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How do you "wind down" the work week effectively?

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

Tomorrow is Friday. I hope everyone has a great weekend after that. But I'm wondering how folks finish up their work weeks, how do you make the most of late Thursday and Friday to wrap things up so they don't linger (and so no support fires happen over the weekend).

Do you have any deliberate actions you take in this regard?

Discussion

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On Fridays, I like to leave a sticky note for myself of what I want to work on or look into next.

Helps mark an "end" to the week.

Monday mornings are especially packed with meetings for me so I end up discombobulated on Mondays more than anything. The sticky note lets me know what that "next thing" is that I should be doing.

It's intentionally a physical sticky note and not in my usual todo.txt file, so there's no excuse for missing it in the shuffle.

Sometimes I have some cute fun with my future-self:

"Fix Xcode. Sorry I broke it β™‘ but happy hour is starting!"

 

Friday is good. So is every other day. Creating tomorrow's TODO list at the end if each day is an amazingly efficient way to become both more productive and more relaxed.

 

I do my best to carefully plan my work and complete it in small chunks so I can stop at any time.

 
  1. No meetings on Fridays -- Just focus on getting to a good point with the work in play rather than planning more work
  2. I've noticed some of the best Fridays are when working more on support than features... It's easily defined chunks of work that won't linger into next week as a full new feature would
 
 

I usually block every meeting request 2 hours before I plan to get off work on Friday. With that I can focus on finishing things, get my administrative work done, plan the next week and get in a good mood.

This also prevents "urgent" topics that lead to not leaving on time or starting the weekend with anger about this topic because it's not solved or was not as urgent as announced..

 

Friday morning is wrapping up paperwork and status reports. Friday afternoon is professional development time to learn and experiment on new things. Friday night is beer....

 

Thursday is just a regular day.

Friday is the widely acknowledged slow day. No releases are allowed to Production (unless the world is on fire), so much less chance of a support fire over the weekend.

I try to keep Friday afternoons for thinking/dreaming about the future, reading what other people have done, release notes for frameworks in our stack, thinking about improvements we can make etc.

Mornings, regardless of the day, I tend to prioritise reading peer reviews that others have opened (and no-one else merged/closed yet).

 

Nothing special for Thursday.
The main rule: Just do not release and deploy anything on Friday.

Fridays are good for:

  1. Team sync up and paperwork
  2. Learning something new or doing a pet-project
 

No meetings on friday. I fully stop at 17:00 no matter what. I take some notes of where I was before leaving.

 
 

Taking a vacation day and starting the weekend early would be the best way to wind down the week.