Make Mornings Easier by Ending the Workday in 3 Ways

February 26, 2016
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Walking into work leery of what will unfold on a particular day can be detrimental to your attitude, confidence level and ability to work well with others—especially if you are a leader within an organization. 

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Here are three simple ways to end your workday so you can start the next day off right.

Incorporate a daily afternoon stand-up meeting which is a brief touch-base meeting with team members to ensure their alignment and reprioritize tasks as necessary.  While working at an extremely busy interactive agency serving over 200 clients, we benefited from two daily stand-up meetings, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  Adding an afternoon stand-up meeting two to three hours before the end of your day is the fastest way to understand:

Everything that the team accomplished today

Which deliverables must be completed before the end of the day, and which can be addressed tomorrow

Any potential issues that may greatly impact project plans or processes and therefore require a specific, separate meeting with key team members

If there are any issues that need to be escalated within the organization

Dale Carnegie’s 9th Human Relations principle is to, ‘Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.’  A daily afternoon stand-up meeting is also the perfect place to offer encouragement to team members and give shout out’s for specific achievements such as completing a task in half the time originally estimated.  As a leader, offering team members time to voice concerns, challenges, insights and questions every afternoon reinforces your commitment to their success and shows that you value their work, feelings and feedback.

Tackle only urgent and important tasks.  Armed with key information you gathered at the afternoon stand-up meeting, you can close your day with confidence.  Use the few hours you have left before leaving the office wisely by only addressing tasks that can realistically be completed today.  Prioritize the balance of to-do’s for tomorrow while simultaneously determining if there is anyone on the team to whom you can delegate.

Get tomorrow’s game-plan in order.  Don’t underestimate the power of planning.  You can squash morning mayhem with a little planning the night before.  Dale Carnegie said, “Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones tend to take care of themselves.”

Before you leave the office, review your calendar for the next day.  This is essential to being prepared for tomorrow and ensuring you don’t forget important commitments which may require preparation, such as presenting at a board meeting.  If you don’t have any unscheduled time during the next morning to prepare, try rescheduling a meeting or two to allow for preparation time.  Once you begin following these end-of-day rituals, you will start your workdays with ease, and your mornings will be a breeze!

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