In today’s world with the new laptop life style, its easy to feel like we are constantly “on”. Work follows us home since a lot of us work from home! As much as this is the dream, it can also cause fatigue and be a serious productivity killer. When we are always surrounded by work, sometimes we procrastinate, don’t put in our best effort, and experience burnt out.
Enter in the new philosophy of the 4 day work week. Take an extra day for myself? Um, yes please! Here’s a few suggestions to help you find a rhythm to successfully switch from 5 days to 4 days of work.
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A STRUCTURE IN PLACE.
The 4-day work week is supposed to free us up, not cause our systems to fall apart. Keep your content strategies and project management systems rolling by using a software system to keep things in order. The goal here is not to shift your 5th day of work and work longer hours in less days. We want to find ways to simplify processes and automate tasks where we can. Delegation is key so don’t try to do it all yourself and trust your team to get the job done with little to no micro-managing. You want to create systems and structures so that you and your team feel they have more freedom!
I’ve found that dedicating certain days to specific tasks, projects, or types of work really comes in handy, especially if you’re going to free people up to do their best work in less time. Try setting your meetings up on just 2 days a week and avoid daily meetings where possible.
STOP THE MICROMANAGING MADNESS
Now that you have your systems and your structure in place, its time to build some trust around your team. I think we can all agree, micromanagers are the worst! As hard as it can be to let go, if you want to work less days you need to let go of a bit of control and empower your team to do what you probably pay them to do. You hired them for a reason, trust your instincts and let them take over, giving them a little bit of freedom and allowing you to step away more often.
KEEP YOUR SCHEDULE CLEAR TO OTHERS.
Now that you have delegated and empowered your team to take over small or big tasks, its important to let your people know when and how they can reach you. Adding an autoresponder to your emails, letting people know which days you are available will help train people to keep in line with your new work flow and 4 day work week schedule. You don’t want people to think you are just ignoring them on that 5th day you no longer work. Communication and setting expectations is key!
NOW THAT YOU HAVE AN “EXTRA” DAY, MAKE THE MOST OF IT.
All to often we has a society and people tend to have a lazy bone in our body trying to get out. It would be really easy to take this extra day you’ve worked hard to create and do absolutely nothing with it. Netflix and chill anyone? We hope not! I am all for taking a much needed rest day and it is important to listed to our bodies and our mental health and take those days when needed. But don’t make the couch potato a common occurrence. Have a game plan for you day off. Check of some of those must do items that seem to become a nucance when your really busy, like getting the grocery shopping done, or doing your hair appointments or nails done on this extra day. Maybe you have a passion project or a side hustle that needs attention. We just don’t advise taking all these “5th” days as a permanent vacation spot holder and neglecting your tasks and to-do lists that need to get done. Use this extra day responsibly to get your chores or responsibilities done so you don’t feel like you are behind because your Mondays are now an extended Sunday, or your Fridays become apart of your weekend.
Continue to create efficient systems and strategies that allow you to get more done in less time and use that extra day as a much-needed reward. Devote that time to your own dreams, passions, or basic life needs. When you’re intentional about your extra time, it can give you a major win in so many areas of life.
MAKE THIS YOUR OWN THERE ARE NO RULES TO THIS WORK WEEK
For me majority of the time, taking Fridays off just makes the most sense. But, this is your work week, so don’t be afraid to make it your own! If your business requires weekend work, take Monday-Wednesday off and find a Thursday-Sunday flow that works for you or whatever makes the most sense
The beautiful thing about entrepreneurship is that we get to set our own rules and write our own stories, so test out the 4-day work week in your own way and see how it works. If it’s amazing, keep doing it! If not, keep looking for the rhythm that will allow you to be productive, creative, and profitable, because that’s what we’re all after at the end of the day.
The 5-day workweek is a fairly outdated concept, as it turns out. The 4-day workweek offers us a chance to get out time back. For you and your team, time could very well be the most valuable asset and a much needed resource to add some work/life balance. So get those systems in place, communicate well, solidify your plan, and then try out the 4-day work week. You might just find out that it’s how your business was always destined to run.