End the week doing the easy stuff or laying foundations for next week?


I don’t know about you but I often use Fridays, particularly Friday afternoon, as a time to clear out emails, do the admin work that’s been sitting on my desk for the last week and having a bit of a tidy up. In part it contributes towards the clear desk principle we spoke about recently and in part its because its nice to have an a bit more of an easy day after a busy week.

But what if that time, and energy, was used towards laying the foundations for next week? And what if we encouraged everyone else in the business to do the same?

How to prepare for next week:

  • For all the meetings you’re attending next week prepare an action agenda for each meeting – these agendas make a significant difference to the effectiveness of the meetings. Think about the outcomes and how you can best be of service to the people you are meeting?
  • For each new piece of work you’re starting think about the outcome you want and then work backwards considering the steps needed to achieve it. Ask the question for every step ‘what’s the last action which needs to be done to achieve that?’
  • If there are people you’ve been meaning to talk to but just haven’t had the chance to do so then pick up the phone. Don’t email, having that voice to voice contact will be far more effective. You might deal with everything in that call or you will be able to set a time to call again or even meet.
  • If there’s a difficult conversation you’ve been putting off then consider why it is that you think it will be difficult. Again pick up the phone and arrange to meet with the person. Even better ask if they have a few minutes for coffee on Friday afternoon. Use active listening in the conversation as well as making sure you are fully listening to them. You may even want to read this article and this one for some more tips and insights before you meet.
  • Encourage everyone in the business or the team to do the same. It will make a difference to not only how you and they end the week but also to the success of the next week.