Friday afternoons could very well be the hardest part of the week. You start the morning all fired up for the day, then comes lunch time and everything just slows down from there. If you find it hard to end your work week off on a productive high, try some of these tips to get the gears in your head spinning again at optimal speed and enthusiasm:
Somewhere in the office you’ll find that one colleague who is swamped under so much work that they actually wish for another day or two before the weekend starts. Why not lend a hand? You could help by assisting with those pesky tasks that build up during the week; like filing. One day you might find yourself in the same position, wishing somebody would help you out.
Tie up loose ends
- Make sure everything is up to date and in order. It’s so easy to misplace an important document when the weekend fever starts. Double check your work for any possible mistakes.
- Check that everything is filed away and in their proper places. Nothing messes a Monday morning up more than returning to a desk full of last week’s issues.
- Spare a quick glance for your inbox, messages and any other correspondence. Perhaps send that email that you saved as a draft this morning, or try contacting the client you’ve been struggling to get hold of during the week.
- Clear your desk. Make sure all the stationery is where it should be, all the scrap paper is disposed of and everything is in its place.
Prepare for the week ahead
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 come knock off time.
I have a very simple yet extremely effective system that I call my Daily Diary. It’s a suspension folder, big enough to take A4 pages. When I need to follow up on a certain query/email/project/task, I simply note the date when I need to action it in the top corner and file it in my Daily Diary. Every morning, I remove the documents for said day and action it accordingly. Having a similar system in place will ensure that your week starts and ends smoothly.
Create a Friday list
You know how you don’t have enough time during the week for all those pesky little administrative tasks? Well, you have Friday afternoons… 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.
By all means, if you have a spare moment or two during the week, start knocking items off the Friday list. Chances are, when Friday finally rolls around, you’ll find that many of those urgent queries aren’t so urgent anymore and can go straight to file 13…
What are some simple, yet effective tasks that you incorporate to stay productive?