Last year, I started saving my weekends and Monday morning with the most simple and efficient productivity hack I’ve ever tried: planning the following week on Friday afternoon.
Friday afternoon, around 4PM, gather for a week retrospective. Check what has been done and what has not. The goal is not to judge everyone’s efficiency, but to know what’s remaining to do so you have an idea of what new work you can plan.
Don’t move every undone task to that group yet. Review them one by one instead. Priorities can change from one week to another, and what was important last Friday may not be that important anymore. Move what you want to do in next week sprint, and send the rest back to the backlog category.
Create new, missing tasks for next week if needed, and put them in to the backlog as well. Now, read the backlog loud so everyone knows about the tasks, and pick up what you want to be done. Ensure every picked up task is assigned to someone, and everyone hears what they have to do.
I already hear your silent question:
Why should you do that on Friday? No one will remember their assignment when they come back Monday morning!.
Well, you’re right. But there are many reasons to do that on Friday.
Monday morning meetings suck. Really. Nothing’s more depressing than spending your Sunday evening mourning about the Monday morning meeting.
Not everyone arrives at work at the same time. This is even more true on Monday, as people may need to travel to get to their office. If you’re feeling lucky, your week planning meeting will likely start around 11AM. People won’t know their priorities before noon, losing a whole morning of productivity.
There is more.
Planning your next week on Friday lets you leave your office with a free mind until Monday morning. Your brain doesn’t remember what you planned, but it knows it has something to do, removing uncertainty. You’ll (most likely) enjoy a better, more relaxing weekend and start your week rested and stress free.
One more (wonderful thing). You don’t need to be part of a team to do it. That productivity trick also applies when you’re working alone!