is often the least productive day of the week. TGIF and all that right?
So many of us work for the weekend (there’s a song in there somewhere), and when Friday gets here, we just don’t put as much into the day as perhaps we should. Don’t get me started on Monday’s, fodder for another post.
Long ago I chose to make Friday, every Friday my most productive day of the week. It’s not that hard, depending on how you define productive. These are 5 things I do every Friday.
Close Out The Week
Friday is a list checking day. Did I accomplish what I’d hoped, have I checked everything off my lists. I have a habit I learned from my mother of actually writing something on my list to immediately check it off if I did something that wasn’t originally on a list. Is that OCD?
I rarely start new projects on Friday. I do invoicing (one of my favorite things), project updates, training and tidying up, filing (Dropbox etc.) Not always in the literal sense, but organizing work in progress and preparing for the following week.
Clean Up The Mac
I am not a fan of clutter. Don’t look at my desk right now, but believe me, Clutter is not my friend. I know many that have icons and folders cluttering their desktop on their computer. NOT a fan. I like clean and tidy. Virtually everything I download goes to my downloads folder (to be cleaned later) or to an appropriate folder on Dropbox. These need cleaning out as well, but I try to dedicate time on Friday to do this. I also run maintenance tasks on my Mac (PC users don’t hate). There aren’t many that need to be done thanks to Apple’s clean system architecture, but what needs doing, gets done.
Quick Once Through of Inbox
By the end of a typical week my Inbox is full of emails that are “flagged” for follow-up, importance or other action. Friday I go through and remove flags for those things I’ve completed, file or archive and try to reduce Inbox to keepers for the time being. This only takes a few minutes but it gets my Inbox ready for next weeks influx.
Planning for Next Week
I’m uber organized in my own mind. I keep multiple todo lists, Evernote lists, Teamwork Project Management for clients and a calendar that aggregates at least 5 different parts of my life, all neatly color coded. Instead of taking advantage of the automatic rollover that most task managers allow, I take the time to evaluate each task to put a realistic future date on the possibility of completion. Of course some will have deadlines, but picking up the dry cleaning might not be possible until Wednesday. I try to make it achievable. Clients always come before dry cleaning. Doing this on Friday allows me to have a realistic view of my week ahead when I first sit down at my desk Monday morning.
Set Biggest Priorities for Next Week
I prioritize based on a few fundamental strategies. One is always clients. Unless it’s picking up the kids at school, my clients are Priority One. Therefore my todo list reflects tasks needed to be completed by me or my team for clients at the top. Monday’s list should be worked on on Monday. Sounds obvious, but it’s easy to get distracted. Remember we spent some time setting our priorities on Friday right? Unless we did a poor job, Monday’s list should be done Monday. Tuesday’s list should be done Tuesday…any questions? At the end of each day, a mini-reorganization for the remainder of the weeks tasks should be done.
Keep In Touch
Touch base with clients who may be waiting to hear back from you before you shut down on Friday. These quick updates take very little time and let your clients know that they are top of mind for you. Chances are they’ve paid your a fair sum for your work, keep them updated regularly on how the project is coming along. I like to do this Friday as opposed to Monday because Friday is a natural wrap-up, what have we done day. Monday, at least for me, is a “This is what’s coming this week” kind of day.
Wait, that’s six! If I only had six fingers.
How do you wrap up your work week so Monday morning isn’t something to dread, but something to look forward to?