It has never been easy to stay focused and hyperproductive on a Friday – much less on a Friday in late August; combined with the pandemic’s shadow on productivity being heavy… we really need extra willpower to keep doing the right thing.
Moonshot News’ experienced workforce is sharing with you some of the favourite tricks for doing less on Friday, without increasing the stress levels due to unfinished work…
Clear your ‘desk’ before the weekend
Prioritize the tasks that you have not finalised based on their importance and time sensitivity and allocate time in your calendar for Monday.
(I have found out that allocating time in the calendar for tasks feels almost as good as doing them and reduces significantly the stress and guilt levels).
2. Sort out your emails
Don’t bury your head in the sand: proudly own your workload, delays, roadblocks. Go through your emails and answer to those that are waiting to hear from you;
Even if you are not ready, a polite: ‘updating you before the weekend message’ is always appreciated. Tell people you have not forgotten them, that you are still working on things and that you expect to get back to them as soon as possible (setting realistic time expectations).
(You will feel much calmer if unanswered mails do not loom over you, your partners will appreciate you updating them and you buy some more time before a nudge or a reminder without looking inconsistent).
3. Actively refuse new assignments
Push back on any new meetings, tasks, ideas, assignments with the very realistic explanation that you will not have any time to attend to it before Monday. Have the line ready: ‘I have no time for this today, let me know when we can have a short chat about it on Monday, so that we give it the attention it deserves’.
(People often try to take things off their plate before the weekend, by throwing the ball at others. By postponing any interaction until Monday, they will either burden someone else, or do it themselves, or forget it – and most importantly you will have gain time to evaluate the request properly before making any commitments).
4. Finalise the least painful task
Ok, we said procrastinate, not give up completely… so if you find the one or two things that you mind least doing, and make a point of wrapping them up, you will feel much more at ease.
(We are normally chased and blocked by the most stressful or difficult things that we have in our pipeline and we feel that until we finalise them, it would be wrong to move on to the secondary stuff. That might be a correct way of prioritising, but on a Friday less is more… and one small thing out of the way is better than none…)
5. Schedule the least actionable meetings for Fridays
We all feel that most of our business meetings are counterproductive, a waste of time and basically… not real work that just delays us from getting things done; still some of them are a necessary evil and unavoidable. And some meetings maybe actually be enjoyable and you would really like to invest more time, but they get lost in the busy schedule of the week – like a business lunch, or a mentoring appointment…
So… what better timing to have them than a Friday? This catch up with a client or partner, the 1 to 1s with your reports, an intro to a new colleague… It is still work, but it doesn’t feel as heavy, does it? Extra plus, when people see the booked meetings in your calendar, they will not ping you spontaneously for extra work…
Have a nice weekend!