✍ Friday is your timeline, not theirs

It’s Monday, and you’ve picked something to work on: we’re finally going to get that new policy launched internally. We just need to write up the post and get it out to the team. It’ll be done and live by tomorrow. Maybe Wednesday at the latest.

Hold on; we missed a scenario. Alex can help fix that. Got five Alex?

Great chat! That really helped, and thanks for pointing out those other stakeholders we missed. We’ll check in with them quickly.

It’s Friday morning. They’ve found a gap. It’s annoying, but it’s good that we found it, and we can fix it quickly this morning.

Hey folks! I think we’re ready to go, yeah? We really need to get this out this week!

It’s now 2pm Friday.

Stop. Don’t publish.

Work can be like a gas: it expands to fill the container. The easiest scheduling container is a working week: it starts fresh on a Monday with a new burst of optimism, then everyone’s mutual optimism collides into a ball of messy work, and finally culminates with everybody wanting to feel successful before closing off for the week. It’s nice to tick off the ‘simple’ things you set out to achieve at the start of the week, especially if they evolved into something not-so-simple.

There are very few things that make sense to publish after noon on a Friday.

Your end-of-week rush collides with everyone else’s. When most people are also in output/closing mode, it’s hard to effectively inject new input.

Your comms won’t be perfectly contained or reaction-less. Hopefully they’ll be quite the opposite! People will have questions or feedback. They’ll have scenarios you didn’t contemplate. All of these are ok, if you’re able to respond effectively. You could leave the responses until Monday, but that’s a bit of a dump-and-run that pays for your good-feels (yay, we published!) with other peoples’ unnecessary stress or anxiety over a weekend (but how does this affect me?).

Work on your timeline, but publish to your audience’s timeline. Friday was your timeline; it’s probably not theirs.

Publish when your audience will be most receptive to new input. In a corporate environment, that’s typically earlier in the week, not later.

Think of a post/publish/send button more like a ‘Start Conversation’ button. Press it when you’ve actually got a chance of sticking around and engaging.

Finish your week comfortable that you’ve already got the first set of steps sorted for Monday: all you have to do is hit publish. That’s like two wins for the price of one: finishing the week with everything done and sorted, and starting Monday straight out of the gates.