I'll admit things are a little different now with the workweek, what with flexible scheduling, gigging and so many people working multiple jobs. Sti
I’ll admit things are a little different now with the workweek, what with flexible scheduling, gigging and so many people working multiple jobs. Still, if Friday were a color, it would be Happy Glitter Sparkle Rainbow. And the good news is, you don’t have to settle for that feeling once every seven days.
1. Mind your deadlines. Common practice is to try to wrap up projects by the end of the week so you can “start clean” on Monday. This can mean that the stress of having to finish everything at once always gets worse as the week rolls on. But if you schedule yourself so that projects purposely are ending through the whole week, you’ll have an “I did it!” moment in a “down” time to look forward to.
2. Call a hard stop. People get dragged down by the workweek in part because it doesn’t feel like five days–with after-hours emails or requests to stay late, it just ends up feeling like one 120-hour-long loop. Politely draw boundaries about ending the day. Wrap up by setting a clear time to continue discussions or projects. This will end the loop, but it also will get people to understand that you’re serious about the project and are taking initiative to ensure it gets finished.
3. Think about your team, not the work. It admittedly takes some time for team members to trust each other, and you ideally should be in a position that you’re passionate about. But one of the big reasons people look forward to Friday and the subsequent weekend is that those days are when people can get reenergized by the people they love. You don’t have to ignore or dismiss the tasks ahead of you as unimportant, but focus on the opportunities you have to share yourself, learn about others and have truly meaningful interactions.
4. Give each day a purpose. Sure, you can go with Taco Tuesday. But how about Mentor Monday or Thankful Thursday? Create a positive theme for each day that allows you to give back, celebrate success or do the deep work necessary for growth.
5. Invest in your own authenticity. Others of course will expect you to be “professional” in the office. But pretending to be someone you aren’t to please others is exhausting. Do something every day that you enjoy and that speaks to who you are, whether that’s opining on a potential project or wearing the loudest socks you can find in your drawer.
6. Track your progress. Insecurity, inexperience or cultural pressures can make you hardcore worried about how you’re performing. The weekend thus ends up being a chance to escape scrutiny and the anxiety it creates. If you track what you’re doing, however, you have a way to verify that you are in fact reaching standards, doing a good job and getting closer to goals. You know for sure through the entire week that there’s no reason to worry or find fault. And if the tracking reveals that you’re struggling in something, you can make adjustments before there’s a bigger problem.
7. Ask tons of questions. It’s much more difficult to get lost in soul-sucking monotony when you’re learning something new at every turn. Get insights from others whenever it’s appropriate, take classes, watch educational videos or look up information from reliable sources to keep your perspective fresh. At the end of the day, take time to acknowledge and appreciate what you learned.
8. Spend time helping. This has a twofold purpose. First, it reminds you that you are not just your work, and that you can contribute anywhere, anytime. Secondly, it reminds you that there’s a heck of a lot bigger problems than formatting a report or getting through traffic. This doesn’t at all discredit what you’re dealing with, but it does ensure that you don’t make mountains out of molehills or fight unnecessary battles.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
This article is from Inc.com