How Successful People Spend the Last Hour of Their Workday
Past the 2 p.m. slump, but not quite yet 5? Here’s how to capitalize on your last hour at work, according to experts.
They take stock of their brands
If you have never defined your personal “brand,” it may be time to start. “Simply put, you are your brand… The CEO of your life,” Levin says. She suggests using your last hour at work to consider whether your actions and decisions—both personally and professionally—are still in line with your brand. For example, did you contribute at home and work today in ways that made you proud? Did you accomplish the goals you said you would yesterday? If not, consider what needs to be tweaked and jot it down in a notebook or digital journal.
They decide when to end their day tomorrow
It is all too easy to get buried in piles of work—only to look at the clock and realize you’re late for dinner. Next time, use your last hour of work to schedule a wrap-up time for tomorrow, put a reminder in your calendar, and then stick to it the next day. By planning your day’s endpoint in advance, you will be much more mindful of how you spend those precious last minutes at work, according to Levin. Leaving the office on time will also protect your personal hours for recharging with family, exercising, or even catching some extra Zzz’s. “Learning how to let go as you power down at the end of your workday can become your ultimate measure of success,” Levin says.
They say a proper goodbye to colleagues
When push comes to shove, human productivity is no match for modern-day computers and artificial intelligence, according to Schreiber. “Instead, leave the machines to do what they do best… [and] reserve that last hour of the day to focus on people, yourself included,” he says. Once the clock hits five or six, get up from your desk to check in with colleagues and say a friendly goodbye before you leave. Doing so will not only build rapport with your team, but research suggests it is one of the ways to make your coworkers trust you more.