10 Things Successful People Do Friday Afternoon
I like using the last 30 minutes before I leave on a Friday afternoon to write in a journal and reflect on the work week, make a to-do list of things to start on Monday, and try to end the day on a positive note—even if you have to “reach” a little. Everyone has bad days and bad weeks, and even bad stretches at a time. Ending on a high note might be as simple as giving thanks for that delicious cup of coffee you splurged on, versus the watered down version made using a Keurig, or making a conscious effort to reflect on how lucky you are to have a job. This Business Insider article really nails it.
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How you end your workweek will not only have a huge impact on how productive you are the following week, but also may determine how relaxed you are over the weekend.
"Successful people tend to adhere to routines in general, so it’s no surprise that the most successful people I know maintain a Friday afternoon routine,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of ”You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work.”
Here are 10 things successful people typically do on a Friday afternoon:
1. They reflect on their accomplishments from the week. It’s far too easy to wallow over what you didn’t accomplish, Kerr says. “Successful people tend to flip that around and remind themselves of just how much progress they did make, even if it’s only ‘small wins.’” Acknowledging and appreciating your accomplishments not only boosts your happiness levels, but it fuels momentum. ”A great ritual for team leaders to create is to turn this into a Friday afternoon team huddle tradition, wherein everyone shares their top three accomplishments for the week,” Kerr suggests.
2. They figure out their priorities for the following week. Successful people take time on Friday afternoon to reflect on their professional and personal lives and determine three to five major priorities they want to accomplish for each, says Laura Vanderkam, author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.”
3. They establish a schedule and to-do list for the following week. They don’t just prioritize; they plan, Vanderkam says. “If you assign each priority a deadline, things are likely to get done. You want to hit Monday morning knowing what you need to do, so you’re not wasting that time figuring this out.” Having a plan for Monday also results in a more relaxed weekend, she adds. “Your to-do list won’t be nagging at your brain for two days.”
4. They carve out downtime for the following week. Kerr says driven, successful people can easily fall into the workaholic trap and lose sight of “the long game,” but they always prioritize and plan for downtime. “They think about how they can maintain their work-life balance the following week. They understand that for them to be at their best, to be most productive, and to accomplish everything they need to during the following week, they need to have some free time.”
5. They get organized. ”Many successful people I know take 15 to 30 minutes every Friday afternoon to clean out and organize their email files and to clean and organize their office, so that they know they are returning to a fresh, organized start the following week,” Kerr says. “Some find it therapeutic, as it can help clear the psychological clutter as well, and it has become a ritualistic way of capping the end of the week.”
6. They let people know how accessible they’ll be that weekend. Successful people set technology ground rules before leaving, both with themselves and key people around them, Kerr says. They let their staff and coworkers know whether they plan to respond to emails or voice mails over the weekend, and if so, when.
7. They think about their weekend plans. Vanderkam says if you don’t already have weekend plans by Friday afternoon, you should take some time to think about what you’d like to do. Perhaps you’ve been dying to try that new restaurant; you really want to spend time with your kids at the park; or you have errands you’ve been putting off. Take a few minutes, before it’s too late, to make reservations, check the weather, find a babysitter, etc.
"You don’t have to plan every minute, but having a few things you know you’ll enjoy means you’re ready for a weekend of real rejuvenation," she says.
8. They plan a fun Friday activity. Some successful people have a fun ritual that helps them create a definitive divide between their workweek and weekend. ”It may be an afternoon cocktail with a group of friends, an hour of volunteer work, or a regularly scheduled gym workout or game of tennis,” Kerr explains. “What’s key is that it be something they look forward to, so they view it as a reward for reaching the end of the week, and that it’s something that gives them a complete mental shift.”
9. They acknowledge others’ accomplishments and hard work. ”One leader I know uses Friday afternoons to either phone or drop by employees’ offices in person to thank them for the work they did during the week,” Kerr says. “She says doing it on Friday afternoon not only helps her employees go home feeling appreciated, happier, and more relaxed, but it also helps her feel better and happier, as well.”
10. They say goodbye to people around the office. A simple, “have a nice weekend” can go a long way. “This is especially important for leaders to do, and especially important on a Friday afternoon to give both yourself and the people you work with a sense of closure to the week and a chance to connect, if even briefly, before everyone departs,” Kerr says.
A Less Than Desirable Milestone
I’ve dealt with difficult clients, we all have. They’re the ones who are forgetful, disorganized and bad communicators. They get upset at people who don’t come to the same conclusion they do. They literally wonder why you can’t read their mind. They have the worst email etiquette. They change their strategies on a fly and forget to tell you. They have incompetent assistants. They’re always unavailable.
And then there are abusive clients. I dealt with my first one this week.
I was on a conference call with a coworker in my office, door closed. The yelling coming from the phone was heard by people in the conference room next door. He berated us, asking if we were on drugs for making certain decisions. He would scream “you mean to tell me you don’t know the difference between ____ and ____ ? YES OR NO? IT’S A SIMPLE QUESTION! YES OR NO?!”
This is also a client who refuses to be copied on emails, and hired an in-house PR/marketing manager but then denied her any authority or decision making power, essentially making her useless. Our emails go through his Executive Assistant, who becomes a de facto person of authority but has none.
What a friggin’ mess.
Robin Williams: Where were you when you first heard the news?
If you are between the ages of 30-65, then I am certain that the news of actor Robin Williams’ death by apparent suicide is soul crushing in a way that twentysomethings and the octogenarians may not understand completely.
What a tragic death. What a brilliant performer.
For me, one of the most difficult things to comprehend early on was how the news could come from this press release from the Marin County Sheriff’s Department. Such a stark, cold, official document. How could this be the messenger of death? Robin Williams was so funny, kindhearted and beloved by all. How could the news of his death come from a PDF Word document? Stranger yet, I saw the link to the PDF via Twitter.
The world lost an incredible father, husband, actor and man struggling with depression today.