What's so magical about the 5th day of your work week? Does it really matter?
If you're an entrepreneur, or even if you're an employee, in your work there are 3 different types of tasks:
There are certain tasks that will happen no matter what. You've got them on autopilot, they’re really easy to do, and you know how to do them well.
There are certain things you're working towards that you've succeeded at, but you still need to concentrate on doing them.
And then there are certain things that you work hard on, but no matter what you do, they just don't seem to work.
Let's start with that first category, the things that work on autopilot. Whether you work 4 days a week or 5 days a week, is it really going to matter with those things on autopilot? No, it's not, because they're on autopilot. So, part of your work that needs to happen in your place of business, whether it's 20%, 40%, 60%, can happen pretty much on autopilot. You don't need to be in the office for that time.
Then there's probably some newer projects or some projects that do require some more focused activity from you. So you work on those, and you get some results. But you're not necessarily giving them 5 days a week – you don't need to give them 5 days a week. In fact, most of us don't even have 5 days a week of solid, focused energy to give.
But then there's that third category, the things that don't seem to be working, no matter what. When I talk with some small business owners and entrepreneurs, they tell me they’re spending 2 to 3 days a week on these things, because they want to make it work.
Starting now, let's learn to accept the possibility that some things just might not work. Let go of your assumption that just because you want something to work, it actually will. Let go of the idea that the entrepreneurial gods will make it happen because you've worked hard, or thrown a bunch of money at it, or because you're a nice person. Let it all go.
If you’re spending 2 to 3 days a week doing something, why not reduce that and take the 5th day off? You might even find that giving yourself a rest, and giving your brain time to figure some things out, you might get some new perspective.
Everyone knows that athletes need to rest a certain amount, and that singers need to give their voices a break, but for some reason with business people we assume that we can just work all the hours in the world and with no impact on our performance. So much of what we do is information-based, or involves using our brain. If we're tired, that's surely going to negatively affect our performance.
Let’s look at this from another perspective. Say you're doing very successfully. If you're doing well all the time, and you decide to start taking 1 day off a week, or even 1 day off every 2 weeks: Is it really going to matter?
Yet another argument is this: If you can't do something in 4 days a week, why is it going to work on that magical 5th day?
This isn’t to insult anyone, because I've gone through this too. I’ve been working on a project, and it's just so clear to other people that this isn’t working out. But I'm working at it, and I think I’m going to hustle, and I'm going to grind, and I'm going to make it, I'm going to push through and all those things that lead me to believe that I can overcome something that just is never going to happen.
If I can't learn how to bake a cake in 4 days, what’s going to happen on that magical 5th day? If I can't sell something in 4 days, what's so magical about the 5th day? Especially if I'm more tired, less driven, less full of energy, less full of excitement?
I really want to help you get rid of that myth that the 5th work day is magical. Or maybe it's even the 6th day, if you work 6 days a week.
Maybe the 5th day is the one that you should be recharging. Maybe that's the day that you get the energy you need to finalize that tricky project. Maybe that's the day that you give your brain a break and you walk around, and you see something that sparks an idea for you.
Or maybe your brain and your body just get a rest, so that when you come back to work on Monday, you're excited to go to work, and you're ready to be there and you have lots of energy.
For the most part, the majority of us don't work amazingly effectively for more than about 30 to 40 hours a week. Definitely when you start doing 50, 60, 70 hours a week, you're definitely not performing at your best.
Think about it. If you could put in 32 hours solid per week, (that’s 8 hours times 4 days a week) or even 28 good hours, what results could you get? Would that extra day you're not working really matter?
Maybe you’ve read all this but you’re still certain that your 5th day really does matter. You might need the extra income that it brings, or you might not be able to leave your business unattended. In that case, it might be time to look at reducing some of your expenses, or reducing some of your business risks, or delegating to your employees more. If so, don’t worry, as we go into lots more detail in other episodes.
I really hope you find this advice helpful. If you need help mapping out or strategically planning how you're going to create your 4-Day Work Week, go to 4daygameplan.com to start your own free game plan to start planning your 4-Day Work Week and moving in that direction. It took me 22 years to get there, but it's been more than worth it.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below, or shoot me an email.
As always, I look forward to helping you make more money in less time, doing what you do best.
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