How to Make Friday your Most Productive Day
Ok, so we all know that Friday is a write off. You have worked REALLY HARD all week. It’s been tough and now you are feeling restless.
Working in London, Thursday is the day for drinks and socialising, and many people “work from home” on the last day of the week to ease there commuting woes. Everyone that has dragged themselves into the office has checked out and is mentally preparing for the weekend. You can’t rely on anyone for anything and you’re not sure if your emails aren’t working or if you are just being ignored (and the IT department are on a 3 hour lunch, so there is no way to find out). What that means is between your 10am bacon sandwich, your 1pm Facebook stalk and your 4pm early finish (we won’t tell – we all do it), Friday is a pretty pointless day.
Well, here at DoubleYou, we want to change all that. Using even half of your Friday in a smart way can pay dividends during the coming week. Making your week run smoother, making you look like you really have you stuff together (even if you don’t) and just generally pushing you into a position of envy for the whole office. Here is how we do it:
Review and plan
Take time to look at your to-do list and review the deadlines you have outstanding. Schedule the week so you can tackle the most important priorities on Monday, when you are fresh and ready to smash it. This is something most people do on Monday morning, losing precious hours THINKING about what they will be doing. You will be coming in and actually getting down to business.
Do the boring bits
That data entry you’ve been putting off since you have got it…..get it done! Limited distractions mean that this is the perfect opportunity. Even if you put your headphones in to keep your brain from deadening, finish this task!! Personally, from 12pm to 3pm on Friday is dedicated to everything on my to-do list that is just too boring for during the week. I also knock off anything that can be finished in under 20 minutes. Taking this approach means that usually all of the small bits and anything really soul destroying is off your mind and off your plate for the coming week.
Schedule your emails
Ok, so assuming we are all fairly tech savvy, and know how to use the ‘Delay’ function on Outlook (if not, here is how). If you are not already using this tool – USE IT NOW. It makes your Monday morning an absolute breeze, everyone you are emailing is going to be super impressed with what a high-functioning morning person you are and they never need to know that you are on your 3rd Starbucks and still tired.
Personally, I set up emails for any queries, chasers or work I am sending for 9.10am on Monday morning. Aside from making you look good, as discussed above, this has the added advantage of being the first thing people see on a Monday morning. Sending out your questions or reports on a Friday afternoon means that you are more likely to be ignored. The emails are lost in amongst the junkmail and general chit-chat of the weekend. Sure they will get back to it….eventually. But this way you are their first thought and priority on Monday morning and you are bound to get a faster (and probably more focussed) response.
Look at your next challenge
Ok, so this might seem like a daft one, but hang in there. On Friday, spend 30 minutes looking at all the problems or tricky pieces you have on the go for the next week or two. Just LOOK at the problem. Read what it is. Then walk away. Do nothing. Yup. Nothing.
This helps because of something called the unconscious thought theory. Basically, this theory stipulates that your brain will continue to work through any issues you have mapped out on Friday, despite the fact you are doing other things and not actively thinking about these things. So, essentially this could mean that while you’re shopping / eating / playing with your kids, your brain is coming up with solutions for you. Come Monday you just might have a few new ideas!
Keep an hour of your Friday to learn. This is important to keep up to date with your position, industry and business. I usually do this from 9am to 10am. I read new articles, think about any new changes in my industry, review a report or two. This time is dedicated to your learning and keeps you on the top of your game. It is far easier to dedicate some time to you and your career development when there aren’t a million people in the office and the phone isn’t ringing every 30 seconds.
So, now it is over to you – hopefully these tips will mean your Fridays are more productive and your weeks easier to deal with. And hey, you can get all this done, shine in front of the boss and still have a Gin in hand by 4.15pm. Happy Friday, indeed!