bushmans for the day.
Write them down on the done list we've talked about before.
Progress is motivating. When you reflect on what you've gotten done,

(01:10):
you're inspired to keep going. After you've acknowledged your accomplishments,
look back at your to do list for the day.
Did you get to everything that you planned? If not,
knock out any tasks you can address right now. So
you in the day without nagging to do. If there
are things you can't do now, make a plan for

(01:30):
completing them. And if there's something that's still in process,
make a note about where to pick back up. To
save yourself time figuring that out tomorrow, you could even
type start here in capital letters and a document you're editing.
As for step three, well, new stuff always comes up,
so figure out what it is and make a plan

(01:51):
for dealing with it. Assign things a spot on your calendar.
It might be next week, it might be two months
from now. But all tasks take time, so designating a
time is a good way to make sure they happen.
Question four turns your attention to tomorrow. Look at your calendar.
Are there things that have to happen at specific times?

(02:14):
David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, calls these the
hard landscape. If you need to prep for any of
these events, do that now or figure out when in
tomorrow's schedule the prep can happen. Finally, consider tomorrow's priorities.
Two's maybe three additional important but not urgent tasks and
schedule these in around the hard landscape. Well, this may

(02:37):
sound like a lot, it really isn't. Once you get
into the habit of using a shutdown ritual, it can
take fifteen minutes or less. You might set an alarm
on your phone for thirty minutes before you plan to
stop working. That leaves time to get to a good
stopping place and then time to go through the ritual.
Even if leaving work just means closing your laptop these days,

(03:00):
a shutdown ritual is still time well spent. When you
sit down at your laptop next, you won't burn time
deciding what to do. You know exactly what you need
to do, so you're not lured into a whole morning
in your inbox. If you have a shutdown ritual that
works for you, I'd love to hear about it. You
can let me know at Laura at Laura Vanderkamp dot com.

(03:24):
In the meantime, this is Laura. Thanks for listening, and
here's the succeeding in the New Corner Office. The New
Corner Office is a production of I Heart Radio. For
more podcasts, visit the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you get your favorite shows.

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Laura Vanderkam

Laura Vanderkam

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