End each day on a high | Blog Post by Rob Crews
It’s really easy to end the day with one eye on the clock, rushing that final task in order to get out the door early or skimming through email rather than getting on with something important. Letting yourself slip into low quality work isn’t ideal — often it will just mean more work to do the next day.
In his first podcast with Tim Ferriss, Josh Waitzkin illustrated out the importance of ending the day with high quality work with one question:
Which 3 turns of a ski run are the most important?
The answer (at least in Josh’s opinion) is that the 3 most important turns are the last 3 turns. If you’re a skier you might well disagree — surely the last 3 turns are relatively easy, as the terrain is starting to level off?
The reason that Josh suggests that the last 3 are the most important is that they are the 3 turns that will be clearest in your mind as your travel back up on the ski lift. Applying this idea generally, this means that your last actions are the ones that will remain clearest in your memory and will have the biggest affect on forming habits. So if you take it easy on the last 3 turns and have poor form, your mind will internalise that poor form as you travel up in the ski lift.
Applying this to work
Returning to the working day, it’s easy to see the similarities between the skiing analogy and the common habits many of us have with work. The last hour of the work day (like the last 3 turns of the ski run) seems relatively insignificant — it’s easy to end the day with low quality.
In my experience, making the effort to end your working day with high quality work has a much bigger impact than you might expect. I find that picking up my work the next day is a much smoother process — it’s a lot easier to slot straight in to my thought process when I’ve left things clean and coherent (rather than a rushed mess). I’d highly recommend giving it a go.
Also published on Medium.