We all love Friday, the gateway to the weekend and some time to ourselves. But too many of us treat Friday as a throwaway day. Not smart. First of all, none of us knows how many days we have. Since the future isn’t promised to any of us, it’s just plain unwise to go at any day with less than our best. But more than that, if you approach them creatively, Fridays are actually the most important day of the week.

Say what?

Well, think about this. For most of us, Saturday and Sunday are our only days off. Shouldn’t we make the most of them, whether that’s simply kicking back and recharging or tackling some personal project we’ve been meaning to get around to? Well, Friday should be the day we organize our thoughts and make our plans concrete.

Friday is also the best day to get our work week organized, so that when we get going on Monday, we’re not walking around aimlessly, wasting precious time and energy. Instead of filling the day with busy work or crashing relentlessly into that ever-expanding “to do” list, pick up a calendar and block out time to get things done in the coming days and weeks. It’s kind of like playing a mind game on ourselves. As we plan the upcoming week, we’re forced to review the work week that’s ending, and that gives us the closure we need to leave work behind and really enjoy our time away.

Since we’re typically subjected to fewer emails, telephone calls and meetings by all those folks who are mailing it in, Friday’s actually the ideal day to plan and even start those bigger projects we keep putting off. Of course, you know that the best way to tackle a big project is by breaking it down into small steps or activities. Friday is the best time to decide what those baby steps and component parts might look like. Once you’ve done that, take the first step. It will build momentum to keep going. And it will actually make you enjoy Saturday and Sunday knowing you ended the work week on a positive, productive note!

And that leads me to the next action step that smart women like us do on Friday afternoons. We break routine by networking and brainstorming with colleagues and co-workers – who don’t want to be chained to their desks or retail counters any more than we do. People are just more relaxed and sociable on Fridays, which sets the day up perfectly for forming, renewing and strengthening business and personal relationships.

Alternatively, Friday afternoons can be a portal to a more relaxing, meditative state. Are there articles or trade journals you should be reading? Why not take them to a nearby coffee shop or quiet restaurant and spend the end of the work week learning something new?

Remember, you should approach your life as if it were a work of art. So live artfully. Every day. Including Fridays.