Fridays and Sundays are my most productive days to work. Yes, the day most of us are winding down to get ready for the weekend and, wait for it, the weekend itself. The secret genius of planning structured Fridays and Sundays is what gives me an extra 20%+ capacity from the work hours I put in.
Here’s the Friday-Sunday routine.
Friday is my planning day. It’s when I book calls, appointments, and meetings for the following week because it’s a day people are in the office to get things on the calendar. It’s also when I set priorities for what will happen in the next week and where my focal point will be. If you wanted to get particularly motivated about it, you might try setting a major to-do for each day of the coming week so you’ll know, if all else goes south, that one thing will go just as expected. In fact, I generally don’t take meetings during 7-9 any work morning so I can start the day focusing on core priorities.
On Friday, I also look through the coming week at everything going on and plan 1-3 hour blocks I need to set aside to finish big projects or have think time. Sometimes these are mid-morning blocks or late afternoon windows.
Friday’s a good day to plan because planning work can be batched out in 20-30 minute sprints, so if you get chats, text, or calls coming in during these work hours, it’s easier to stop what you’re doing. But let’s face it–you’re finishing the week strong on a day people are in wind-down mode, so you’re unlikely to get a high volume of distraction.
Sunday is catch up day. At first glance, this might seem counter-intuitive–shouldn’t Friday be catch up day and Sunday be planning the week ahead? I’ve found the opposite to work better. Doing catch up on a day everyone else is out of office means uninterrupted work time to dive through my starred inbox items and get out those emails or contracts or promised items that are coming due. I’m usually at my computer from 3-6 Pacific on Sundays, and I kid you not, it’s the equivalent brain power and work output of a full 8 hour busy Monday because it’s just you and your machine, all alone with a long list of things to get through.
Sunday might be when you hear from me in response to the email that came in late Friday or through the weekend, and it’s the time I update my projects to make sure the week will start off right. If there’s a random initiative I need to look into or get back to someone about, Sunday’s when the research or the decisions happen.
Sunday afternoon is, in the words of Dr. Todd Dewett in his Managing Your Time course on lynda.com, my Einstein Window.
Catching up days let me update my strategy, refine existing projects or workflows, and catch my breath enough to start Monday with an empty inbox and a glad heart.
With these two simple schedule changes, I’ve multiplied my output to get the equivalent of at least 10 extra hours in my week. Simple tweaks = big results.