You Know the Feeling—That “I Still Have Another Whole Work Day to Get Through” Feeling?
It’s 8:00 AM on a Friday morning, and you’re already counting down the hours until the weekend. You’re feeling unmotivated, and you would rather crawl back under the covers and sleep the day away. You’re not alone. Most people experience a dip in productivity and motivation towards the end of the week. However, the trickiest part about this is that even though you may know intellectually that you’re not the only person who has ever felt this way, at the moment, it can feel very lonely.
If you feel the Friday funk and want to shake it off, try these six tips to lift your Friday motivation:
1. Eat a Solid Breakfast and Plan to Eat Lunch
The first thing you can do to lift your Friday motivation is to eat a solid breakfast. Studies have shown that eating breakfast can help with improved memory, recall, mood, and visual-motor functions. However, planning to eat breakfast and lunch on a day when you’re not feeling your best could give you that extra boost you need to get through the day.
Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, which can leave you feeling weak and tired. If you are already struggling with feeling motivated, not eating is only going to make you feel more sluggish and less inspired to get anything done.
2. Prioritize What’s Urgent
No one wants to waste any precious energy trying to figure out what should be done when you are already feeling unmotivated. Therefore, prioritize your urgent tasks. Here is my quick trick for figuring out what’s urgent:
Just ask yourself three questions:
1. Are there any projects with deadlines that have passed already but are still due?
2. Which of those projects is the most overdue?
3. Of the overdue projects, which will take the least time to make significant progress or complete?
This should help you to easily identify at least one task that you can spend time working on diligently, knowing that you are getting something important done.
3. Tackle the Low-Hanging Fruit
Another way to refresh your Friday motivation is to tackle the low-hanging fruit. Maybe you are so burned out that the urgent tasks will take too much energy. There is nothing wrong with knocking out the obvious easy things. Emails, filing, data entry, document reconciliation, follow-up calls, editing or revising written work, and research are all low-hanging fruits—these are all straightforward tasks.
Getting these easier tasks done will give you a sense of accomplishment. You can leverage this sense of accomplishment to help you tackle some harder tasks or get all the easy tasks done so the following week, you can dedicate your time to the harder projects.
4. Give Yourself at Least Two Scheduled Breaks
Give yourself at least two scheduled breaks during the workday. Before you sit down at your desk for the workday, set three alarms—two 20-minute breaks and one lunch break. Scientists discovered that, although “taking short breaks throughout the working day may not have as obvious an impact as taking a holiday, research has found significant benefits. Studies have found that breaks can reduce or prevent stress, help to maintain performance throughout the day and reduce the need for a long recovery at the end of the day.”
You deserve flexibility and compassion. Let these breaks be a radical act of self-care.
5. Listen to Some Upbeat Tunes
Music is medicine. It is not a mystery that the vibrations of sound can affect our mood. Most people could recall at least one moment in their lives when music or sound has helped shift their mood. Studies show that listening to music while you work can lead to an “increase in both mood and quality of work.” If you are feeling super unmotivated, the solution to your problem may be throwing on your favorite album in the background while you try to get a few things done.
If you can’t work while listening to music with words and you do not like classical music or traditional jazz, explore genres like Trip hop, house, ambient, Beach House, JamBand. You may also enjoy artists like Bonobo, Thievery Corporation, and Grammatik.
6. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To
Giving yourself something to look forward to is the way to guarantee that you will be rewarded for the hard work of getting through the day. The reward doesn’t have to be immense. It can be something small like getting ice cream, going for a walk, spending time with friends, or vegging out with your phone on do not disturb for a few hours.
Try it the next time you get the hit with the Friday funk. Think about something you can look forward to no matter how small, and notice how it shifts your energy.
As the adage says, “this too shall pass.” You can count on time, and Friday is just a day like every other day before it will end. No matter what, Friday will wind on. The best thing you can do to improve your Friday motivation is to make sure that your body has the micronutrients it needs to power through the day, identify what’s urgent, tackle low hanging fruit, give yourself time away from the desk, throw on your favorite tunes, and think about the fact that the weekend is just around the corner. With these six tips, you can beat the Friday funk and end the week on a high note.