Working at Bricks over the past two and a half years, I’ve closed enough times that I’ve made it into a science! Turn off the open signs, stock the coolers, finish dishes, spray and clean bar tops, drain the sinks, close the till drawers, take out trash, and conduct a final walkthrough. Usually, doing all the closing duties by myself takes around 45 minutes, but they are essential for teeing up our opening staff for the following day, time to prep and get specials lined up or new products stocked.
It simply wouldn’t be possible to get the day off right if the closing duties were left undone. Life presents us with a similar dilemma…often times we do not think about how we can set ourselves up for success in the coming day. When was the last time we sat down and truly considered what our closing duties need to be at the end of our day?
I started to give this some deeper thought as I closed up the Bricks this week, what is it that I’m doing or NEED to start doing that could help me prepare for the day to come? Here a few thoughts that came to mind…
1) Shutting Off the Open Signs:
At the Bricks when we are ready to close, this is one of the first tasks! It lets any further customers know that we are closing the day down and resetting for tomorrow. As we prepare to close out our days; how much more important is it for us to shut off our own personal “open signs”? It means getting off our social media accounts and being unreachable for this crucial closing period of our day. We often get sucked into distractions…if you were trying to close a business down for the evening, could you do it successfully if more and more people came streaming in? It would be impossible for us too if we are not disconnecting from our social media or phones for the last part of our evenings to focus on preparing for the next day.
2) Finish Stocking and Facing the Coolers:
As we close at the Bricks, I take a lot of pride in making sure that the coolers are faced, or in other words all the product is brought up to the front of the cooler. Then, as time allows or is needed I will do a final stock of products for the coolers. This helps ease the pressure off the opening crew who may either not have time or be completely out of a product and then is unable to serve a customer’s beverage. In life we too must take stock of our days and face the decisions we made reflecting on their impacts upon both us and those influenced by us.
Yet, this goes beyond us personally, when we lead our families it looks like passing this skill of self-reflection on to our children as well. Helping them process out in a healthy way both the good and bad decisions made throughout the day. This reflective process could look like journaling or a brief conversation. However, we chose to reflect; if done in a healthy way can relieve our own pressures and offer teachable moments from our experiences.
3) Count the Cash Drawers:
In the business, we need to know how the day closed out and what we need to prepare for tomorrow. If we are low on certain bills then we notify the managers who can get more from the bank the following day. In preparing for my next day I take a close look at my master calendar, in some ways it is much like counting the drawer. I see what I got done the last day and week and allows me to plan accordingly for the coming day and remainder of the week on the next set of projects, events, or responsibilities. Failure in looking towards the next day sets us up for addressing only immediate fires; rather than working on bigger picture projects that will in turn reduce those pesky fires.
4) Take Out the Trash:
If I leave a trash bag overnight, it is a sured bet that the following day it will have become a gathering center for all variety of flies. Plainly, it is disgusting and the smell is absolutely unappetizing. We each have trash that accumulates throughout our day…those little fits of anger we left bottled up, a poor interaction we replay over and over, or maybe a mean spirited comment we made to a spouse, friend, or child. That trash, if not reckoned with through either direct apologies to the ones we hurt or to ourselves; will stink even worse the next day…the more we let that trash hang out in our minds, hearts, and spirits without emptying leads to only greater problems down the road. Take out the trash every night; forgive every trespass made against us and seek forgiveness for all we’ve committed.
5) Lock the Doors:
This seems like an obvious last step, but you would not believe the countless times because I didn’t go through a final walkthrough the back patio door was left unlocked or our side Brickette door; now I always check — sometimes double check ensuring those respective doors are locked. Locking the doors before you leave is a crucial step to ensure the safety of the building and products till the opening staff arrive.
As we prepare to close out our days, how do we lock the doors for our personal lives and families? Some may think it is enough to simply lock the front door or check that back porch entrance. Yet, for our lives and the lives of those who reside under our care; prayer is the MOST powerful form of protection. Praying for peaceful rest, nightly protection, life-giving dreams, spiritual attentiveness, and preparation for the coming day. These prayers are shields of armor which no enemy of physical or spiritual nature can break. As it is foolish to leave a business door unlocked at the end of the day; it is much more foolish not to seek daily spiritual protection from our Lord.
Remember there are opening duties too, which help get our days under way, but that is for another blog post! As we wrap up, I encourage all of us to pause daily and look around at the ordinary pieces of our lives. The Lord desires to speak through those parts of our daily walk and teach us about how we can strengthen our relationship with him. Thank you as always my friends for reading and sharing — what an honor and joy it is to serve our Lord with such a great community! Take care and may the Lord bless each our upcoming week’s!