Yes, I did kill Mondays two years ago while in the middle of the pandemic. Though I took this decision suddenly, the idea to take it was popping into my mind for months. Before, I was puzzled about whether to take this decision or not, but alas, I did, following Napoleon Hill’s advice, “Burn the boats as you enter the island, and you will take the island.” I wanted to progress, to conquer, to nail it.
Hence, I worked with my team during the pandemic, like most entrepreneurs. We wanted to build our company during the tense and exhausting period. We all were putting our sincere efforts and burning the midnight oil. Also, before the pandemic began, work was an essential part of our personal lives. The sole reason why our brains were always pondering about work also on a Sunday night, making plans and overloaded with stress to meet the deadlines.
Working Hard Leaves You Demotivated, Exhausted, and Demoralized
Remember, if you are making work a significant part of our daily personal lives, it is completely your choice and not a forced thing. If you possess the attributes of doing hard work and showing commitment to your work, you will get good results. Similarly, you are even fit to build strong relationships with these attributes.
Consider the example of professional athletes who practice a lot to improve themselves but also take time to relax, eat well, and spend time with their families. Whenever the athletes get injured, they are not allowed to present their country or even practice as they are recommended to do complete rest. Likewise, professional athletes like you who are working day and night need a recovery phase.
Working hard all day and night is physically and mentally exhausting. It draws off energy that you really need to enjoy and maintain things that really matter in your life. It includes your personal needs, family, or giving time to your fun and relationships. Instead of leading yourself to exhaustion, try to find out ways to save labor or your time while achieving the same desired output.
Whatever your profession, juggling work and leisure time within your routine is the key to success. Because if a person knows the strategies to manage their time, it is sure that they have the power to achieve anything they want to with their skills.
The next day, I wrote to my team to inform them of my decision only to work four days a week instead of five. At that time, I considered that this transition would be temporary and only suitable according to the current conditions and changes as there was a global crisis going on due to the pandemic.
On a very clear note, in order to be productive, we need to balance our work life and personal life. Working like cats and dogs never produces productive results. The commitment you must need to your skills is what makes a strong relationship between you and your work. However, being human beings we need a recovery phase to produce quality work. Uncertain about your work, creating space within your routine is a primary rule of success
The reason behind taking this decision was that my team could work productively and calmly during these four days and give their best. Undoubtedly, the amazing results surpassed my expectations. I was happy seeing my company grow along with time. When we started to work only four days a week, it did not degrade our productivity, but I can count the months after the transition as the most productive in our company’s history.
Hence, our company’s annual recurring revenue grew almost 100% after a year of shifting to working for four days a week routine.
Focus Also Matters Other than Time
For a moment, let’s debate how we live our lives nowadays and how we want to. Think about the time when every inch of our body truly wants to live in the moment while we are spending time with our kids or binge-watching some Netflix season. Though looking forward to it all week, still our focus is on thinking about our work instead of enjoying the moment.
Alternatively, while working during the week, we are thinking about things we did on the short weekend and what is left to do. You may be thinking about when last you did grocery and what items you need to buy over the coming weekend. Moreover, during office meetings, you may be booking personal appointments, shopping online, or messaging your family or friends to plan a get-together over the weekend.
We are always multitasking to save time, but it damages our productivity and health as the focus also matters other than time. Whenever we are multitasking, we cannot completely focus on one thing. The University of London researched that people who multitask while doing cognitive work have a temporary IQ score drop equal to staying awake all night with insomnia.
We have been led to have faith that if we will not utilize every minute of our day, we will not be able to be creative. This can’t be beyond the truth. Successful people have long realized that focus is the key to being productive instead of using every minute of a day to do multiple tasks.
Alas, a multitasker person starts feeling tired mentally and physically and panics. So he is unable to work properly as constantly juggling different tasks is their only motive. Despite the technology always progressing, we cannot increase even a second in total time we have in a week to live our lives. What we can do is structure this time in a good manner.
Being focused on one task for a particular period of time allows us to produce quality work, by being focused more work gets done faster, and your creative and innovative ideas flow easier. Being targeted on a single task at a time is less nerve-wracking. And being less stressed allows you to be happier.
When you show dedication towards your work, the outcome is good too. Henry Ford introduced the concept of a five-day workweek in the 1920s; before that, people usually worked six days a week. The companies thinking that working six days a week is important and will help the company progress is completely wrong, which you must not believe.
If you are an entrepreneur, think that you can give time back to your employees so they can recover, reset and recharge themselves. They can work smartly for less time but productively by committing themselves to their work and only focusing on it and erasing all other thoughts from their mind. If you choose the four-day workweek, your employees will have the time to recover, reset and recharge themselves.
You Need A Shift In The Way You Operate
You cannot make a notable change without adjusting how you operate as a business person. You may arrange standing meetings in the first year, thinking it will save time. But when you finally realize that they are exhausting and a big source of time loss in a five-day week, you will eradicate standing meetings from your workplace.
After shifting to a four-day week, in place of most of the standing meetings, we used different ways of communication like utilizing technology like videos, emails, conversing on Slack, cloud-based collaborations, and channel-based messaging platforms to organize our group conversations and online forms. We even used written updates to note down important changes or pieces of information.
At the start of every week, I send each member of the company a CEO letter to elaborate on what tasks we are going to carry out this week, what will be my main center of attention, and what must be their center of attention. Moreover, we use Weekly Update and Lattice applications to spread information regarding weekly updates from team members at the end of every week to exchange views on the work we did in the week.
Whenever we conduct meetings for educational purposes, or we try to discuss some issue. When you want to do a discussion, a meeting is an amazing option as you learn a lot, and you question and analyze whether, as a group, we are performing well or not. Investing your time in this kind of meeting is the right investment of your time.
Results Are Very Positive And Useful
We work smartly like horses instead of donkeys from Tuesday to Friday, completely focusing on work and making immediate decisions. We now spend our Mondays productively but in a different manner. My team spends their spare days how they want: connecting with nature, spending time with family, reading books, or watching movies.
Being the company’s owner, I think about the future of my company instead of scheduling and conducting meetings. I accompany my daughter to her swim class and shift my complete focus on her, watching her grow and learn according to her techniques. Carrying out this activity was a life-changing transformation, making me a cheerful person.
My team members have drastically changed, like me, and they have told me that they enjoy their Mondays according to their individual choices.
Still, many companies are working like their predecessors did 50 years ago, but some have changed their working styles. But the four-day week is not everyone, and it has its pros and cons. But it makes things simple, and the results are very positive and useful.