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End the workday by taking a minute to tidy your desk, save everything you’re working on, and close of all your tabs and windows. Make sure your work app notifications are automatically snoozed outside of work hours.
A physical and digital declutter will help your future self start the next morning focused and distraction-free.
Confront the things you’ve been putting off. If you keep putting things off, you'll feel guilty and that makes you want to avoid them even more. You will get stuck in the “doom loop” of anxiety and avoidance.
Break this loop by identifying the tasks that you’ve been avoiding, break them down into smaller tasks and schedule the next step for the following day.
Doing so at the end of your workday boosts your productivity:
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Many of the multitasking warnings actually refer to the concept of “task switching.” It refers to switching your attention from one thing to another.
Frequently flipping back and forth...
While you’ve likely heard that it’s physically impossible to do two things at once, that rule really only applies to tasks that require the same cognitive resources. If you can find ways to combine two tasks that are different enough - like listening to an educational podcast while making your commute, practicing for a presentation while getting your miles in on the treadmill, or brainstorming article ideas while doing the dishes - multitasking can actually serve to your benefit.
Work is never finished, and we are unable to disconnect from it, causing us to experience productivity shame, impacting our happiness and creativity.
The modern working pro...
Our brain starts to favour small tasks that give a false impression of productivity (woohoo! I just sent out fifty emails!) while we neglect the large, complex but meaningful tasks.
This is known as the completion bias.
Some mornings we feel motivated to create a to-do list, but that is often the exception. We need to get things done, even when we feel disengaged.
Start by setting ...
Many of us start our mornings with dozens of things we need to get done, but later realize that we haven't crossed any of them off our lists. We did get stuff done, but none of the things we planned.
A balm against hectic days that pass without progress is to choose a single activity to prioritize and protect in your calendar. If you struggle to select your top priority, ask yourself, when you look back on your day, what do you want the highlight to be? That's your priority.