You’ve likely heard of the 4-day workweek, one in which people work only 4 days and have an extra day off (usually Fridays). Some companies simply have 32-hour workweeks, while others have 40 hours at 10 hours a day. If you’ve incorporated the 4-day week into your home business or your professional practice, it’s good to know how to be productive during that time!
You need all the time you can to ensure that productivity is the master of your day. Beginning early can be the key to success when it comes to the 4-day week. Rise early, plan and prioritize your day, then get to work. This bit of extra morning time also allows you to outline tasks that will be the most important for the day and to plan accordingly. If you’re habitually a late riser when working from home, your 4-day week will be significantly less productive because you won’t be making use of all the hours in your day. Get a schedule and stick to it—start early.
There’s really no time during the 4-day week to not be focused. Staying focused includes eliminating busy work and the hours spent responding to email. Many companies find it helpful to use different chat software where all the employees can log in at whatever time suits them best and answer messages directed to them. This prevents email from piling up in your inbox and trying to sort out which ones are the most important and which ones can wait. Staying focused also goes hand-in-hand with being efficient. The more focused you are during your working hours, the more efficient you’ll be, thus increasing productivity.
Interruptions can significantly throw off your productivity and concentration. Many companies find that their workers are plagued by interruptions throughout the day—not something that will help you when it comes to your 4-day workweek! Eliminating interruptions usually begins with the small things—closing Facebook if it’s not for your company, turning your mobile phone on silent, and keeping up with your coworkers on tasks. When using a messaging system besides email, this can help you get quick updates out to your other workers or employees about what you’re doing and when you’ll be available.
Stick to Your Hours
Sticking to your hours will help solidify your schedule, let your coworkers or contractors know when you’re available throughout the day, and get you in a routine. A routine can greatly help increase your productivity during your 4-day week. You’ll know you have an entire extra day off, so there’s no taking off early, skipping days, or taking absurdly long lunch breaks—you’ve got a schedule to keep! Make a set of hours and stick to them. It doesn’t have to be strategically thought out. As long as you have some semblance of a schedule and stick to it while you’re adjusting or trying to be productive, this is all that matters.
Maximizing concentration goes a long way during the 4-hour workweek. While it sounds somewhat difficult, it’s actually quite simple—prioritize your tasks, set aside a specific time to look at email, and turn off the “ping” noises that happen on your computer whenever you get a new email—these can be very distracting. Turn off all noises or notifications and set aside a specific time to check your email or message boards. De-cluttering your workspace can help too. When your space is clear and organized, you can easily find what you need and keep concentrated. Organize files and folders on your computer. Also, stay relaxed. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing when you’re stressed about a project, read a book you enjoy or take a walk on your breaks, and keep your mind clear. Being relaxed will help you increase productivity and be totally concentrated on the tasks at hand.
The 4-hour week is a great idea for many, and can help a lot of people be more productive and more relaxed by having an extra day off. Follow these tips to be productive during your 4-day week, and enjoy that extra day off on the weekends!