After a long week of writing and meeting deadlines, I really look forward to my weekends--getting out of the office, tapping into my latest foodie desire, playing my beloved guitars, sleeping in (a little bit), and most important, spending time with friends and family. And I emphasize family here.
My journey through freelance writing has been a roller coaster ride of thrills--scoring a book project that has a good chance of actually being published--and spills--my cash flow is never entirely consistent nor predicable. It is through this crazy, up-and-down entrepreneurial journey that I have learned that getting organized late Friday afternoon before calling it quits (I admit that for some Fridays this ends up being more like 1 am Saturday morning), helps me find my focus and stay on track to hit the ground running, first thing Monday morning.
With just a little thought and organization prior to your weekend, you too can start your Monday with renewed energy and purpose. How? By being prepared for a super successful and productive week with these 5 steps.
1. Give yourself a pat on the back
Celebrate your victories from the previous week--this is especially important if you are the boss and have nobody to notice and compliment you on your little successes. Think about what made those moments so successful and take the time to be proud of your accomplishments. If you have employees, note and acknowledge their successes, setting good vibes for all in the next week to come.
2. Take stock of your week
List those things that didn't go so well this week--hopefully it's a short list--and think about ways in which to improve the outcome next time. Take a moment or two to document any new ideas you come up with. If your list happens to be a long one, choose the top three to ruminate about and then move on.
3. Create a list for next week
Make a list of those things you didn't have time to get to this past week--this will be the beginning of your to-do list for next week. Add to this list other commitments and meetings you have for next week. Be realistic with your goals and don't try to crowd an eight-hour day with twenty hours worth of to-do's. Be mindful of how long each task will realistically take.
4. Consider the possibilities
While pondering the coming week, ask yourself if it would be possible to take Friday off. Studies have shown that employees are far more productive, efficient, and creative when they have a three-day weekend to look forward to.
5. Organize your workspace
Before you break for the weekend, organize your office and desk. There is nothing worse than returning to the trenches on Monday morning to scattered papers, ten reminder sticky notes attached to your computer screen, and crumbs from your lunch last Thursday afternoon strewn across your desk. Once you have successfully cleaned your desk and organized yourself for the week to come--this process should only take about an hour--take a deep breath and begin to relax into your weekend. Refreshments anyone?
Work on Saturday and Sunday?
Uh, NO! You have all your ducks in a row for Monday if you accomplished the above, so Saturday and Sunday are the days to think about and do other things besides work. Sleep in. Get away from your smartphone. Spend time with family and friends. Reenergize and really enjoy your weekend.