How to close out your work week so you can enjoy the weekend

Do you feel like a million tabs are open in your brain at all times? For a long time, I could not shut off work for the weekend. The loose ends were in a loop in my brain: emails to respond to, calls to make, social media posts to write. I AM SO HAPPY TO TELL Y’ALL I HAVE A SOLUTION!!!! I started a routine on Fridays that CLOSES so many brain tabs. And it’s so easy and simple! Really, it’s just taking a break to refocus. Here’s how to close out your work week so you can enjoy the weekend.

Are you ready to learn about this miraculous habit?

I write handwritten notes and plan for the next week.

I know, this doesn’t seem like a dramatic thing.

But since I’ve started, it has completely changed my work week. I feel so much more accomplished, happier, and productive. I can shut off for the weekend to focus on family, friends, and wine. (Preferably, a glass of sparkling can work its way into the weekend!!) On Monday, I feel prepared and not lost.

Here’s what I do…

FIRST: WRITE NOTES.

You might be thinking, “write notes? like notes to yourself?” Nope: notes to other people.

Thank you notes, good to see you notes, condolence notes, congratulations notes. It’s a time to connect with people, reflect, and express gratitude.

I write both personal and professional notes because, in my opinion, the two are intertwined. Your network – both personal and professional – make up who you are and how you will be successful. The friend who can offer you advice about your 4-year-old is equally as important as your colleague who can recommend you for a promotion or client or a new job in five years. Sallie Krawcheck says, “Networking is the #1 unwritten rule of success.” (also important? the collective power of female allies.) Both personal and professional connections keep you grounded and moving forward – and both deserve your attention on Fridays.

Now, let’s chat about the fun part. Pen and paper. My dad set me up for this nerdiness, gifting me a Franklin Covey and a fountain pen when I was probably 14 years old. I love writing with a good pen on substantial paper as much as I love salted dark chocolate caramels from Trader Joe’s (bliss!) My current favorite pen, hands down, is this Levenger True Writer with True Teal ink. I order stationery from Ooh La La, a local stationery and gift shop here in Myrtle Beach.

SECOND: PLAN YOUR NEXT WEEK.

I use a paper planner: the Levenger Circa. It is my other brain. I use the weekly smartPlanner and the miraculous $12 Momentum daily planner.

Side note: I am tech-y, I love apps. I have tried them ALL. Producteev, DayLite, Wunderlist, Nozbe, Trello, Outlook Tasks, Things 3. And those apps are great – but for me, too much ends up as a task on the list and I get stressed and honestly? Stuff doesn’t get done that way.

Pen to a paper planner is the method that keeps me most productive.

Here’s what I do:

  • write in all appointments – I keep my calendar on my phone, but like to see my week at a glance on paper)
  • compose my to-do list of just the things I want to get done the next week – I try to only write down the things I can actually get done and keep everything else on a master task list. This has helped tremendously to focus my attention on the top priorities.

That’s it! Writing notes and writing out a to-do list gives me closure to the week and starts my next week off fresh and organized. It’s the perfect end-of-the-week balance of reflection, gratitude, and organization. When I’m done with Friday, I feel like I have closed out the week and can kick off the weekend. My brain space is not being weighed down with the unchecked tasks or projects, because those are organized for Monday.

Join the conversation.

Do you have any routines or tips for our readers to help turn off work to focus on the weekend? Is this something you struggle with this? Let’s have a conversation about how best to end the work week to truly enjoy the weekend. Comment below!

Leave a comment