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The Best Way to Spend The Last 5-minutes of Your Day at Work.

Source: Dribble.com
Source: Dribble.com

In a typical work environment, most employees laze through the last few hours of a work-day. For as much as they can admit – they’ve done their best and have tired out.


You are probably not that kind of employee, you work until it clicks home o’clock and sometimes you work more hours because you hate to roll tasks into the next day. That’s alright if it doesn’t affect the people you work with, your family, or even you because your success ahead is in some way tied to these people (yes, you are one of them).


Forget that most of your time is spent at work, forget that you need to put in your best now because your career depends on it, forget that doing so much earns you the respect of others; the idea that working non-stop puts a halo over your head is a false self-belief and countless times, research has shown that working too long without a break stifles your productivity, but that’s a talk for another day.

Sometimes, the big impacts in your career and life are caused by those small actions you take; in fact, for what it’s worth, your career only makes sense when you appreciate those little things.

So here’s one more little thing you can add to your list. It’s definitely worth the last 5 minutes of your day at work.


It’s not the time to start packing your bag while you do a mental (or actual) countdown to the end of that day.  And it’s not the time to gripe over some unfinished task with your colleague.



But as Peter Bregman puts it in this HBR article;


Every day, before leaving the office, save a few minutes to think about what just happened. Look at your calendar and compare what actually happened — the meetings you attended, the work you got done, the conversations you had, the people with whom you interacted, even the breaks you took — with your plan for what you wanted to have happen. Then ask yourself three sets of questions:

How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?


What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do — differently or the same — tomorrow?


Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback?


All these questions are tied to one goal, to keep you on track.

Answering these questions deepens your sense of purpose and makes you love your work for what it is; maybe not love your job, but love the fact that you did something worthwhile for that day and accept that it’s an investment into a future that outweighs the stress you go through at work.

It’s a really simple step to reach self-fulfilment.


A banking job for example may be something close to suicidal but we see people who say they cannot survive a day working outside a bank because – to them – it’s their calling, something tied to their ultimate goal of maybe impacting lives somehow.


And you can hardly tell how or if your current job ties to your ultimate goal without a simple mental exercise as spending the last few minutes of your day thinking through these questions.


Bear in mind that this is not a “five-minute before you sleep at night” task, at that time, your brain is in shutdown mode and you probably won’t recall all that you thought of so do it before you start your long hard journey back home.


Keep a note if you will, write down some of the things you thought about, take the necessary actions and voila, what started as a terrible day might just turn out to be the best you’ve ever had in your entire work history.


I’d love to hear how you spend the last few minutes of your day at work. Let’s read your thoughts in the comments section below.

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell