Create a “Shut Down Ritual” for Your Remote Workday


Setting boundaries around your work and life is more important than ever if you’re like millions of Americans in remote work due to the recent pandemic. Besides its benefits remote work still has its challenges.

How do I signify that my workday is done? How do you keep any kind of work / life balance at home? For me, a practice I was recently introduced to using “Shut Down Rituals” to end my workday every day after reading Cal Newport’s Deep Work.

When creating Blushing I had no work / life balance, I would simply work all day. I would even be on my computer working on my website as we were watching a movie. Soon I was burnt out and had to adjust.

What is a “Shut Down Ritual”?

A set routine of actions that you perform at the end of each workday to finalize your day and signify that your workday is done.

While you should customize your own “Shut Down Ritual” here are some basics from Cal Newport’s Deep Work:

  1. Start/Update your to-do lists with items you have completed

  2. Reprioritize items on your to-do list

  3. Review what is comping up in the next few days on your calendar

  4. Write down tomorrows plan

  5. Organize your computer for a fresh start tomorrow

  6. Say a magic phrase with:

    • “Shut down complete”

    • “No more work today, I’m ready for tomorrow”

    • “I’m outta here”

Why you need a “Shut Down Ritual”?

During these uncertain times, our homes otherwise personal spaces transformed into makeshift workplaces. Letting our work responsibilities slowly merging into our after hours, making it harder to have a work / life balance at home.

As we adjust to the new normal of remote work, finding a healthy way to experience our lives and set limits around working hours is crucial.

One of the main benefits of having a “Shut Down Ritual” is having well defined work hours and having a complete break with no other to-dos until the next workday.

Which is another benefit of having a “Shut Down Ritual” having the confidence that everything you needed to do is done and complete, nothing to worry about.

Now it’s time to do all the fun things like watching the next episode on Netflix and cook a home cooked dinner.

My new “Shut Down Ritual” creating Blushing Company

Since I have read Cal Newport’s Deep Work, I learned that having small habits like this will drastically reduce stress. I really do recommend you create your own “Shut Down Ritual” but here is my new ritual to shut down Blushing Company.

  1. Add new tasks to my to-do list

  2. Check my calendar for the week

  3. Plan for my next day

  4. Check email for anything requiring urgent response

  5. Check my website for any update or last-minute orders

  6. Tidy up around my desk for tomorrow

  7. And say my magic word to Shut Down “I’m outta here”

Shut down complete

By spending these last minutes shutting down I am more present and engaged both at home and work.

What does your shutdown ritual look like?

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