The 4+1 Day Workweek: How to Get More Done by Compressing Time

Ever notice how much harder you work to fit everything into a 4-day workweek? The reward for your effort is an extra long break over the weekend. Wouldn’t it be nice to give yourself that reward every week?

I think so. That’s why I am switching to what I am referring to as a 4+1 day workweek strategy. Why not work extra hard to earn an extra break each and every week instead of just now and then?

The idea is simple: consider your true workweek to be from Monday to Thursday – that way you mentally budget your time accordingly, squeezing in all your core activities on those days. That means scheduling all meetings and calls on those days and shifting your deadlines to Thursday instead of Friday.

On Fridays, you do whatever you choose – catch-up on administrative tasks, tackle those ‘dream’ projects, like writing that book or taking up a new hobby, go for lunch with friends, or just relax and ease into the weekend a day early.

How Get the Most Out of a 4+1 Day Workweek

Compress Time Starting Monday Morning – Sometimes we start our week at a bit of a lollygagging pace. We sit down at our desk, stare blankly at the screen, check email, rearrange the paperwork on our desks and then get down to work.

The one major change I noticed I made knowing I only had a 4-day workweek ahead was that I plunged right into projects first thing Monday morning. That one change made a big difference in the rest of my week as I wasn’t playing catch-up from a slow start Monday morning.

Set Thursday as Deadline Day – Nothing ruins a free Friday faster than feeling guilty about the stuff you aren’t doing, even if it isn’t officially due until the following week. Instead set your own internal deadline on Thursday.

Setting early deadlines (and sticking to them) has both the benefit of getting it off your to-do list faster and giving you a little back-up for those times when circumstances get the better of you and it’s impossible to hit your early deadline.

Think Smaller Scale – Shift your thinking about your workweek to a 4-day scale. Make Friday disappear in your mind, even if it is your back-up day. By thinking on a 4-day scale instead of a 5-day scale, you will naturally tend to edit what you take on that week.

The first things that tend to go by the wayside when you compress time are the time-wasters. Maybe it’s that volunteer Meet and Greet that you don’t really need (or want) to attend or maybe it’s that extra errand that you could handle more efficiently next week when you’ll be in the area.

Leave Fridays Open – Get in the habit of not booking anything on Fridays. That way you have the flexibility to make it a true long weekend and take off early, or use it as a catch-up day instead of having tasks spill over into the weekend.

Consider this is the day where you get to pursue your ‘other’ stuff – whether it be a personal project that is constantly sidelined because of official work stuff or your creative passion project that never really goes anywhere. We all have them, make Friday your day to do them.

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About Carla Young
Carla Young, MOMeoMagazine.com Publisher If there’s living proof that women can have it all – and then some – it’s Carla Young. Building her multiple businesses on a virtual work-at-home model, Carla is an inspiration to other mothers who want to start a lifestyle business. During her early days as a mom entrepreneur, Carla made every single mistake in the book (and a few new ones for good measure). Realizing that “doing it all” was unhealthy and unsustainable, Carla started by getting organized to the extreme, developing support systems for both her work and family. After other mothers started asking how they too could enjoy her lifestyle, Carla launched MOMeoMagazine.com to support moms at work, at home and at play (because every mommy deserves a little me-time)!

  • http://bit.ly/K95Cn5 Molly

    Love your idea of keeping Fridays open. We try to do this in my house, and it really pays off! I feel very protective of those few hours at the weekend’s onset!

  • http://lancebrown.org/ Lance Brown

    I really like this idea–I just need to figure out how to convert it to fit with my 7-day workweek… ;-)

  • http://www.netsprinter.com Lyena Solomon

    Carla,
    I very much like your focus on a 4 day week and “empty” Friday. I do a weekly project review on Fridays and have been trying to make them open for a while. I’m still working on it, but your approach makes a lot of sense. Now I am motivated more than ever to make open Friday policy happen.

  • http://daniellehatfield.com/ Danielle Hatfield

    Love that you shared this mindset Carla! When my husband I started our company 3 years ago and adopted the Monday – Thursday hours . . . well, people thought we were crazy! I may just have to add a link to this post in my email signature! :)

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