Want to Be More Productive? End Your Work Day With This Task
There's this thing called the Zeigarnik Effect. You're familiar with it.
It's the psychological phenomenon wherein we feel anxious about leaving something unfinished, such as tasks or goals. You'll recognize it when your mind is filled with things you've got to get done.
It's no secret that a cluttered mind is an ineffective one. If you're thinking about this, that, and the other, how could you possibly be focusing on the task currently at hand? You can't.
So you must declutter your mind. Step one to removing mental clutter is starting and ending your day with a clean slate.
Here's the scenario. You spend your day bustling about, and by 5 or 6pm, you still haven't finished everything. So you rush off home or to whatever other commitments you have, thinking of all the things you still have left to do.
In other words, most of us leave our work without really leaving our work. Our minds stay cluttered as we suffer from the Zeigarnik Effect. As it turns out, there's a very simple solution.
Before you leave work each day, as the last thing you do, prepare tomorrow's to-do list. More or less, the act of writing down an unfinished task brings closure to that item. Your brain doesn't have to keep nagging you about it, because all you could possibly do for the time being has now been done.
The exponential effects are rather incredible. Now when you leave work, the stress of what you have left to do doesn't go with you. It's easier to relax at home, and to focus on whatever important thing is going on in that moment. You don't have to worry about those distracting, stressful, cluttered thoughts.
This enables you to recoup better, and to start your next day with a clean slate and a focused list of duties. No more wasted brain power on deciphering what's important in the morning! If you want to be more productive, finish every work day by writing out tomorrow's to-do list.