If Monday is the day we gird ourselves for with a groan, then Friday most often sees us limping to the finish line of a long and taxing workweek like a worn-out, wheezing marathoner.
Here are four quick and easy suggestions for dominating the last day of the week with a bit of swagger:
Set Yourself Up for Success
Uncertainty breeds that terrible sensation of careening out of control. Take 30 every Friday afternoon to mentally sketch out your next week. What’s due? What’s on deck? A loose plan, even the back-of-the-napkin variety, means you’ll start your next week feeling on top of your game (and, as a big side benefit, finish up Friday with immense satisfaction). Better still: Add another 15 minutes to the process to knock out one small thing you have to do Monday morning. See? You’re already getting it done.
Go Out for an Hour
Fridays are often a great day to take an hour for yourself. Get out of the office. Seriously: Get out. Walk to a local restaurant—or bring a snack and simply find a place to sit outside and enjoy some fresh air. Grab coffee at 10 AM or an ice cream cone at 3 PM. Read a book. Do a couple of circuits around the block. Relax for an hour and resolutely ignore your phone (as much as you can). Get that mental break to power through the rest of the afternoon. If you’re up to it, you can bring someone else along—a colleague you want to get to know better, a subordinate you want to thank for a job well done, a mentee who needs some advice, an old friend you’d like to catch up with. It’s an opportunity to connect.
Look back over your week and ask yourself two simple questions. What did I do well? What could have gone better? There’s no need to flagellate yourself for a minor screw-up—and, equally, there’s no need to chest-thump about a personal success. This is just for you, a short exercise to keep yourself on track. If you can pinpoint something great that you did, think through the behaviors or decisions that led to that outcome (and then rinse and repeat). Conversely, this is where you course correct if you’ve behaved poorly or made some bad decisions. That means if you’ve snapped at someone, drop by his desk with a cruller, coffee, and sincere apology (assuming you haven’t done so already). If you acted without all the information you needed, make a point to ask more probing questions next time. The point is: You’ve learned something without belaboring your mistake.
Crush Your To-Do List
Create an easy to-do list for the day, assuming you don’t have a huge project or pressing deadline. Call it a psychological trick, but a list of tasks you know you can complete by day’s end is a guaranteed mood-brightener. It’s literally physical evidence that proves you dominated your Friday—and didn’t waste it in a vortex of longing for happy hour.
And there is the private satisfaction that every ultra-organized type knows well: The joy of crossing things off that list.
By Michael Fertik of Inc | The Muse