TGIF. Now there’s a “four-letter word” that sparks joy across blue and white-collar professionals the world over.
Unfortunately, when you own your own small business, Fridays are often just another day. After all, weekends usually mean more work.
How can you transform your Fridays from humdrum to heavenly? Here are eight ways Fridays can spark joy even if you’re a small business owner.
Tie up loose ends.
The reason Friday feel so good is obvious: it signals a temporary respite from otherwise endless work. But if you don’t get to the end of the project, it can be harder to celebrate.
That’s why Friday is a great day to spend time finishing up what you can.
“We use Fridays to unwind a bit and then get ourselves ready for next week,” says David Batchelor of On Time Telecom, Inc. “This usually involves cleaning up that dreaded inbox and any loose ends from the week, as well as physically cleaning up so we don’t walk into a disaster scene on our desks Monday morning.”
Bond with your team.
The last day of a busy week offers the ideal time to unwind with coworkers—whether you’re hauling out the VR headsets and watching movies, like Lauren Krakauskas at Cucalorus Film Foundation, or decamping to the local coffee shop to order breakfast and set up shop for the morning, like Nicole Fallon, co-founder and CEO of Lightning Media Partners.
“Even though we often work through the weekend, having our ‘Friday Starbucks mornings’ gives us something to look forward to. It’s a built-in strategy session and routine-breaker,” Fallon notes. “Ideally, we use this time to talk about business goals and take a break from client work to focus on our own growth.”
Take a cue from these three business owners and make Friday a day to revel in a week of success.
“I take a break, go grab an iced coffee or a big warm chocolate chip cookie and indulge,” says Jacklyn Kelley, owner of Luna Lynn Creative. “I like to think back on my accomplishments for the week and reward myself. Focusing on the positives is key, and what better day to do it than Friday.”
Yaz Purnell—the owner of lifestyle website, The Wallet Moth—finds that treating yourself doesn’t have to mean splurging out on something expensive or unhealthy: “Sometimes we’ll all just spend a little longer creating a lunch we all enjoy. That small indulgence is all it takes to give me that ‘Friday feeling.’”
And just a reminder that small treats can be the best. “Whipped cream in my coffee is a total game-changer and guaranteed to put you in a Friday state of mind,” says Amy McCord Jones,
owner of Flower Moxie.
Get accountable for joy.
Similarly, draw inspiration from Jen Asbury, CEO and founder of ACE Group, who created a “Joy Wall” for employees at FBC Remodel.
On Fridays, the company holds weekly accountability meetings to ensure employees are putting work into their own personal joy, she says. Some of the recent sentiments on the wall include “changing out my wardrobe to spring clothes,” “getting my garden going,” “yoga,” and “hiking in the mountains.”
“We stress our employees’ individual joy,” says Jen, “because we believe it’s contagious to our teams, our customers and beyond.”
Unplug to see the bigger picture.
Kelley Kitley of Serendipitous Psychotherapy, LLC, uses Fridays to reflect on what went well for the week while also using it as an opportunity to recognize what she might need to do differently or better for the following week.
The key? Unplug.
“Taking time away from my computer and phone allows me to focus on the bigger picture,” she says. Finding satisfaction in your accomplishments while setting goals for the upcoming week is the best way to end the week on a note of renewal.
Plan zero meetings.
Leadership development expert Elizabeth Whittaker-Walker—founder of Raymond Whittaker Design—tries not to schedule meetings on Fridays, so each week she will know she has at least one day to focus uninterrupted on heads-down work.
“Fridays are either really intense, as I’m finishing up work, or super relaxed, as I’m getting ready for new projects,” says Elizabeth.
When they’re intense, she knows she’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. When they’re relaxed, she knows she is entering the weekend with a sense of ease. “Either way, Fridays are a breath of fresh air because I’ve given myself time and space in my schedule to vision, sort through solutions and build strategy.”
Work from home.
For Katie Horgan, co-founder and vice president of business development for Giving Assistant, staying out of the office on Fridays allows her to take a breather to finally digest all the feedback, ideas and projects that build throughout the week.
“Also,” Katie says, “let’s be real. Working from home on Fridays means I can get a head-start on some household chores, like throwing in a load of laundry or scheduling that oil change.”
It’s a great way to get a lot done and free up some space so weekends aren’t primarily spent running errands.
Make it a half day.
Finally, let’s maybe all take a cue from firms like LBA Haynes Strand that lets employees leave at noon on Fridays from April to December.
In other words, take “work hard, play hard” to heart. For you as well as for the people you lead. Friday can spark joy—even when you run a small business. All it requires is a bit of inspiration and some intentionality.