Is the 4-day week a pipe dream? Maybe not, if you consider the fact that 78% of employees say that they finish their work in less than 7 hours per day, according to an Institut Workforce survey by Kronos. But can you work both quickly and well? Yes, and this might even be a way to ensure productivity as long as you adopt a few simple and efficient habits. Here are 4 easy tips for finishing your to-do list by end-of-day Thursday and using Friday as a bonus day.
Stick to a Strict Schedule
Successful employees are always ahead of the curve. They don’t wait for the last second to finish their tasks and hate procrastinating. But without a method to the madness, we have a tendency to start several tasks at once, hoping that we will get them done faster, whereas usually the opposite occurs. So, what’s the secret to great productivity? Staying organised! Set a schedule of tasks to be completed, then divide the work between the first 4 days of the week, depending on priorities. Important tasks before urgent ones. If you follow a strict schedule, you may surprise yourself because working with tight deadlines boosts brain activity. This is so true that some companies, like the New Zealand group Perpetual Guardian, have implemented 4-day weeks for all of their employees. You can also schedule all meetings and client events Monday-Thursday, keeping Fridays open.
Work When You’re Most Productive
Do you want Fridays to be bonus days, when you can work on secondary, less demanding tasks, start more important projects or just get ready for the following week? You need to manage your time and priorities according to when you are most productive. Specialists say that we generally have more energy in the morning. But each person has their own circadian rhythm, which makes them more or less operational at certain times of day. If you want to improve your performance at work, you need to take this into account. Do you have a spike of energy in the late morning or early afternoon? That’s the perfect time to work on analysing projects or writing detailed reports. Your mind will be more alert, and you will finish the task more easily.
Use Task Simplifiers
Minor tasks often plague us at work, dampening our motivation, particularly recurring ones. They take up a considerable amount of time, and once you get to Friday, you realise that they’ve short-circuited your priority projects. Take measures to simplify repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time. Create models of forms or email responses, for example, where all you have to do is fill in a few blanks. If you create templates or automate documents, you can optimise your time management and reinvest in your work. These may seem like minor habit changes, but if you gain 15 minutes per day, that’s an extra hour after 4 days. And that’s really something!
Free Yourself from Distractions
If you decide to condense your week into 4 days, concentration is key. With new work environments, it can be more and more difficult to stay focused. Open spaces mean working with noise and distractions. And new technologies eat up our time by taking our concentration off the task at hand. The digital age is even said to have decreased our attention span from 12 to 8 seconds in 10 years. Who hasn’t given into checking their email every hour or texting during the workday? This tendency to channel surf slows our productivity because it makes our brain continuously divide its attention. How can you condense your work into 4 days without succumbing to distractions? Put your mobile phone on silent or use noise-cancelling headphones to surround yourself with a silent bubble.
If you follow these tips, you will be able to work intensely 4 days per week. You will always be a step ahead of your to-do list, so you will be able to use Fridays however you like and get the weekend off to a great start.