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Are Fridays wasted days? Not if you use these tips

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

What gets done in your workplace on Friday? Nothing? Here are some strategies to keep Fridays from becoming wasted days:

Bring the day into focus early. If some of your people have a tendency to let their concentration wander a bit early on Friday, help them stay in the groove with a quick review of the week's top priorities, and what needs to get done today in order to make those things happen. Other employees, though, may come to work with a sense of urgency to finish their tasks so they can relax over the weekend. You can help both early relaxers and strong finishers with the same approach — ask, "What can I do to help you make the most of your day today?"

Continue to apply all work standards consistently. This doesn't mean you need to brandish a stopwatch as people return from lunch on Friday. But it does mean setting and adhering to standards of acceptable casualness. If an extra 15 minutes at lunch is okay for one, it should be okay for all. If 20 minutes is stretching it for less motivated workers, you shouldn't allow that extra five to your stars, either.

Look ahead. Use the time when people may be thinking, "There's no point in getting anything started now" to help them plan their next week's activities. Fridays can be a good time to anticipate roadblocks and brainstorm workarounds. It's also a good time to check in with people about important, but not urgent, issues that may have been on the back burner while they finished their priorities for the week.

Offer week-in-review awards. One way to make sure people stay focused until the end of the work day is to reward people late on Friday for work they've done earlier in the week. You can make up prizes and honors if you like, but rewards don't have to be clever to be effective. Simply ask your people about their week — "What worked well for you?" "What would you like to do differently next week?" "How can I help make it happen?" — and you'll send them into the weekend thinking more positively about the work ahead.

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