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By Teri Grant
This article will take ~4 minutes to read.
The other week I discussed how to finish the week feeling amazing and highlighted a few simple strategies to use on Friday to help set you up for success next Monday (and beyond). Now let’s flip it, and take a quick look at how to use Monday through Thursday to set us up for an amazing Friday.
End the Week on a Low Note
You know that old saying, ‘finish on a high note?’
Beautiful sentiment – but for me it’s sometimes gosh darn hard to dig deep in the last few hours on the last day of the week. Finishing on a high note just doesn’t always make sense to me – where on earth does the energy and motivation come from every single week, especially when you’ve been pouring into the other days?
So what if we tried finishing on a low note instead? What if we finished our day on Friday feeling relaxed, unstressed, and like we actually accomplished things this week?
The secret is to take the big, lengthy, complicated, multi-layered tasks and projects – let’s call them Important Tasks – that we wanted to accomplish, and re-divide them in a way that allows us to cruise into the weekend feeling relaxed and – dare I say it – happy. Yes, week-in and week-out feeling genuinely happy and fulfilled.
Stick with me here.
Let’s see how this plays out in an example. Pretend for a moment that you have an overwhelming list of Important Tasks to get accomplished in the next week or so – maybe 25-30 items fill up that list. To stay on top of it, you know that you need a plan. You decide that to stay on top of it you want to get 15 Important Tasks done this week. With some savvy math, your first thought might be that the best way to get it all done is to allocate three of the Important Tasks to each of the five days of the week.
But hang on a second. Is there another way?
Instead of equally dividing up those Important Tasks across each day, what if we tried front-loading the week to take advantage of our rested, energized self to get the most work done on Monday? We could then take on gradually less work throughout the week, in line with the gradually decreasing energy we might be feeling as our decision-making drains our reserves through the week.
Front-loading our week might look like this:
‘End on a Low Note’ Plan of Action for 15 Important Tasks:
Monday: Front-load your week with Important Tasks.
5 Important Tasks accomplished from your to-do list for the day.
Don’t hold back – put the big scary stuff right at the beginning when you are fresh from the weekend and ready to hit the road running.
Tuesday: Keep the momentum going.
4 Important Tasks accomplished from your list.
Remember how good Monday felt, crossing so much off the list? Let’s get at it again.
Wednesday: You’re already in the homestretch.
3 Important Tasks accomplished.
At lunchtime you’re halfway through your work week – but when you bounce out of bed first thing in the morning, remind yourself that you’re already 60% of the way through your Important Tasks to-do list. Nice!
Thursday: Respect your energy level.
2 Important Tasks accomplished.
Down-gear a bit, sharpen your focus, and get those two things squared away.
Friday : The big day is here; time to take it home.
1 Important Task accomplished.
With 14 Important Tasks already checked off for the week you can feel pretty darn good when you knock that last one off the list. Reminder: you rock.
Now you can start the weekend in style, feeling relaxed and incredibly accomplished. Who doesn’t want to feel like that?
Make it happen:
This week, create an Important Tasks task list that is front-loaded on Monday and gradually gets light through the week.
The added benefit of this approach is that if anything goes awry (a surprise project comes up, an emergency needs to be handled), you’ve already brilliantly built yourself some buffer time!