We often end up working post 5 pm because we did not finish our work on time for the day and ended up wasting the time.
Productivity can have different meanings for different people but in most cases it means working on your actual tasks and not answering phone calls, replying to emails, etc.
Here are some tips on how journaling can help you finish your WFH or work from the office at exactly 5 PM every day and relax for the rest of the day.
Table of contents:
- Get everything out of your head
- The "5PM ToDo" list
- Write all the pending issues for the day
- Track your productivity
Get everything out of your head
It's not like that you haven't tried shutting down your laptop at 5PM. You have, but your mind kept thinking about work. Journaling helps here to let go those thoughts about work. Get everything out of your head and right in front of your eyes, on the paper or somewhere you know that you can come back to later. Write down whatever thought you have at that moment, write down what you did today however tiny that may be and write down what worries you. That truly helps you turn off from the work.
I started doing this using pen and paper but some days I got lazy and skipped this journaling habit. Then I started using Developer Diary and never missed a day after that as it is available right there where I work - my laptop. I like its minimalist and privacy-focused approach. Here's a screenshot.
The 5PM ToDo list
At 5-10 minutes before you plan on leaving the office (considering 5 PM here), ensure that you have noted down all your pending tasks so that you know exactly what to work on when you come back to work.
Write all the pending issues for the day
In the 5 PM list, it is also important to include all the pending tasks in this list so that you don't miss out or forget anything. These little things will help you become more productive and efficient in the long run.
Track your productivity
Don't trust your feelings to make a judgement about how productive you're. They are usually wrong. There are times when you feel like you did nothing but you invested significant time in figuring out a problem and probably this leads you closer to the solution even if it is not solved today. And then there are times you feel productive but were just busy in distractions and did not get to do some deep work. Tracking your productivity helps you make a better judgement. And don't just track time/focus, find the time of the day when you are your most productive self. This will help you get most of your programming done in the least time possible. I like the work sprint and maker vs manager mode features of Developer Diary for that.