No matter the time of year or weather, the sun always seems to shine more brightly on a Friday afternoon doesn’t it? While many of us allocate some of our weekend for work, there’s still a sense that the week is winding down after lunch of a Friday. I’m sure studies would show that workplace productivity falls dramatically after 3pm.
Yet experts would also suggest that the way in which you use this time at the end of the week as being a huge factor in how productive you will be in the next week. A 2016 article by Jacquelyn Smith of Business Insider listed the things that successful people typically do on a Friday afternoon.
The week in review
What were the ‘wins’ you had in the week? Reflect on any accomplishments, no matter how small. Jacquelyn quotes from a book by Michael Kerr who maintains that a great tradition to develop is for the leader to do this review with their team. He suggests everyone in the team share their top three accomplishments for the week.
Closing out the week
Spend, say, 30 minutes to clear your desk. This means not only filing away documents and cleaning & clearing your desk; but also filtering out and deleting or filing emails that have built up in your inbox. (Some of us might need more than 30 minutes for the inbox!)
Planning for next week
There are a few elements to this:
- What are the priorities? Decide on your ‘top 3’ priorities for next week.
- Then plan it out – put a ‘to-do’ list around the priorities and have deadlines clearly noted.
- Mark some downtime into your weekly calendar is vital.
- Check what your Monday is looking like & prepare for it. There’s no worse way to start the week than landing in your Monday morning unprepared.
There’s no better time to walk around and speak to your team members in their office setting. This involves a mix of wishing people a good weekend; asking about their weekend plans; and thanking them for their contributions and any ‘wins’ during the week.
Michael Kerr also speaks about setting some technology ground rules before leaving of a Friday, i.e how accessible the team will be and whether they’ll be able to respond to emails or voicemails.
What does the weekend look like?
The weekend starts Friday night. Is there a regular Friday night ‘ritual’ that you can look forward to? By this time you should also have some weekend plans in place rather than letting the time slip by. How do you REALLY want to spend your time – Friday is the time to set this up if you’ve not already done so.
None of the above is ground-breaking research to any of us. But how many do it? You can view Jacquelyn Smith’s full article by clicking here.