How To Be Productive With The Last Five Minutes Of Every Day

five o'clock end of day

Photo: Muffet via Flickr

At the end of every work day, use your last five minutes to self-reflect. Reflect on what happened a few hours earlier, on a conversation with a colleague, or on what you need to accomplish tomorrow.Peter Bregman, a leadership consultant and Harvard Business Review contributor, recommends asking yourself these three questions:

  • How did the day go? What success did I experience? What challenges did I endure?
  • What did I learn today? About myself? About others? What do I plan to do — differently or the same — tomorrow?
  • Who did I interact with? Anyone I need to update? Thank? Ask a question? Share feedback?

When people don’t take the time to stop and reflect, they quickly forget important occurrences; memories don’t have a chance to form. This can cause people to make the same mistakes repeatedly.

“I’m often amazed at how many times something has to happen to me before I figure it out…On the flip side — but no less comforting — we often do many things right and then fail to repeat them,” Bregman blogs.

“We rarely take the time to pause, breathe, and think about what’s working and what’s not. There’s just too much to do and no time to reflect… [Learning] only takes a few minutes. About five actually. A brief pause at the end of the day to consider what worked and what didn’t.”

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