How you conclude your workweek will not only influence the productivity of the upcoming week but also how much ease and comfort you feel over the weekend.
“Successful people tend to adhere to routines in general, so it’s no surprise that the most successful people I know maintain a Friday afternoon routine,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of ”You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work.”
Accomplished individuals often use Friday afternoons as an opportunity to get ahead of their competition. Here are 10 things they typically do:
1. Each week, they take a moment to appreciate their achievements. According to Kerr, dwelling on what you didn’t achieve is all too easy. “Successful people tend to flip that around and remind themselves of just how much progress they did make, even if it’s only ‘small wins.’” Celebrating your success offers a lift in spirits and the necessary thrust for future success. ”A great ritual for team leaders to create is to turn this into a Friday afternoon team huddle tradition, wherein everyone shares their top three accomplishments for the week,” Kerr suggests.
2. They determine the tasks and objectives that will take precedence every week. To ensure success, Vanderkam, the author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” recommends that people take Friday afternoons to reflect on their professional and personal lives. From these reflections should emerge three to five major priorities they want to accomplish in each area.
3. Every week, they create a timeline and task checklist to ensure all tasks are completed on time. Vanderkam attests that not only do they prioritize, but they also plan. “If you assign each priority a deadline, things will likely get done. You want to hit Monday morning knowing what you need to do, so you’re not wasting that time figuring this out.” Having a plan for Monday also results in a more relaxed weekend, she adds. “Your to-do list won’t be nagging at your brain for two days.”
4. They reserve some time to relax during the upcoming week. According to Kerr, even the most driven and successful individuals can easily become workaholics if they don’t remember “the long game.” However, these people must always make time for themselves by planning breaks away from the hustle. “They think about maintaining their work-life balance the following week. They understand that to be at their best, to be most productive, and to accomplish everything they need during the following week, they need to have some free time.”
5. They become organized. ”Many successful people I know take 15 to 30 minutes every Friday afternoon to clean out and organize their email files and to clean and organize their office so that they know they are returning to a fresh, organized start the following week,” Kerr says. “Some find it therapeutic, as it can help clear the psychological clutter as well, and it has become a ritualistic way of capping the end of the week.”
6. They inform people of their availability over the weekend. To ensure success, Kerr states that it is essential to establish protocols regarding technological communication before taking a break. This includes notifying colleagues and staff about your intentions to respond to emails or voicemails on weekends (if applicable) and at what times you will be available. Doing so can lead to more efficient management when away from work!
7. As they contemplate their weekend plans, anticipation builds. As Vanderkam suggests, if you haven’t made any plans for the weekend by Friday afternoon, it’s time to make a move! Take some moments and consider what activities would be enjoyable. Have you been wanting to try out that new restaurant? Or maybe spending quality time at the park with your children? Don’t wait too long to book reservations or plan errands; take a few minutes now to check the weather, find a babysitter – whatever is necessary for you to get everything squared away before it’s too late!
“You don’t have to plan every minute, but having a few things you know you’ll enjoy means you’re ready for a weekend of real rejuvenation,” she says.
8. Every Friday, they come together for a fun and exciting activity! Certain successful individuals have concocted a pleasurable tradition to distinguish between the end of their work week and the start of the weekend. This habit is essential for maintaining productivity, clarity, and balance in both areas. ”It may be an afternoon cocktail with a group of friends, an hour of volunteer work, or a regularly scheduled gym workout or a game of tennis,” Kerr explains. “What’s key is that it be something they look forward to, so they view it as a reward for reaching the end of the week, and that it’s something that gives them a complete mental shift.”
9. They honor the successes and dedication of others. ”One leader I know uses Friday afternoons to either phone or drop by employees’ offices in person to thank them for the work they did during the week,” Kerr says. “She says doing it on Friday afternoon not only helps her employees go home feeling appreciated, happier, and more relaxed, but it also helps her feel better and happier.”
10. They bid farewell to their co-workers. A kind “have a great weekend” can make all the difference. “This is especially important for leaders to do, and especially important on a Friday afternoon to give both yourself and the people you work with a sense of closure to the week and a chance to connect, if even briefly, before everyone departs,” Kerr says.
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