Friday, April 10, 2009

Meeting-Free Fridays

In case ya'll can't tell, I'm something of a creature of routine. I have my ambitious Mondays. And I have my meeting free Fridays.

Basically, I've designated Fridays for working hard all day. That means the only meeting I set up is the daily standup we do. Other than that 10 minutes, the whole day is for knocking things out.

The trouble with Fridays is that by the time they come around, I'm probably behind where I wanted to be. I've got some detritus in my inbox, I've got an accumulated list of things I'd really like to get to, and I've got loose ends to tie up all over the place. The last thing I want is that hanging into my weekend - I'll just wind up either working or worrying about it all weekend.

So Fridays are for tying up loose ends. My typical Friday looks like this:
  • Check on nightly automated tests from the previous night. This is pretty much every day.
  • Clean out my inbox. Go through and file or respond to each email that I haven't yet handled. This is generally the biggest one, because I'll have accumulated several emails of the "please review this" or "can you try to reproduce issue Y?" variety. If I can't get to zero, it's been a bad week.
  • Get projects to a stable spot. I'm not trying to finish things here. I'm just trying to get them to a stable spot so I can come in Monday and really get stuff done.
Meetings can be useful things sometimes, but we all need time to just work, too. For me, that's Fridays and Monday afternoons. You can pick any day or half day you like, but try giving yourself a meeting-free time to work. You'll be amazed at how much you can do.


  1. Does your company have a policy regarding meeting Free Fridays? We're working to implement this in our company, but looking for some other companies doing the same thing and some best practices to pattern our plan after. Please let me know at Thanks for sharing!

  2. Anon: There's no policy that I know of. It's more a personal thing I like to do, and I'm generally enough in control of my calendar that I can make it happen.

    That being said, I would certainly encourage you to try, and I'd love to hear how it comes out.