“Book-ending” the day

You know that thing when your partner complains when you check email during dinner? Or when another “To do” hits you just before you fall asleep, and then you have to jump up to make a note of it before you forget? Or flying into the office in the morning feeling all frazzled and not knowing where to start? Yeah that. We all experience it and it really isn’t a nice feeling. It is how “work” and “life” seems to blur into one with no line creating a division between these two areas of our lives.

 

And that is where “book-ending” comes in.

 

It’s a little technique I use to create an absolute line between my “work life” and my “home life”.

 

Book-ending works like this: you create an anchor or specific routine for the beginning of your working day and then again for the end of your working day. It forces a psychological mind-set shift every time you start or end your workday.

 

This anchor or specific routine should be the same every single day. This is the thing that never changes. This is your anchor. This is the dividing line between work and life.

 

For example, my own morning routine includes a few minutes of exercise, some meditation and stopping off for breakfast at a little café on my way to the office. I do all these things (and a few others) every single day in exactly the same sequence. This creates my morning “book-end” – the line between life and work. Other examples of a morning routine could include reading, going for a run or doing yoga. Choose your own anchor to create your morning book-end.

 

At the end of my working day my routine includes looking over my plan for the next day, clearing my desk, turning off all lights and locking my office. Once all of these tasks are completed it signifies the end of my “work life” and the start of my “home life” for the day. It’s a mind-set shift. My book-end is in place.

 

Another benefit of book-ending your day is that it creates a sense of calm and control. You know that you are in full control of the beginning and the end of your working day and even if the rest of the day goes totally crazy you can still feel in control because your day is book-ended.