Developer Musings

Shutdown Routine

In the current pandemic, it’s even more challenging to switch off from work. With many working from home, it can seem impossible to “leave” work in a physical and mental sense.

I introduced a shutdown routine to help combat this. It’s a practise touted by many “productivity guru’s”, which made me sceptical at first. But, the basic idea is to create a short checklist of things to do before you “finish” your day. The goals are as follows:

  • Realise how much you’ve accomplished that day
  • Be clear about what you need to do tomorrow
  • Tie any loose ends

I usually allot anywhere from 10-20 minutes to do this process. Yours may vary but here is my list and the reasons why:

  1. Close any open tabs
  2. Write down tomorrows time block plan
  3. Reply to any messages (Signal, Text, Slack) - I’ve uninstalled slack from my phone as well as leaving it on my desk in DnD after 5pm. This task helps me to get rid of those niggles to check my phone after this.
  4. Zero my inbox - Even if it means snoozing mail to the next day, I don’t want it in my inbox. It all needs to be dealt with.
  5. Clear my todo list - After I’ve finished work, I’ve finished and I want to spend time with my family. This helps me to stop feeling productivity guilt about things I haven’t done. It also saves all the tasks rolling over to the next day.
  6. Clean my desk - Sounds obvious but it’s nice to not return to a stale coffee cup in the morning.

These steps may seem reductive. But, I have found the process mindfully winds me down from work and helps me get into the “relax” flow for the evening. I hope you too can leave your stress at work for the next day. There is always more work.