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Self-Employed tips for How to End Your Work Day

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by Startacus Admin

How to end your work day if self-employedThe beginning of the work day is difficult. Getting going, working out what should be done first, trying not to check social media, checking social media, and then beginning the important job of procrastination. 

The same can be said for the majority of workers, but more so for the self-employed and Startup Founder, because there is no one but yourself to reprimand you for spending your first hour at work on Angry Birds. (You still play that?!)

How you begin your work day, however, has a lot to do with how you end the day before. With this in mind, let’s have a look at some tips on how to end your working day so that work productivity is kept up, tomorrow starts on the right foot and that you don’t take work (and stress) home with you...

Tidy up

It might seem like a small thing and perhaps the last thing you want to do when it’s time to go home, but tidying your workspace is a good way to end the day. Physically, it makes your desk/space look nicer and more welcoming when you arrive the next morning. Also, tidy desk, tidy mind. The psychological aspect to this works, on both a productivity and a mental health level, for the majority of people. Speaking of psychological, it also provides that clear end to the work day that allows the private life to start when you leave. By just getting up and walking out, there is no definite action that tells your brain, ‘Work is finished’.

This tidying could also extend to your email inbox. You could use the end of the day as the time to clear out the solicitations, suspicious online pharmacy recommendations, etc. Don’t check any new work emails - that’s for the morning.

Loose ends

If there are any little things that you haven’t done or haven’t finished that will be nagging in the back of your mind all night, do them before you leave. One of the main points of all these ways of ending the day is so that work doesn’t follow you home. If it will take too long, isn’t conducive to winding down the day, or simply isn’t essential, schedule it for the next day, at the top of your to-do list, and forget about it, safe in the knowledge that it will get done first thing in the morning.

The to-do list and schedule

Most of us have a to-do list for the work day. You will, of course, be checking this list throughout the day, but one of the last things you can do before you go home is check it again. First, you can give yourself a sense of achievement, however mild, by looking at all the things that have been ticked off.

To-do list

Second, you can write a new to-do list for the following day, helping yourself to get off to a quicker start in the morning and
set targets, and if you haven’t got through as much of the to-dos as you perhaps should have, you can have a think about how to schedule your time better. Third, there might be a quick job you can do before you leave. The flip side to this last one is that you could put that at the top of tomorrow’s list so that when, half an hour into your work day, you’ve already completed a task, you’ll feel more productive.

Leave positively

This doesn’t mean dancing out of the door as opposed to slamming it. Rather, do and consider things that make you feel good about your work day. Reflect on a call that brought in a big contract, send a thank you email to a client, re-read a thank you email you’ve received. Even smaller acts such as a brief conversation with a friendly co-founder, employee, co-working space sharer, etc., followed by a proper goodbye (another psychological way of telling your brain that this is the definitive end of the work day).

Leaving on a positive note makes you feel better about your job and will make it easier to get up and come in to work the next morning.

self employed tips


Have a going home time and stick to it. You could perhaps give yourself a second time 30 minutes later for when you are working on something essential and can’t leave, but make sure that is the only time you leave at this time, or it will start to become the new normal going home time.

When you leave, commit to the fact that you are leaving. You are leaving work behind, you are leaving the stress of work behind, you are leaving thoughts of work behind. You could extend this to, perhaps not turning your phone off, but turning off data and wi-fi so that you are not still getting email notifications in the middle of your family dinner. Entrepreneurship can already be difficult on the home life - do what you can to counteract that.

It’s a common claim that entrepreneurs are ‘on shift’ 24/7, and while there is a certain necessity to this, it’s unhealthy for you and ultimately for the business. Don’t be someone who takes a kind of twisted pride in the fact that you ‘have’ to be, in a sense, at work all the time. The truth is that, for the most part, you don’t have to be - you choose to be. Yes the business relies, perhaps solely, on you. Yes, you may have clients in another time zone. But do everything you can to ensure that your work-life balance is respected, and that you work as close to normal hours as you can, leaving time for your family, your friends, and yourself, because you might not be so proud when you burn out and your business falls apart.

If you liked this article, you might want to read this article on leaving the corporate life and becoming self-employed.


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Published on: 29th January 2017

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