Life & Work Skills

8 Things Successful Women Do on Fridays So Monday Isn’t a Nightmare

successful women"
successful women
Source: Stocksy
Source: Stocksy

It’s no secret that Mondays can be stressful. The term “Sunday scaries” even describes the uncomfortable feeling prior to the start of a new week. I, for one, have struggled for a long time with this. I’ve spent many Sundays overthinking the tasks and responsibilities I have waiting for me on Monday, often putting a damper on wonderful weekends spent with friends and family. But luckily, there are ways to prevent the Sunday scaries before they even hit, and there are even ways to prevent Monday morning from feeling like a frantic scramble to the finish line. The trick? It’s all about how you spend Friday afternoon. So get ready to sit back and fully enjoy a well-deserved glass of wine on Friday evening—because we’re diving into the eight things successful women (and now you!) do on Fridays so that Monday isn’t a nightmare.

1. Prep your Monday, before Monday

Successful women know that remaining a step ahead in work and going the extra mile is what will set them apart, but as the week comes to a close, it’s normal to have tasks that spill over and become a “next week” item.

Before you log off on Friday, take the time to organize your Monday (and the rest of the week, for that matter). Review your email, messages, calendar, any big meetings from the week, and your overall to-do list every Friday before you leave the office. From there, map out the following week in a planner or in your calendar and bake in time for things you have to do and things you want to do. When doing this, make sure to add in things like walks to coffee mid-week when you know your mind will need a mental break.

2. Connect with teammates

After I review the upcoming week, I like to connect with my internal teammates about items we will be tackling. This is my opportunity to review what’s expected of me, ask or answer questions, and ultimately get more prepared and aligned with my teammates. Spending an extra five or 10 minutes together on Friday saves us hours we’d otherwise be spending the following week trying to remember and review what we need to get done. This way, everyone (myself included) can leave for the weekend confident that tasks and projects are managed and under control.

3. Outline all of your meetings

If I know I’m walking into a Monday with meetings or calls of any kind, I like to take extra time on Friday to prepare. Successful women get agendas ready, make notes for items they want to go over, and jot down any questions they need to ask. This way, all there is to do on Monday is review prep work beforehand. This will not only save time on Monday morning but also help meetings go smoother since prep isn’t done in last-minute panic mode. Plus, resting easier on Sunday night, knowing that prep is already done, is the cherry on top.

4. Clean your physical space

Before you jet out to catch up with friends on Fridays, take 10-20 minutes to tidy your desk and workspace. This includes organizing and filing any random papers, throwing out sticky notes you don’t need anymore, wiping down your desk and keyboard, and even emptying the little trash can under your desk that’s filled with snack wrappers. Walking into a neat space on Monday morning instead of the leftover chaos from the previous week can make a big difference in your stress levels. Pro tip: Set out a nice candle, a cute notebook, and your favorite coffee mug for Monday morning.

Source: Alaina Kaz

5. Clean your digital space

Maybe more important than your physical workspace is your digital one. Before I log off on Fridays, I do my best to organize my email inbox, desktop, downloads, and other folders. I file items appropriately and get rid of what I don’t need so that my desktop and applications are clutter-free come Monday morning.

For email, I use folders and labels to ensure my inbox is as organized as possible. I do the same with things like my Google Drive and task management system. This way, when I’m trying to rack my brain about where communication or tasks left off, I can quickly find what I’m looking for.

6. Schedule emails

Scheduling emails is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated productivity hacks of all time, and many successful women agree. If I already know that I will need to follow up with someone or I want to connect with a colleague who could help me brainstorm a project or goal, I will craft those emails on Friday afternoon and schedule them for the following week. This way, they are automatically sent when I want them to go out. Plus, I don’t have to try to find time in my schedule to do them. Also, because emails sent on Friday get forgotten over the weekend and likely end up at the bottom of someone’s inbox come Monday afternoon, I like to schedule my communication to go out when I know others will be available to get back to me.

7. Set goals for the following week

There are always going to be things that you have to get done during the week. But what about things that you’d like to get done? Whether you have a few lingering tasks you’d like to finally free yourself from or you want to make some progress toward your long-term goals, successful women set a few small, measurable goals for the following week to help achieve them, and you can, too. This could look like signing up for a course that will teach you a new skill and help you land a promotion. Or it could look like finally making calls to clients that you’ve been avoiding. By identifying these goals on Friday, you’re less likely to push them off as the new week unfolds.

8. Reflect on your week

At the end of the day, all of this preparation will only truly pay off if you take what happened during your current week and apply it to what is next. Successful women spend five to 10 minutes on Friday afternoon reflecting on what worked, what didn’t work, where they want to shift focus the following week, and what additional skills they want to learn that could help them in the future. The saying “nothing changes if nothing changes” rings true in the workplace. If you want your following week to be even more productive and intentional, identify what areas need some extra attention come Monday.