It’s Friday – the weekend countdown has begun. You’re ready to cast off the cares of the week and grab some much needed relaxation. Only one thing stands between you and the weekend – the rest of your workday.
For many, Friday is one of two extremes – it’s either the day you are intentionally slammed determined to get everything done you possibly can or you’ve decided to insulate yourself and wind down for the weekend. Today, I don’t care what camp you are in. I’m going to suggest one of the most productive and ground-breaking changes you can make to your Friday to make it the most productive day of the week – even if it’s your “wind-down” day.
Making Friday a “Why” day
Several years ago, I was working in a senior management position with an excellent company. There was always competition for my time. I had to learn to decline meetings and empower delegates to handle certain things to maintain my own sanity. I hated Friday afternoon meetings. One of the best ways to destroy your weekend was a late-afternoon Friday meeting where stuff gets dumped into your lap. I was determined to protect my Friday.
I set up a recurring meeting from 3PM to 5PM every Friday with my most trusted staff member. At first, the idea was just to keep someone else from trying to book that time. But I quickly realized this meeting could be a powerful tool. After all, why not have a weekly review with a key employee? We spent time reviewing the key projects, initiatives, decisions, incidents, reports, etc. that had been of concern during the week. During the course of this meeting, I found myself asking a single question over and over again; Why?
Why did we do this? Why do we report on this? Why does this matter? Why? Why? Why? I asked the question so much that the meeting eventually was retitled as “Why?” I learned many things by asking why over and over. I also learned there were many things we were doing as an organization that could be improved. I found the list of actions from my “Why?” meetings became a powerful improvement tool. The meeting also became a time when we could laugh about mistakes we made, learn from them, and discuss how to improve going forward.
In the end, those two hours became some of the most beneficial and productive hours of the week. They became a springboard for improving our operations. All because we weren’t afraid to ask “Why?”
Maybe Friday should be your “Why” day too.