It's nearing 5 pm and your focus is dwindling. What can you do that is still productive?

Have you been making the most of the last hour of your workday?


As a leader, you need to make you are making the absolute most out of every minute of your day. However, leaders aren’t immune to the 4 pm slump. You know the scenario we’re talking about. The clock hits 4, you’ve been running full speed ahead all day, you can feel your focus waning and the clock seems to be moving super slow.

After you’ve headed to the kitchen to make another cup of coffee, reorganised your desk and checked your social media accounts you’re left wondering: What can I do that’s somewhat productive but doesn’t require laser-like focus?

How can you remain productive in the last hours of your workday?How can you remain productive in the last hours of your workday?

Delve into some soft projects

According to Fast Company contributor Larry Alton, the answer is soft projects. These are tasks that don’t require massive effort but can help you keep moving.

1. Book brainstorm meetings for end of day: There is something about the end of the day that puts everyone in the mood to be social. Take advantage of this by booking team thinks for 4 pm. The active conversations will perk you up and give the team some good time to bounce ideas off of each other.

2. Dedicate time to internal emails: Internal comms tend to be a little more lax than client-facing emails. Take the end of the day to sort through any emails you have from colleagues. Responding to these emails doesn’t take too much effort and can be a nice way to clear your inbox before the beginning of the next day.

Having a concrete plan of action helps direct our brains towards action.

3. Make an action-item list: This is an especially great activity for Friday afternoons. Some of the most successful people in this world are those that are constantly writing out to-do lists, explains Alton. That’s because something about having a concrete plan of action helps direct our brains towards action. Mapping out what needs to be done, in what order and by when is a task that doesn’t require too much focus but can also better position you for optimal productivity in the coming week.

It’s normal to zone out a bit at the end of the day, it’s not a crime. However, with these tips in mind you can work to squeeze a little bit of productivity out of those last 60 minutes. To learn more about how to better manage your time throughout the day, reach out to one of our ICML reps today to get enrolled in our time management courses!

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