This article is originally published on Democrat & Chronicle, a USA Today network
Photo by Viktor Hanacek
If you’re honest with yourself, most of your Fridays don’t feel much like a “workday”.
You’re tired from a whole week’s work, your emails start piling up. Plus, your weekend is around the corner. It’s getting more difficult to get quality work done.
Sometimes you even feel like you have so much to do and you decide to organize your desk instead.
I experienced that in 2016, and trying to force myself to focus only made it worse.
Instead of trying to get busy work done on Fridays, I am experimenting a new way to spend my Fridays: Learning and planning.
Let me walk through how it works and hopefully you can make the most of your Fridays.
#1. Setting aside 1-2 hours for learning
I know what you’re thinking. You’re busy. You gotta handle clients, you need to speed up your projects, you have to finish all your tasks.
But hear me out.
I learned this from Bill Gates. He posted something on Facebook recently talking about how much he loves reading books since he was a little boy, even at his busiest time building and running Microsoft, he still managed to have at least an hour for reading books.
I am not as busy as Bill Gates, nor am I smarter. If he thinks it’s important to set aside time for learning, what excuses do I have NOT to do it? How about you?
When I come across interesting articles during the week, I bookmark them and save them for later ( You can also forward them to an email you use to collect articles, or use tools like Delicious or Evernote to help you).
On Friday, I block 1-2 hours to go through those articles. When I say “block 1-2 hours”, I mean closing other tabs on your browser, putting your phone to airplane mode, putting up a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door, and start reading. For God’s sake, do NOT multitask here!
I jot down notes while reading, like things I learned, questions I have, etc. If I think someone might be interested in the article, I will share it with them later.
#2. Planning for the upcoming week
Half of the battle is to decide WHAT to do, not how you do it.
Have you noticed that CEOs usually are not the ones who manufacture, design or market a product? But they decide what to make, where to manufacture it, and how to market it.
So I now start planning in Friday afternoon what I’m going to do the coming week. So when Monday arrives, I already know what the week looks like.
Instead of getting little meaningful work done, now you can use your Fridays for learning and planning. Fridays can be more than a stopgap that the weekend is here.
I’m curious what you do on your Fridays? Did you learn from this article how to make your Fridays more productive?