One of the favorite tools I use to make my life easier is Get-S#!t-Done Friday. It’s comparable to what others may call Power Hour or something along these lines. The idea is that you set some time aside on a certain day to do certain things. For me, that means an hour or so every Friday morning, and two to three hours on the last Friday of the month.
I don’t take appointments on these days, or at least not before noon, so that I can take care of things I don’t enjoy doing, in other words, things I tend to push forward on my to-do list until they either become obsolete or I can’t ignore them any longer. Needless to say, that strategy is neither helpful nor efficient and has in fact led to a couple of unpleasant situations in the past. To prevent more of those, I decided to introduce GSD Friday some two years ago and it’s been helping a lot.
So what do I do on those days?
First thing on my agenda is anything financial. I start by writing invoices, which is a task I used to hate but that I have since reframed it into providing a more positive experience by saying “Thank you for the money” with every invoice I send (yes, I say it out loud). That makes me feel really good about the tedious task.
Next, I look at every single account and credit card and update my income and expense spreadsheet. Again, that’s a task I didn’t care for much in the past, and I am not claiming that I enjoy it these days. But I know that this will pay off when I sit down to do my annual taxes—which tends to take less than two hours on average instead of an entire weekend. I find that amazingly efficient considering that I am self-employed. So it’s well worth doing some accounting every Friday and a really diligent session on the last Friday of the month.
To end my work week, I sit down and plan the next. There are always additions later, but I just feel good about seeing what type of week is ahead. A lot of my business is rather spontaneous, so I like to have everything I can schedule in advance on my weekly calendar as early as possible. I realize that makes me sound like a bore, but it is my number-one anti-anxiety tool, so I won’t ever apologize for being a planner. Also, it helps me get out of the house to socialize often enough because if evenings on my calendar for the upcoming week are still wide open, I reach out to friends to arrange to meet someone. That’s super important considering that I work from home a lot.
On the last Friday of the month, during my longer GSD session, I also go online and buy my tickets to networking events for the upcoming month. There are a few standards on my calendar, but I also try to check out at least one event a month that I haven’t been to yet. In a city like Seattle, there is such a huge range of networking formats on offer, I usually don’t run into issues finding something new to try. And it feels good to have my tickets for my favorite monthly events on my computer desktop to look forward to meeting old friends and making new contacts.
Maybe the most satisfying task I do on GSD Friday is emptying my inbox. The rule is pretty simple: If I haven’t gotten around to watching a video or reading a newsletter or whatnot by Friday, it’s not happening, so I may as well delete it now. Also, it’s a good day to get back to non-urgent requests or reach out to friends I don’t get to see or talk
Again, I step up my game on the last Friday of the month when I tackle the To-Deal-With-Later folder I keep on my computer desktop, and the actual To-Deal-With-Later stack that unfolds over the course of the month on the sideboard behind my desk. It’s pretty amazing what you can forget in the course of only a few days if you put it on a stack, right?
I may not enjoy the tasks too much—though sometimes I do, now that it’s become a habit—but I always love all the clean, free space I get to see by the time I am done—both on the digital and the analogue desktop. Nothing like that to put me in a weekend mood!
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