I’ve got a serious case of the Fridays.
It’s one o’clock on sunny spring afternoon. There’s a document to edit that is quickly abandoned for a fresh batch of emails that get ditched when I ask my co-worker about her weekend – a conversation I ride for as long as I possibly can. And now it’s 1:09 pm.
Sound familiar? A wandering attention span at week’s end is nothing new. But how do you deal with it? My motto: Go with your mood, rather than railing against it. Here are eight ways to wrangle a serious case of the Friday fidgets:
- Get up, meander through the office and check in on your colleagues. (Note: If they don’t look up from their desks, keep walking). You might find someone like you who could use a refreshing conversation – and the exchange might inspire an idea or burst of energy for a few more hours.
- Mix it up. If you’re on the phone a lot, write some emails. If you’ve been coding up a storm, catch up on a TED video. If you normally eat lunch at your desk go out for lunch, grab coffee with someone, sit and stare into space for 15 minutes. If your work is mainly right brain, find a left-brain activity to do.
- Get outside – even if for five minutes. This is the time of year when the air smells extra sweet, so go and revel in it. It’s a noted fact that fresh air is good for you, too.
- Move. Take a ramble around the block, walk a few floors of your building’s stairs, do some chair stretches, stand up and do ten jumps in place, exercise at lunch if it works for you. On a recent Friday I was so ADD and fatigued that out of desperation I did a series of handstands. Boy did that jack up my mojo—and for hours. Moving circulates stale energy and unsticks ideas. We humans aren’t meant to be this stationary.
- Surf the web. If your attention’s hopping from one thought to another, then let it hop-hop-hop from website to website. Even if you’re just reading headlines, find topics that intrigue you and pique your brain. And tuck a few gems away to get you going on Monday – bonus!
- Spring clean your files. If your brain is fried from muscling out work for almost five straight days, a little mindless organizing might be just what it needs – like a warm down from the week. And how good will it feel on Monday to sit down to a freshly up-to-date work space?
- Haiku, anyone? That’s how a couple of folks at our office wiggled out their fidgets.
- Screw it. Call it a week and go home. Sometimes, it’s just what the doctor ordered. And, the extra decompression time might come back to you in spades on Monday morning.