When Friday rolls around, you’re likely already mentally checked out for the weekend. By 3pm, you’re already thinking about where you’re going to brunch tomorrow or what bar you want to check out. Of course, you should take a break during the weekend so you’re rested and ready to conquer the next week. But before you do, there are a few Friday tasks you can take care of to set yourself up for a great week.
If you take care of these items on Friday, you can hopefully cut down on some of the work you need to do during the weekend. Plus, when Sunday night and Monday rolls around, you can feel ready to conquer the new week ahead, instead of scrambling to finish what you were too lazy to do on Friday.
- Start working earlier
On Fridays, it feels easy to already put yourself in “weekend mode.” Maybe you got a drink with friends the night before, or you’re reveling in a light course load for Fridays. Instead of taking it as a third weekend day, treat it like a normal work day. Getting up and starting the day as usual will keep you productive through the afternoon. If you’re able to check things off your to-do list earlier, you don’t have to feel so guilty about taking the afternoon off and hanging out with friends.
- Plan for Monday
It’s easy to complete what you need to do for Friday, then head out the door. Instead, set yourself up for success with some Monday planning. Make a to-do list, and take care of any little tasks that you know you’ll need to do then, like an initial outline for a paper or reading an article to start thinking about your next assignment.
If you need to send emails, you might want to consider a tool like Boomerang for Gmail, which schedules emails to be sent at a later date. Emails sent on a Friday afternoon could unfortunately get lost in the inbox over the weekend. Instead, draft it and schedule it to be sent Monday morning, so it’s off your to-do list, but has a better chance of being opened.
- Clean up your Email
A mostly-empty inbox is a great way to treat yourself for Monday morning. Go through and delete or archive any old emails. If there’s something you know you want to respond to on Monday, star it or mark it as unread. Plus, it’s a chance to pause and make sure you didn’t miss anything over the week.
- Take Care of One Lingering Task
Everyone has those to-do list items that linger for weeks or months. Maybe it’s canceling an unused account, taking broken items to the trash, or replying to a family member’s email or letter. Whatever it is, take the time Friday to clear it off your list, so you can spend your weekend relaxing.
- Finish Small Housekeeping Tasks
Many people like to finish their week with a look at their finances, deadlines for upcoming projects, or other small housekeeping tasks. This will help set you up for the weekend and following week, while reducing your stress for the weekend. Take time Friday to enter expenses into your budget and put money into savings. Check dates for internship programs you want to apply for or set dates in your calendar to meet with a professor. Most likely, you won’t want to start a big project on a Friday, but finishing small tasks is a good productive choice.
Finishing your week strong with a productive Friday will help you to enjoy your weekend, and feel refreshed when it’s time to get back to work. What are your favorite productivity strategies?