How to Craft the Perfect "shutdown" Ritual

And why it will change your work day

How easy is it for you switch off the work buzz and slip into something more comfortable every day, like peace of mind?

Let's face it, ending the workday can feel like leaving a party that never ends – and all you want to do is slip out unnoticed.

But what if I told you there’s a magic spell, a secret phrase, that could wrap up your day with a bow and send work thoughts packing?

I have been working from home for a very long time, but lockdown really changed the way I worked (like for many other people!).

Despite the overworking, which led me to write a lil book about working smarter, it also taught me a few neat tricks.

Every day, when I finished work, I’d take a quick stroll around the block.

Just me and the fresh air, for five sweet minutes. It was my own way of saying, “Work’s done, let’s relax!”

And I had a client who told me how they’d swap their work clothes for comfy ones the second they’re done for the day. It’s like flicking a switch from ‘busy bee’ to ‘lounge mode.’

These little things we do? They’re our very own shut-down signals, telling our brains it’s time to kick back and chill.

👩‍🏫 Lesson of the week

Finding a way to end your work day the RIGHT way matter.

It’s like that exact moment when you finish a good book and close it with a gentle thud — your brain gets the signal that one chapter has ended and it’s time to move on (plus books smell so good, but I digress).

Why does this matter?

Well, it’s all about giving your brain the heads-up that work is done, and now it's 'you time.'

It’s like leaving the office, even if your office is just a corner of your living room.

Without a clear end to work, your brain keeps buzzing with tasks and to-dos, making it hard to unwind and enjoy your free time.

Some of us naturally have a “shutdown ritual” built inside our schedule. Including activities like…

  • Reflecting on your day: Start by taking a moment to think about what you’ve accomplished. Jot down a quick list of what you did, what’s left, and feel the satisfaction of your day's work.

  • Tidying up your workspace: A clean space signals a clear mind. Spend a few minutes organising your desk, closing tabs on your computer, and setting up for the next day. It’s like saying, “Good job, desk, we did it!”

  • Writing a to-do list: Get those tasks out of your head and onto paper (or digital list). It’ll help you hit the ground running in the morning and free your mind from work thoughts at night.

  • Setting a work-end alarm: Choose a set time to end your day and stick to it. When the alarm goes off, it’s your cue to stop working, no matter what.

The million-dollar question is “how you can create a ritual that’s as natural and necessary as a goddamn strong hot drink”?

Coffee for me please and thank you.

The trick is to signal to your mind that it's time to shift gears from work to play. To kick off your shutdown ritual, focus on these three key ingredients:

  1. Quick Catch-up Steps: Spend just five minutes at the end of your workday going over what you’ve done and what’s on tap for tomorrow. This could be checking your task list, glancing over your calendar, or making a few quick notes. It’s about giving yourself a mini “work roundup” to feel on top of things.

  2. Your Magic Phrase: Come up with a short, snappy sentence you’ll say to mark the end of your workday. It could be as simple as “That’s a wrap for today!” or “Work mode off, fun mode on!” This phrase is your line in the sand; once it’s said, work time is officially over.

  3. The Pact with Yourself: After you say your magic phrase, make a deal with yourself that any work thoughts will be met with a mental replay of your closing steps. Instead of diving back into work mode, you’ll remind yourself, “I’ve finished my ritual, so everything work-related is set until tomorrow.”

✍️ Teacher corner: your challenge

Alright, superstar, it’s time to put what we’ve learned into action! This week, your mission is to craft and trial your very own work shutdown ritual. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Design your 5-minute catch-up: What will you check or organise at the end of your workday to feel on top of things? Pick tasks that are quick but meaningful.

  2. Choose your magic phrase: What words will signal the end of work for you? Make it fun and personal, something that makes you smile or feel relieved.

  3. Make a pact with yourself: Decide how you will gently remind yourself that work is done whenever a work-related thought tries to sneak in after hours.

Try out your new ritual for the next week. Notice how it feels to clearly end your workday and how it impacts your evening relaxation. Are you able to switch off more easily? Do you feel more present at home?

🏫 Class in session

We’ve been talking a lot about SEO with our new masterclass (you can get a taster here) so I decided to try something new and record our first ever marketing tutorial - which you can see above. Let me know what you think!

Well, there we have it. You’re all set to transform the end of your workday from a simple routine into a meaningful ritual.

Remember, it’s all about giving yourself the space to transition from work to relaxation, making sure you have the time and mental clarity to enjoy your evenings to the fullest.

Don’t stress if it takes a bit of tweaking to get your ritual just right. The most important thing is that it works for you and becomes a part of your daily rhythm. You’ve got this!

And hey, I can’t wait to hear all about your shutdown rituals and the amazing impact they have on your work-life balance.

Fab ✌️

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