Don't spoil your Monday morning fretting over some lost emails or missed correspondence
There’s something about Friday. Office-goers everywhere have that light fizzy feeling which is absent all week. This happiness is evident in canteen gossip, water-cooler chats and frequent ‘breaks’ that employees take. On the other hand, there are some trying to finish off the calls they were supposed to make the previous day, some busy making plans for the weekend and some looking at their checklist and wondering whether there is something else that they were supposed to do. Productivity often goes for a toss, with weekend planning on top of the unofficial to-do list. The question is, despite the distraction of the looming weekend, can Fridays be made more productive? The answer is: Of course! Provided you plan your work-week keeping the Friday mood in mind:
<1. Backups, cleanups, documentation:</ Writer Cheryl-Anne Roelofsz advocates making a Friday list which could take distractions off your plate from Monday to Thursday. In an article titled ‘Productivity Tips for Friday Afternoons’ she writes, “Anything that could possibly distract you from your top priorities during the week goes on the Friday list. And believe me, once you start, you’d realize just how many interruptions can wait till Friday.” A missing document, misplaced file, full computer memory are some of the many things that hinder work in one form or the other. Take out at least one hour every Friday do clean your desk, organize your papers, manage your contact list; you will be surprised to see how it helps you save some crucial hours during the weekdays.</p>
2. Move some meetings to Fridays: Some not-so-necessary meetings such as one-on-one meetings with team members, a casual discussion on the next big idea and engagement exercises can be moved to Fridays. This will give employees more time to focus on their work between Monday-Friday when a lot of things need to be brought on track and employees are struggling for time. Besides, moving these meetings to a more relaxed day (like Fridays) can give better results as employees don’t have deadlines bugging them and can thus ponder over these issues.
3. Look at your checklist: Sometime during the first half, sit with your checklist for the week. See what has been struck off that week and what is left to be done. This will spare you the trouble of finishing off pending work over the next week. Look at your inbox to see if there are any emails that were to be replied to or any follow ups that are to be done, so that you don’t spoil your Monday morning fretting over some lost emails or missed correspondence. On your checklist, don’t forget to mark tasks that need a follow up in the coming week.
4. Make a to-do-list for the next week: Roelofsz suggests, “Have a folder ready for all the ‘Do-First-Thing-Monday-Morning’ bits and pieces. Chances are you’ll forget half of it the moment you walk out of the office.” Through the next week, strike off the tasks that you are able to complete and mark the tasks that you want to keep for the last day of the work week. Tasks that are less tedious, or the ones that you love to do, can be kept for Fridays. This way, you will enjoy your Friday work.
5. Plan your weekend in advance: This is something that one needs to get off one’s plate as soon as possible. If you don’t know what you are planning to do over the weekend (what book to read, where to go for lunch, to sleep at home or to go shopping), chances are, you will spend your Friday wondering over this. Always plan your weekend beforehand. If there are some bookings to be done, get over with it and keep the distraction away. After all, a fantastic weekend is the incentive one deserves after a grinding work week!