Make the Most of 10 Minutes

By Shane Watson

There are 10 minutes left in your workday—so what do you do?

For many, the last 10 minutes (or even 30 minutes) can be the least productive of the entire day. We’ve been working hard, pushing ourselves to accomplish as much as possible as well as possible—and as quickly as possible. By day’s end, our brains are ready for a break.

But don’t stop yet: The way you spend the final moments at work today are crucial to the success of your day tomorrow. Here are 2 ways to make sure you maximize those minutes:

Review, Reflect and Re-evaluate

Take a moment to review the work you’ve accomplished throughout the day: Did you achieve what you set out to do? If so, congratulate yourself! Recognizing the wins will help you stay motivated to achieve even more.

Michael Kerr, author of You Can't Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work, stated that, “Taking even one minute to review what you achieved can give you a sense of accomplishment, and on a particularly trying and busy day it can remind you that you got more done than you realized.”

If you didn’t achieve a particular goal, now is the time to consider what went wrong and how you can fix – or avoid – this in the future. Make a plan, update your to-do list accordingly, and don’t dwell on it any longer. Learn from the mistake but don’t let it consume you.

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Prepare for Tomorrow

Mornings tend to be a frantic time, and rather than start your day feeling panicked or stressed, you should feel determined and prepared. Leaving the office with a clear awareness of what tomorrow looks like will help achieve this (it won’t, however, be able to prepare you for that last-minute conference call your boss forgot to mention).

As Kerr pointed out, "Successful people know to review their schedule and plan for the following day—and most importantly, visualize how the day will unfold."

So once you’ve reflected, reviewed and reevaluated, go back to that to-do list, prioritize your tasks, review your calendar, and leave today with a clear plan for tomorrow. You’ll thank us then.

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