Most of my clients are women that have started their own business to assert some control over their lives. They understand that launching a new brand takes time and effort, but they’re doing it on their terms. Ultimately, the payoff will be a work-life balance that leaves them feeling healthy and successful, with time to spend with their young families.
My clients come to me because they see themselves in my ethos. A 4-day working week isn’t just a buzz term to generate engagement on LinkedIn, it’s a way to lead by example.
In 4 days, I’ll easily achieve what I used to in 5, because I’ve streamlined my work, cut the bullshit, and know what I need to do to make my clients successful.
The more the idea of working 4 days a week gathers momentum, the more some employers are quick to dismiss the idea based on a misconceived notion that their employees want to do less. But I’ll ask those employers, ‘does your team really maximise their time at work, or do you fill 5 days because that’s the norm?’.
Recently there’s been a lot of talk in my social groups about how to fit the working day into school hours once your kids start school. Going from the nursery pick up at 5.30pm to the school gates at 3 is a bit of a reality check. All of a sudden you’ve lost 1.5 days a week because your kid got older, but you know what? The work still gets done.
As mentioned in the DIFTK podcast when talking about streamlining your workload (which I mention so regularly because it is self-employed gospel), one of the hosts offered that you will generally always spend the time you have. If you have 5 days to get a job done, you’ll take 5 days. If you have 4, then you’ll only take 4. The extra day doesn’t actually benefit anyone. In a lot of workplaces, no additional work is being done.
So instead of asking what we’d lose in a day, how about asking what we’d gain? When I went from 5 days to 4, here’s what I noticed:
- I spent more time with my daughter. I laughed more, she laughed more, and we felt closer and happier.
- The house was less of a mess. I won’t say it was clean, because when is a house with a three year old ever clean? But it was definitely cleaner.
- My mind slowed down. I became less frantic, less stressed and more focussed.
- I got more fresh air and exercise.
- I started to sleep better.
- I got MORE WORK DONE. Seriously. Fresh air, sleep, laughter, healthier living. It seems like a no-brainer. Of course I’m a better worker, because I’m a better person for it and I’m able to bring my best game to the table every day.
So, if you’re self-employed, or you’re an employer, I ask you (no, BEG YOU). Try it. See what a difference it makes.
Have you already started working a 4 day week? Let me know what changes you saw on Instagram @ellastcommunications
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