A Smooth Friday Workflow: Tips for Wrapping Up Your Work for The Weekend
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Routines help us move efficiently from one area of life to another. The end of the work week is a transition period that can leave us stressed and overwhelmed, and if handled poorly, the start of the next work week can be very unpleasant. Ending your work day effectively can be the game-changer you've been missing out on. Without much mental effort, you can leave the office with a sense of accomplishment, clear your backlog, and prepare for a productive day tomorrow.
Here’s an effective routine you can customize and use to wrap up work for a relaxing weekend and a great start to the next week.
1. Start the routine at lunch time on Friday with one very important question
The question is: “What would be great if you could get it done by the end of the week?” Answers should consist of just one or two items, not your entire bucket list. You only have one afternoon left, but if you focus, you can finish a good job by the end of the day. However, to protect yourself, limit your Friday work to social gatherings. Either way, you'll still be working. It's also a good idea to finish a few things and start the weekend feeling good about what you accomplished.
2. About an hour before quitting time, wrap up the task you’ve been working on
No matter where you are in this task or the task or project you are about to complete, find your stopping point. What you should do now is note your progress on that particular task and any ideas or information you might need when tackling it again. If you can complete the tasks you set in the afternoon, great. Summarize fragmented content: papers, open files, and other related items.
3. Once you’ve wrapped up your task, update your task list
Delete or mark all tasks completed during weekdays. Delete tasks that are no longer relevant. There's no point in allowing them to take up space in your list. Delegate any tasks that don't belong to you or aren't scheduled to be done on Monday. Depending on the behavior of your task management system, move, migrate, or reassign tasks that still need to be completed.
4. Take a look at your calendar
After updating your to-do list, you should take 5 minutes to check your calendar for the weekend and next week's business days. The first goal is simply to give you a quick idea of what to expect. The second purpose is to realize that something big is coming up on Monday or Tuesday and need to prepare for it. There's nothing worse than going to work on a Monday morning and being surprised by a report that's due on Monday afternoon or a big meeting that you forgot about.
5. Give yourself notes and reminders for starting the next week
Leave a trail of breadcrumbs so you can follow it when you get back to work. For open projects: Leave notes (physical or digital, whichever best fits your project) about tasks you've completed, thoughts on where you want to continue, things you've been thinking about, etc. For calendar items and events: Leave information, ideas, reminders, and event details in calendar items so you don't have to search for them. Setting a reminder before an event on your calendar will give you enough time to stay informed and make any necessary preparations in advance.
6. Wrap up any open communication
Check your inbox for emails that need a response and take action immediately. If you need time to compile your answer, start your answer with your first thought, save it as a draft, and mark it as a priority in your inbox so you don't forget about it next week. If appropriate, respond using other forms of communication, such as phone calls, text messages, and social media messages.
7. Decompress as you move to the weekend
The transition is difficult, but routine can help. Make relaxation activities the last part of your daily routine. Practice is probably the best way. Even something as simple as taking a walk around the block or doing some jumping jacks can help you forget about work and recharge for the weekend. On your way home, listen to music, meditate for 10 minutes, or take a quick bike or car ride (if you work from home, you may need to set aside a "commute" period to allow for transition time).
Now you're ready for the weekend. You can relax, enjoy your time, and prepare for a great week when you get back to work, knowing that everything will be okay.
Source: LifeHack, Zapier, Flexjobs