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Work Productivity and Hacks

How to Survive Friday the 13th at Work

By Joey Herrera on March 3, 2015

Some superstitions are born for a reason. Breaking a mirror was thought to give you seven years of bad luck because Romans thought reflections showed souls...and also because mirrors used to be very expensive and difficult to make. Walking under ladders is bad luck because they could fall on you. But no one is sure how Friday the 13th got its start and how it came to mean a day of bad luck.

For most employees, any Friday can be bad luck with traffic ruining evening plans, surprise overtime, and rushed work leading to mistakes. Emails seem to increase in volume, meetings seem to drag longer, and phones seem to ring louder.

So, how do you make Friday the 13th better? Or even make any Friday survivable at all?

  1. Have a Plan

Map out your work the night before. Work out how much time you have to work on your tasks in between meetings and figure out what you can and can’t do so you don’t ruin your plans. Pack your bag, prepare your clothes, and don’t even think about Friday the 13th. Think about your plans after work and psych yourself up that if you make it to the end of the day in one piece, you’ll have a great sweldo weekend.

  1. Be Early

You already know chances are high that traffic will be insane tonight, given that it’s sweldo weekend. On top of that, you probably have plans yourself. So get thee to the office, pronto! Be there nice and early to get work done while the coffee shop queues are manageable and you can concentrate without your officemate’s grating but endearing singing.

  1. Focus

It can be hard to focus when you’re only eight hours away from the weekend. Resist the urge to half-ass your duties and stop updating your Facebook with how much you’re looking forward to #TGIF. Keep your head down, don’t fixate on the clock and just do your job until the eight hours run out.

  1. Follow Your Schedule

A quick scan about the office on Friday afternoon shows that people are more prone to slacking off near the weekend. But bad luck can sneak in when you’re frantically trying to work the fax and copy machine at the same time just so you can head out the door at exactly 6pm. You’ll be less frantic and less accident-prone if you’re not flailing about all over the place.

  1. Prep for Carmageddon

Traffic will be heavy. It’s a Friday, and unless you work in one of those strictly sadistic offices, you’re salary should come in on Friday the 13th. You want to go out and have fun with your friends and spend some money… the only problem is: so does a good portion of the city. So make arrangements. Either plan your night around what’s near your office or leave the office early. If you don’t have your own car, book an Uber or GrabTaxi or be forced to beg cab drivers to take you by screaming escalating sums of money into half-open drivers’ windows.

  1. Don't Believe in Superstition

Friday the 13th, more than being a horror movie classic, is simply a superstition. Much like the deep connection you feel with Jennifer Lawrence, it’s all in your head. Bad luck comes from thinking you have it. But to be safe, stay away from window washers, broken photocopiers, and cars with the plate number 666. Good luck!


Image: Yarik Mishin/