Why Friday Shouldn’t Be Hard Work

Posted in Career on April 18th, 2024

As the week draws to a close, many of us find that we start counting down the hours until the weekend begins – after all, unless you have a job where you work at weekends, those two days are days of rest, fun, hobbies, family, and of course they’re something to look forward to. 

That’s probably why, by the time we get to Friday, there’s a definite sense of relief in the air. You don’t have to hate or even dislike your job to feel that feeling – you can love what you do and still be glad Friday has rolled around, especially if you’ve been working hard or it’s been a particularly difficult week – we all have them. 

The issue is that because we’re so looking forward to the weekend, those Fridays, rather than being a standard day, can sometimes become much more of a challenge and far more difficult to get through. The key is to ensure that rather than Fridays being all about hard work and stress, you make sure they’re not much hard work at all. With that in mind, keep reading to find out what you need to do. 

Leave Work Early

We’re not saying that you can skip out on work just because it’s Friday – not exactly, anyway. If you decided not to work on Friday afternoons, or you went home (or logged off) an hour or two (or three!) early every week without permission, you could soon end up in some trouble, and potentially looking for another job. 

However, there’s a big difference between leaving work without permission and getting that permission, and that’s what you need to think about. In other words, if you want to make sure that Fridays aren’t hard work, you need to find a job with flexible hours, and you need to be prepared to work a little longer on other days. If you have a flexible job, you’ll generally be able to manage your own hours as long as you do what your contract asks, and by working an extra 30 minutes to an hour each day (either by starting early or working in the evening, for example), you can make up enough time to take Friday afternoons off without any consequences, giving you a longer weekend and an overall happy feeling. 

Practice Prioritization

It can often feel as though Fridays are the busiest day of the week because you have to try to cram so much in before you leave for the weekend – there might be tasks that just have to  be done before the working week ends, or that have a specific deadline, and that can entail Fridays becoming stressful and much harder work than they need to be. 

To overcome this problem, you need to learn how to priortize your tasks to ensure that nothing important is left to the last minute and finsihing the projects with shorter deadlines first, even if they’re not fun jobs or they seem hard to do. It’s far better to tackle a tricky job with a shorter deadline first thing on a Monday than it is to leave it until Friday afternoon and potentially have to work later and longer than you otherwise would. 

Have a Fun End-of-Week Ritual

Workers are the only ones who will want to ensure Fridays are easier so that the weekend can be more enjoyable; school kids will be in the same boat. Many teachers come up with fun Friday activities to end the week on a positive note, and it can become a nice ritual for the kids (and the teachers, come to that!). 

So if it happens at school, and school is meant to be preparing children for later life, doesn’t that mean having fun Friday activities and rituals at work should be something you put in place as well? Well, why shouldn’t it? It’s true you might not want to have a quiet coloring session or listen to stories being read (although that could be a great way to end the week!), but there will be other things you can make into a ritual to help ease yourself out of work and into the weekend. You could start by tidying up your workspace so it’s ready for you on Monday morning, for example, or you could treat yourself to a sweet treat on the way home – or perhaps buy some flowers. Perhaps Friday could be the night you do your hobby, like dancing or pottery – it could be anything. By creating these positive and fun end-of-week rituals, Friday can be a lot more enjoyable and a lot less stressful. 

Set Weekend Boundaries

Something that can be a problem for people and mean that Fridays are stressful even when they should possibly be the most stress-free day of the week is the idea that work will spill over into the weekend. What happens if you get a phone call or email from your boss or an important client? Should you check your messages on a Saturday morning just to make sure there’s nothing you urgently have to do? What about typing up a report on a Sunday evening just to make sure you hit the ground running? 

While you can certainly do these things, and while you can definitely be ‘on call’ and respond to messages instantly, that’s not a particularly healthy or fun thing to do, and if you’re not being paid to do the work, why waste your precious downtime on it? 

It can be hard to step away from the office, especially if you work from home and everything’s right there – you can quickly do some work whenever you want – but it’s crucial that you do. By putting some boundaries in place you can protect your time over the weekend and really have the work-life balance that you want and that’s so important. What makes this an even better thing to do is that if you do take time out and really forget about work for a couple of days, by the time you get back to the office on a Monday, you’ll be a lot more refreshed and able to be more productive, which in turn means that Friday should be easier to deal with. 

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