The first ever book I read in English from start to finish was How to be Good by Nick Hornby.
I got instantly hooked, and it wasn't long before I started devouring the rest of his novels (which by the way, was the best excuse to brush up on my English skills!).
You've probably read or at least heard of High Fidelity, which was subsequently turned into a movie, in which record shop owner Rob and his co-workers, perfect the art of making mix tapes, and desert-island top five lists of anything.
Being super type A, l love lists. I could not live without lists, and they are they only way I get to switch off at night, knowing everything that was floating around in my brain lives on a list somewhere.
Then it got me thinking. How about I start weekly top five lists of anything, tying back to business or life advice in some way or another, but with a musical element to make the whole process a bit more rock 'n roll?
I suppose that's my performing past coming to haunt me - You can take the girl off the stage, you can't take the stage off her mind - see what I mean?
So here I go, over twenty years later and in the spirit of keeping the tradition alive, with my very own Top Five Songs to Listen To on a Friday to reflect, wind down but also plan a totally kick ass week to come!
Now get your favourite pair of headphones on, get your hands on my Ultimate Guide to Planning a Kick Ass Week here (it's free!) and pretend no one is watching as you go through the five steps and get ready to kick that home office door closed 'till Monday!
[ HEADPHONES IN - SOUND UP ]
Here it goes.
1. Friday I'm in Love by The Cure
[Seems like an obvious choice doesn't it?]
STEP ONE: REFLECT, TWEAK & REPEAT
Step one in planning a kick ass week is to reflect, tweak & repeat.
Let Robert Smith coach you as you revisit the past week and take some time to reflect on what you achieved, what didn't quite go as planned, and the way you are feeling overall. Here's what we're gonna do:
- First you're gonna need to cut yourself some slack friend. This is not the time to beat yourself over the to do list leftovers.
- Take note of the progress you've made on a project, something new you've learnt or a mindset shift that's happened this week. When you take the time to look back positively, you'll be amazed at how energized you'll feel and how promising the future looks all of a sudden.
- Look at what didn't get done, and try to understand why. Did you take on too much? Did life just happen? Did your mindset get in the way of getting shit done? Whatever the case, trying to identify the culprit is the first step towards fixing the issue.
- Then make a list (huh, did I mention I love lists?) of what needs to be tweaked, and what you knocked out of the park and therefore, would be a good idea to repeat. You can do this in your awesome free workbook that you can download here.
2. Waves by Electric Guest
[This one was on our wedding playlist and saw me rock some questionable moves in my equally questionable wedding dress / pink converse combo]
STEP TWO: GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER
I like to use Friday as a day of getting my shit together and planning the week ahead instead catching up on everything that didn't get done. For me, planning on a Monday means I'm already behind by the time my alarm (read: hungry toddler) goes off in the morning.
Also, being a Type A on steroids means that if stuff's not out of my head and on a list somewhere, I have a 0% chance of relaxation forecast for the weekend.
- First, dump all your thoughts on paper as they come through your mind
- Then refine them into one or two big goals for the week
- Detail all the baby steps you need to take in order to achieve your goal(s)
- Assign each baby step to a day of the week - you may find these go over to the following week and that's totally fine
- Write that shit down in your planner / Trello board / bathroom wall whatever floats your boat
3. Places to Go by Leftover Cuties
[I highly recommend singing along pretending you are talking to your ending week. It's cathartic. Just close the door before you do.]
STEP THREE: LET IT GO
Alrighty! Now that's the planning's out of the way, time to let it all go.
The tension. The guilt. The things we wish we hadn't said. The things we wish we had said. The shoudn't haves, the almosts, the maybes.
Wipe it all off, forgive and move on.
Consider this your Friday absolution.
4. I feel it all by Feist
[who doesn't dream of smashing barrels of fireworks at the end of the week? Hey? Is it just me?]
STEP FOUR: SWITCH. THE HECK. OFF.
Now that last week has been dealt with and is safely beind us, time to switch it all off, and make space for a fresh start.
- Speaking of fresh, start by opening all the windows (the real life windows, not the ones on your screen...) and let a bit of fresh air in
- Switch off your laptop, desktop, whatever top you fancy, unless you need it to play your weekend tunes - in which case, and at the very least, switch off your emails.
- Take the dirty cups (in my case never drunk cups) to the kitchen, clean up your desk and give it a quick wipe.
- Sort any papers lying around and tidy anything that needs tidying. Don't take longer than the song to clean up your office / desk - it's Friday, not spring clean day.
- Take a step back, admire your efficiency and give yourself a high five.
5. 100% VIP by Katerine
[Disclaimer: No one can resist Philippe Katerine, and no one can resist a bit a French flair. I cannot take any responsibility for the dance moves you're about to put on.]
STEP FIVE: PUT YOUR PARTY PANTIES ON
Just slip into your weekend mode, put your dancing shoes on (or enjoy a quiet glass of wine while the kids are asleep - motherhood has altered my vision of an ideal Friday somehow) and officially call it a week!
Why don't you drop me your own top five Friday songs in the comments below?
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna pour myself a G&T and will catch ya beautiful hustlers next week!