Blog Post

Final Tasks for a Friday Afternoon

lilfinishIt’s Friday! It’s 4:50 p.m.! You’re about to kick back and breathe a sigh of relief, happy to forget about work for the next 48 hours…

Wait a second. Before you escape into the blissful freedom of the weekend, take a few minutes to prep things for next week. I know it may sound crazy right now, when you’re about to shut down the laptop and start up those Friday night plans. But you’ve still got 10 minutes before you wind up for the day — why not spend them productively? Spend a little time getting organized now, and you’ll be thanking me come Monday morning…

1. Check next week’s schedule.

How’s it looking? Are you fully prepped for that meeting first thing Monday? Have you confirmed that deadline for Thursday? You’d better add your dentist’s appointment to the schedule too, so you don’t forget or double-book.

2. File those emails.

By the end of the week, my inbox is usually a mess. I know I should file my email every day, but I never do. Instead, I do it on Friday afternoon, so the inbox is primed and ready for the Monday morning onslaught.

3. Organize your workspace.

Now’s a good time to organize the papers, CDs, designs — whatever’s spread around your desk. I get the documents for each project together, and file them in order of priority for the next week. Now might be a good time to do backups of your work, too.

4. Make a to-do list.

Perhaps it’s electronic; perhaps you use “old skool” pen-and-paper. Either way, your to-do list can be your best friend on a Monday morning. Though I love weekends as much as anyone, I find them a pretty big disconnect in my work process, so I rely on my to-do list to give me guidance come Monday morning — especially when it comes to jobs I’m right in the middle of when I clock off on Friday night.

5. Reflect.

It sounds cheesy, but late Friday is a good time to think about the week that was, particularly what went well. Often, I find that once I’ve started thinking about the highlights, it’s easier to face up to the things I didn’t do so well, and think about how I might tackle them in the coming week. This process may precipitate a couple more items for the to-do list. Or it might just give you more momentum when you get back to your desk on Monday. Either way, it’s worth doing.

What do you do before you finish on Friday to make Monday more bearable?

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