Happiness expert Gretchen Rubin says this 5 p.m. habit can boost your productivity tomorrow—and it only takes minutes

How this 10-minute routine can drastically improve your work day
How this 10-minute routine can drastically improve your work day

Many employees find themselves totally worn out at the end of the workday, and when the last task is completed, they're running for the door.

But according to bestselling author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin, adding this simple habit at the end of each work day can be the key to creating more order and happiness in your personal and professional life — and it only takes minutes.

"At the end of my work day, I take 10 minutes and kind of put everything away that I can," she tells CNBC Make It. "I don't do deep cleaning or deep clutter cleaning, but I will put things in their places."

Dasha Pats | Twenty20

In her latest book, "Outer Order, Inner Calm," Rubin explains how this habit makes her more productive by easing the shift from work to home life.

"We give children transition times to help them move from one activity to the next, and adults benefit from transitions as well. Creating this transition makes it easier to turn off my work brain and turn on my home brain," she says, "because I've given myself a little cushion."

Rubin suggests that anyone who is looking to create more order in their life should spend the last 10 minutes of their work day glancing over their calendar for the next day, clearing out their inbox or cleaning off their desk. Doing activities such as these, she says, will "help to mark the end of the day — and it also makes it far more pleasant to return to work in the morning."

"There's nothing like walking in your office and just being hit by a multitude of little tiny tasks like 'this needs to go to recycling,' 'this needs to go back into the kitchen' or 'these pens don't have their pen caps on them,'" she says.

While these tasks may seem minute, "all together, they can make us feel drained and overwhelmed." That's why Rubin is a firm believer in taking time create order in our work and living spaces so that "our surroundings feel more calm, more peaceful and more like a sanctuary."

"Also, it's much more easier to feel focused," she says, "because it's easy to concentrate on whatever matters the most when we're not distracted by a bunch of little tasks or unfulfilled projects."

Rubin spent a year exploring the topic of happiness in her New York Times bestseller "The Happiness Project."

"In the context of a happy life," she says, "a messy desk or a crowded coat closet is a trivial problem — yet getting control of the stuff of life often makes it easier to feel more in control of our lives in general."

Video by Taylor Moore

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