How to End the Day

by | Apr 9, 2021

The American poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) wrote this:

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in. Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

He is reminding us that we have the power, in our own minds and mindsets, to draw a line under what has been and to look forward to a different future.

Sometimes we have days that go ridiculously well...we feel like we achieved what we needed do, maybe even did some things we wanted to, kept everything in balance between personal and professional.

Maybe we even surprise ourselves sometimes with some achievements we didn’t even plan!

Other days, in fact most days, probably aren’t like this – they’re a mix of some small achievements, some frustrations, some delays, some postponements, and often a sense of one day just rolling into the next. Our hard-wiring seems to be that we hang on to the not so great things like they have Velcro and we let go of the great things like they’re fried eggs on a non- stick pan.

If you haven’t yet begun using the “How to Start the Day” routine, I’d encourage you to go there first...if you’re already doing that, here’s a simple routine to bring the day to a close in your mind, let it go and focus on what’s yet to come – the best!

As you end work every day, make sure you:

  • Acknowledge something you achieved, no matter how small it may seem
  • Express gratitude for something that you experienced, either silently or out loud
  • Recall something positive you did for another person
  • Reflect on the best experience you had that day
  • Ask yourself: “What did I learn about myself today?”
  • Begin reflecting: “How can I apply that learning tomorrow?”
  • Close the door. Literally – close the door.
  • Say to yourself “My work-day is over”
  • Do something that allows you to transition from work to home – shower, walk, run, gym, cycle, play with the dog, listen to music, read.