It’s finally here: Friday. You made it through the workweek and have arrived at the day you’ve been looking forward to since, well, about 9:30 a.m. on Monday.
Now, all you need to do is spend these last eight hours of work daydreaming about all of the relaxing you’ll enjoy over the upcoming weekend, right? Not exactly.
Successful women know that Friday is just as important as any other day of the work week—and, they use it to their advantage to ensure that they wrap things up and head into the weekend on the right note. How exactly do they do that? They start by implementing these eight tips.
1. They change their view.
Remember when we talked about making the most of Monday? Instead of looking at it as the end of the weekend, you should switch your outlook and view it as the beginning of a brand new week.
A shift in your perspective can also be helpful when aiming to use Friday to your advantage. It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of viewing it as the endcap of the week—it’s a throwaway day of sorts, when you don’t expect to be all that productive.
But, ultimately, Friday is a full day—and, it’s just as much of a workday as any other. So, get yourself out of that vicious cycle of viewing it as a day when you can make a halfhearted attempt at real, productive work. The sooner you can shake that mindset, the more motivated you’ll feel at the end of the week.
2. They tackle bigger projects.
Friday might seem like an odd day to start something new. After all, shouldn’t it be a time when you’re wrapping up all of those loose ends from the days prior?
Yes, Friday’s great for that. But, successful women know that it’s also a fitting time to get rolling on a larger project. When it comes to your work week, Friday is typically the quietest day you’re going to get—there are fewer emails, fewer meetings (more on that later!), and often even fewer people in the office.
Use that to your advantage by zoning in on a bigger project you need to start. Chances are, the combination of your quiet surroundings and the knowledge that all of those smaller tasks were taken care of earlier in the week will allow you to have laser focus on the task at hand—meaning you’re sure to make some solid progress.
3. They do the hardest thing first.
You know that Friday is a day you’re feeling a little low on motivation to begin with. And, by the time Friday afternoon rolls around? Well, you’re pretty much checked out for the weekend already.
This is why it’s best to make the most of your time on Friday mornings—when your desire to be productive hasn’t quite plummeted to its lowest point.
Those big projects from the step above that you’ve been pushing to the back burner since Monday morning? Start with those right away in the morning, and then save Friday afternoon for more menial and mindless tasks like cleaning out your inbox. Even if your work ethic takes a nosedive after lunch, you can rest assured that you still got some major things accomplished.
4. They schedule meetings.
Staying chained to your desk all day on a Friday can feel like a rare form of torture—you’d rather be away from your computer or enjoying a friendly conversation with a co-worker.
Fortunately, Friday is the perfect day to escape from the office. But, that doesn’t mean you’re playing hookie. Instead, make Friday the day where you set up a few different out-of-office meetings and brainstorming sessions.
Whether it’s grabbing a cup of coffee with a client or even heading to the outside picnic table to collaborate on a project with the rest of your team, shaking up your scenery and cutting the tether with your normal workspace is a surefire way to inspire yourself to power through the rest of Friday.
5. They connect with their networks.
With the weekend fast approaching, you’re probably feeling a little more social than you do on Mondays (when you pretty much need all of the coffee just to make it through your morning). So, why not capitalize on this more outgoing mood by reaching out to some people in your network?
Send a quick note on LinkedIn to congratulate your contact on that recent promotion. Or, send an email to share an article you found interesting with that person you recently met at a networking event.
Remember, you won’t reap the rewards of a professional network just by simply having one. Leverage that friendly and more social attitude to keep those connections warm!
6. They draft emails.
In terms of your inbox, Fridays tend to be pretty quiet. And, that can actually be a pretty welcome reprieve from the constant email refreshing you experienced throughout the rest of the week.
Why is Friday so quiet for emails? Well, numerous studies have shown that it’s actually the worst day to send an email—meaning you probably aren’t going to want to use your time to crank out a ton of meaningful messages on that day.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to an email-writing marathon on Monday. Instead, write the emails you need to get done and then just save them as drafts. You can send them on Monday (or Tuesday—which is the best day to send emails!) with very little work required. Or, you can use an app like Boomerang to schedule your messages to be sent at a later time.
7. They plan for next week.
Successful women know that adequate planning is crucial to getting things done. So, many of them use Fridays to plan out their following week and set themselves up for success.
Grab your calendar and a notepad and make a list of the major things you want to accomplish over the course of the next week. Having that handy will keep you focused on the big-picture things, and help you avoid getting too distracted with the fires that need to be put out.
Additionally, you can also take some time (Friday afternoon is perfect for this!) to sort through your inbox and clean up your workspace. That’ll help you to feel extra focused and motivated when you arrive back at the office on Monday morning.
8. They shut down at 5 p.m.
Sure, you might leave the office when the clock strikes 5 p.m. But, I’m sure you can think of plenty of Friday evenings you spent curled up on your couch scrolling through work emails or tying up loose ends on a project.
Successful women know that they deserve a substantial break from the office in order to return feeling recharged and focused—which means they set a firm shut down time (preferably as close to 5 as you can get!) on Fridays.
Kicking yourself out of the office at a reasonable hour will ensure that you get the time off you’ve earned.