You probably already know that preparing for the week ahead on a Sunday is a great way to improve your productivity, reduce stress level’s and achieve more of your goals and objectives. But what if you moved some of these activities to a Friday instead of a Sunday? What difference would it make? And should you replace that Sunday night routine with a Friday routine?
On a Friday, you’re typically in a positive frame of mind and eager to get your weekend started. So why not capitalize on your great state of mind and put it to good use.
In his book, Unlimited Power, Tony Robins describes a state as “ the sum total of all neurological processes within an individual at any one moment in time” He goes on to say that, “ the state one is in will filter or affect the final result of our interpretation of any experience we have at that moment.” In other words, if you are in a positive state then you will perceive things to be more positive than you would if you were not in a positive state.
While you’re in a great mood, this the perfect time to do a number of things that won’t just set you up for a great start the following week, but will help you to start that week in a good mood as well, and we can all do with starting our working weeks positively.
So if you want to start your weeks in the best way possible…
Here are 7 Friday routines that will supercharge your week ahead, help you to achieve more and be happier at work.
1. Start a Friday gratitude journal
There are many scientifically proven benefits of gratitude and it can increase levels’ of happiness and lead to greater levels of satisfaction. But when it comes to Monday morning or Sunday night, sometimes, it can be hard to focus on the positive. Why not take some time on a Friday afternoon and note down one or two things that you’re really grateful for in your life. This doesn’t have to just be things in your working life, it can include things from every aspect of your life, from your health to your relationships to your family. This way, you can use whatever you write down as a tool to motivate you, come Monday morning when you might not be feeling so positive.
2. Recap what went really well
Have you ever had someone ask you how you were when things were not going particularly well? You probably started to think about all the things that were going wrong and answered with something like “ Fine” which could really mean f*$$ed up, insecure, neurotic and emotional.
But what if instead of asking how you were, someone asked you, what’s going well? This would force you to really think about the things that are going well and make you focus on the positive.
It’s easy to overlook the things that are going well at work and focus instead on the obstacles we need to overcome, the problems we need to solve and the things we haven’t accomplished yet. But it’s important to allow yourself to recognize when things have gone well.
Take a moment to note down what specifically has gone well in your week. List 3 things that went well and why they went well.
By doing this, you’ll be programming your brain to start looking for the good things and noticing the positive. Since our brains have a natural bias towards the negative, this simple exercise will help you take a big step towards being more positive and happy in your life moving forward.
3. Review what didn’t go so well
It’s as important to review the things that didn’t go so well in your week as it is to recognize what went well. After all, if you don’t take time to notice where things are not going as you had planned, you won’t know what needs to change or when you need to course correct.
This isn’t an exercise in beating yourself up, being overly harsh on yourself or placing blame, it’s about identifying where there’s an opportunity for improvement, learning, and growth.
4. Review lessons learned
Whether you’ve had a terrible week or a great week, the important thing is the lessons you’ve learned.
Reviewing what you’ve learned is a valuable exercise that will increase your effectiveness as it gives you a steer on what to do more of and what you might want to stop doing. Ultimately leading to better results over time.
By doing this on a regular, weekly basis, it puts you in the mindset of continuous improvement.
Lessons don’t need to be major. Sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference. For example, finding out that a colleague responds better t requests made in the morning rather than the afternoon.
While something like this might seem trivial, it’s these continual minor adjustments that will lead to better communication, improved relationships, improved efficiency and a lot more.
Not to mention, becoming the type of person who continually seeks to improve and who strives for excellence, can only have a positive impact on your career.
Of course, lessons are only as valuable as the actions you take as a result of what you’ve learned.
From the lessons you’ve learned, highlight one or two things that you will do differently as a result.
5. What one thing have you achieved this week that you’re proud of?
This question might sound a lot like what went well, but it’s a lot more specific than that. Answering this question on a regular basis will help you to stay on track with the activities that matter.
Another question that you could ask yourself instead is “what one action did you take to move closer to your goal of achieving X?” This is even more specific.
We can get bogged down in the minutiae and spend time doing things that ultimately aren’t getting us anywhere in our job, career or business. If you make a habit of asking yourself what you’ve accomplished that your actually proud of on a weekly basis, this will help you stay focused and on achieving your long term goals since you’ll quickly notice when you’re spending time in the weeds and not making any progress.
6. What could have made your week easier, better, or more enjoyable?
If you get to a Friday and you look back feeling miserable, then something definitely needs to change. And it’s a good idea to think about what might improve things in the coming week. Doing this on a Friday is important since it could involve changing something in your scheduling or getting something done in the weekend that will help you have a less stressful week, like preparing your lunches. Whatever it is, give yourself the chance to identify it and put something in place that will help going forward.
7. Outline your key goals for the coming week.
When you’ve just come to the end of a busy week, you’re well aware of exactly what needs to happen next. Those little tasks that you didn’t get a chance to do, the most important things that need to happen next week. This is a good time to get it all down on paper.
Instead of waiting till Monday to start thinking about what you need to prioritize, get clear on it while it’s fresh. This doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t look at it on Sunday night, because doing that will definitely prime you for the coming week. But what it does mean is that when you review it on Sunday, you might have some further thoughts or actions to add. Things that you had overlooked that could help you come Monday morning.
If you sit down to plan the week from scratch on Sunday, you’re first going to have to reflect back to last week and we all know that after the weekend things can seem like a very long time ago and it could end up taking you longer than it needs to.
The goal is to be planned and ready for your new week, without spending too much of your Sunday night on it!
There you have it, 7 simple Friday routines that will help you get ready for the work week ahead, and all before Sunday!
While you’re at it, why not check out these 10 ways to increase your productivity during the week.