Friday Rule

It’s 3:30 on a Friday afternoon and you just got the test passing for a nasty intermittent bug after spending most of the day on it. Now you can jump back into the main code base and add that new feature. Only, that would be a bad idea.

The Friday Rule:

Try to leave every Friday with a success.

You want to head into the weekend with a win. That win can be small, but carrying frustration into the weekend means you’re less effective next Monday. You walked away frustrated and probably thought about it over the weekend. Weekends are a critical for recharging batteries, spending time on hobbies, and hanging out with friends and families. They are not a good time to mull over bits of bad code or a misconfigured server. Walk out with a win.

There are some implications worth noting:

  • Say you fix the critical bug at 2:00PM on Friday. Switch your energies to something lighter like clearing your inbox, filling out release notes, updating the wiki, or completing a mandatory online training class.
  • If you’ve had a really long week already now is probably a good time to head home.
  • From a coding perspective leaving a good breaking point is to write one last test that fails. Then you can easily pick up where you left off.
  • As a manager when a developer swings by to explain how they finally got something working and you see it’s already well into Friday afternoon encourage them to take the victory with them over the weekend and not continue to code away.
  • This can apply as a daily rule, but it’s more critical on Friday where you can affect your mood for the whole weekend.