It comes every week and demotivates workers in various industries. While Friday afternoon productivity loss is normal, it’s inevitable, says Billy Roberts, a Columbus, Ohio, therapist who treats professionals with ADHD. “The decline is sometimes the result of chronic work stress and lack of self-care during the week,” and can be triggered by anticipation for the weekend, he said. By identifying what’s contributing to your Friday energy drop, you can improve your performance, says Roberts.
We asked for online feedback from professionals on how to deal with Friday afternoons and heard from hundreds of people about their strategies: team meetings are commonplace, as is avoiding focused, in-depth work or complex tasks.
It’s important to ensure that everything goes smoothly and that low-energy Friday afternoon syndrome can be prevented.
Here’s how to make the most of your Friday:
1. Save the morning by avoiding email.
One trick I’ve found helpful is checking email after lunch, So you can concentrate on important tasks in the morning. Answering emails in the afternoon also helps you better plan my to-do list on Mondays.
2. Finish up simple tasks.
Don’t get involved in useless and repetitive work. The task has to be led and it is clear how you should do it. The result will pay off immediately because you will feel like you have accomplished a lot.
3. Pick up the phone.
When your attention wanes, you become less effective in typing, but you can have very productive internal and customer conversations on the phone. So get on the phone and make some calls.
4. Mop up the week.
For me, Friday afternoon means cleaning up last week and preparing for next week.
5. Plan, plan, plan.
Make a to-do list for next week, including new projects and contacts. Refrain from starting new projects, but plan how to deal with them.
6. Plan your team’s tasks.
“When I lead the team, I prepare their assignments for the next week,” says Iliya Valchanov, lecturer in data science at Udemy, an online course provider and co-founder of online hosting company. “I scheduled the email for 8:30am on Monday so you can see it on Monday. That gets me working Friday for next week.”
7. Skip real work altogether.
“I structure my week so that Friday afternoon is my creative day,” says Purdeep Sangha, executive coach for men. “I plan important business assignments on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and on Fridays I follow a routine to get into the zone. [This] involves practice and meditation, then I get into my creative state and let it flow. The best of my idea.” came from my session on Friday. “
“Because I usually like sorting documents, I booked Friday afternoons for sorting and filing,” says Alina Clark, co-founder of software development company CocoDoc. “I also threw Diet Coke on my desk and cleaned it up.”