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  • Andy Robinson

Employ a Daily Shutdown Ritual

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

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HOW you end your day will affect the quality of your post-work activities and the level of your engagement in those activities. No question.

Leave the “whirlwind” behind when you leave the office for the day. Tap into the power of an end-of-the-day RITUAL to close out your day with confidence … readying yourself for a quality evening with your family (and friends) … and teeing up a successful start to the next day upon arrival at work.

Try this Daily Shutdown Ritual:

  1. Agree upon a regular end-of-workday BOUNDARY TIME for leaving the office for the day … a time that you KNOW you can commit to 95% or more of the time.

  2. Make it your goal to respect that boundary time every day, whenever possible and as often as possible — tell your boss, tell your spouse, mark it on your calendar. Plant the flag and PLAN for it every day.

  3. Then …15 minutes ahead of your BOUNDARY TIME, DO THE FOLLOWING:

  4. Review your calendar for the remainder of the week.

  5. Send any necessary confirmation for tomorrow’s appointments.

  6. Ensure you have prep time scheduled for ALL meetings and calls.

  7. Check for possible conflicts.

  8. Make any necessary schedule adjustments and reach out to the affected parties.

  9. Clear and organize the top of your desk.

  10. Capture all “to do’s” and “open loops” into your task management system; include a due date on all tasks that are time-sensitive.

  11. Quickly prioritize your task list for tomorrow — only the things that are important to do and that you have time to do between meetings and appointments tomorrow.

  12. Review your email inbox and respond to any URGENT and IMPORTANT requests – Mark others for follow up or drop the follow-up action into your task management system.

  13. Jot down — three GREAT THINGS you accomplished today.

  14. Make note of anyone you need to THANK or express APPRECIATION to — Add a task list item and date to do that … or do it now.

  15. Have a shutdown phrase you say to yourself — “I’m done for the day and ready for tomorrow.”

  16. COMMIT then to spend the evening on PERSONAL matters – family time, spouse time, exercise time, and fun time.

  17. LEAVE work at your pre-determined boundary time …. Leave feeling “in control,” and leave knowing you’ve tied up loose ends and dealt appropriately with the urgent and important.

  18. REPEAT daily.


  1. Try the above shutdown ritual TODAY.

  2. Modify it as necessary to suit your situation and circumstances; sequence it to fit your needs.

  3. Use a CHECKLIST for the first few weeks to help you remember the shut-down process as well as the process sequence that works best for you.

  4. SHARE the ritual with your team members and encourage each of them to develop their own … and to take action on it.

Let me know how this works for you … I would love to hear from you!

Andy Robinson, Executive Coach



"Helping CEO's and executives maximize their influence and impact."

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