It is 2 p.m. on a gorgeous summer afternoon.

Half of the agency is already gone, your clients are checked out, and a rooftop happy hour is calling your name.

Why bother being productive?

Productivity is a matter of professionalism even at the most relaxed agencies.

You’d never bill a client for time you did not work, so why is your agency any different?

Your employer is your No. 1 client. Respect its time.

So resist the temptation to troll Tumblr GIF blogs for the next three hours. There are several productive things you can do on a Friday afternoon even if you are mentally spent.

1) Recap

A surprising amount of agencies do not keep a running toll of what their employees are doing. Sure, billable time is tracked, but does your boss really know when you go out of your way for a client?

Compile a high-level overview of your accomplishments for the week. Sending your boss weekly updates is a great way to reinforce trust and can make future raise/promotion talks significantly easier.

If you have one or two major clients, consider sending progress updates to account managers (or even the clients themselves.) Most clients love knowing that you’re working for them even when most of the world has scampered off to happy hour.

2) Plan

Use the waning Friday hours to get ahead on next week’s administrative tasks.

Organize your cube, throw out that hoard of Diet Coke cans, and clean up your desktop.

Next, create a short list of the most important things that you want to accomplisher before noon on Monday – starting with the most tedious. This will ensure that you are set up to be maximally productive when you skip back into the office next week.

3) Strategize

Make a list of 3 awesome and 3 horrible (or tedious) things that happened this week.

Ask yourself how you can maximize the occurrence of awesome in your work life and minimize the tedious moments.

  • Are there things that can be done more efficiently?
  • Do you have a skills gap?
  • Can you prepare better for a particular set of meetings next time?

Post your game plan for next week right by your computer monitor so you can refer back to it on Monday morning.

4) Help

Look around – who is left at the agency? Ask them if they need any help on their projects, even if it’s with a menial task.

Even if they end up declining the offer, you’ve just built up some goodwill points that may come in handy later.

5) Pitch

If there’s truly no pressing work left to do, think of ways that you can pitch new strategies to clients or your agency.

  • Are there elements missing in a particular social media campaign?
  • Should your agency be on Pinterest or Vine?
  • Is your client maximizing their advertising spend?

Even if your ideas are for an area outside of your expertise, continually pitching new tactics increases your value by demonstrating that you are thinking about your clients and agency in a strategic fashion.

Get to it!

Remember, Friday afternoon is not a time to slack. How you spend the end of your work week can have a powerful longterm impact on your career.

So, stay off of the GIF blogs and get to work it!

How are you maximizing your Friday hours? Tweet us @Risdall!