The way we work today, many of us would be hard pressed to even identify the last 10 minutes of the day, let alone be ready to use it smartly.

But once you’ve figured out a time when you can actually knock off the night, it’s important for your productivity, your wellbeing, and your sanity, to make sure you maximize those last minutes while still getting out the door (or snapping shut that laptop lid) on time. It’s no use waiting to the end of the day to think about this, though, since your brain tends to wind down towards the end of the day and – without a plan – good intentions can soon turn to a mush of wasted time.

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So how about some hints on what to do, for the energy-impoverished? Well, one great way to maximize the peaks and troughs of your creative energy is to spend the end of the day preparing for the next one. You might not have the willpower or the time to get certain tasks done in those last few minutes before hometime, but by scheduling effectively for the day ahead you can make sure you’ll be off to a flying start in the morning.

Start by performing a ‘brain dump’ – find a notepad, and scribble down a list of everything that needs doing, including specific tasks and other half-ideas you may have dreamt up during the day. It’s a good way to take stock of your day’s work and to make sure that you’re moving forward with a positive mindset. Order tomorrow’s tasks into a schedule, and you’re ready to go.

This prep period can also include clearing up your desk. There’s no need to feel guilty – it’s good to clear your mind and also to help you find stuff and stay organized, so you may as well use this low-energy moment to do so.

Finally, make sure to say a heartfelt goodbye to your colleagues – or Siri, if she’s your only company – and make a run for it. And for a few other ideas on how to not just look forward but to get closure on the day gone by, you can check out this new guide from STL.

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