When you’ve already got one foot in the weekend, Friday can feel like the least productive day of the week. But successful leaders know that a well-spent Friday can lay the groundwork for an efficient return to the office. “My biggest secret for a productive Monday is what I do on Friday,” Jon Rush, founder of C7 Device Recycle, told Forbes.
To get more done on Monday, tackle these five tasks on Friday afternoon.
Outline your Monday workflow. Take an hour on Friday to plan your Monday morning. If you identify a few high-priority tasks you want to accomplish first, you’ll start Monday with a game plan already laid out.
Knock out two-minute tasks. Look for items on your weekly to-do list that can be accomplished in two minutes or less. Do these right away. If it’s a task that will take longer, put it at the top of your to-do list for Monday.
Take stock of your to-do list. Reflect on the things that fell through the cracks this week. If you find yourself constantly pushing off certain tasks, consider whether they’re actually important or necessary. “On any given day, assume that you can only accomplish one big thing, three medium things, and five small things,” recommends Alex Cavoulacos, chief executive of The Muse.
Prep for your next big project. During your final hour, you shouldn’t actually be working on a big project, since chances are you won’t be all that productive, writes HubSpot‘s Leslie Ye. But if you start getting your information organized and pinpointing any questions you might have, you can eliminate hold ups once you actually begin the project the next week.
Set a timer for five minutes and take a small step towards that goal. “If you’re able to get a head start on a task you’re dreading, you’ll not only be in a better place come Monday; you’ll have a more relaxing weekend, to boot,” says productivity expert Laura Vanderkam.
Unplug. Two-thirds of Americans check their work email on the weekends. But constantly checking your email over the weekend leaves you little time to recharge for Monday. Instead, use your last few minutes on Friday to glance at your inbox and make sure you haven’t missed anything urgent. Once you’re in the clear, “walk out door without feeling guilty,” says Ye. Try not to check your email again until Monday morning.
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Spend your weekends wisely
To get the most out of your time off, you're going to have to work on your leisure.