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Blog Post

Embracing a 4 Day Work Week

+ a flexible schedule for your business!

When you ask a business owner what inspired them to become self employed, many will answer that they wanted more freedom in their schedule and work/life balance.

It's nice not having to ask permission to run an errand, or stop work early so you can spend time with your family.

You can always find something else to do in your business, but what you can't make more of is time.

Traditional Workweek Practiced by Many

The five-day work week was first started over 100 years ago by a New England cotton mill, so workers could observe the Sabbath from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday.

Eventually, the rest of the United States adopted this standard in 1940 when the 40-hour workweek went into effect, and the two-day weekend was adopted.

Now even with the 40-hour workweek in place, many business owners today fall into the pitfall of working more like 60-80 hours per week for themselves, and they struggle to set healthy boundaries.

Health Benefits - Physical & Mental

The stress and expectations we put on ourselves are to blame for many of our health issues.

Whether it's migraines, sleep issues, obesity, weakened immune system, or depression, the current schedule is a great way to feel miserable and work ourselves to death.

Times are Changing

We've been conditioned to feel like we have to work hard all of the time.

BUT, when part of our weekends end up needing to be spent doing chores or running errands, is 1-1.5 day(s) really enough time for us to recharge and prepare for the start of a new week?

The values of our society are shifting, and the pandemic has shown us the importance of slowing down, spending time with loved ones and finding joy in the hobbies we love.

So, you have to ask yourself, do you want to live to work, or work to live?

The Four-Day Work Week

A more balanced, flexible schedule has had success in other areas of the world with many reporting happier workers who are better at their jobs.

This is especially important to consider for jobs that require;

  1. Creativity

  2. Problem Solving

  3. Passion

These 3 qualities are tough (if not impossible) to keep up 8 hours a day, 5 days a week 351 days/year (assuming you take at least 2 weeks off for the holidays) without getting burnt out.

We owe it to ourselves to get realistic about how people today work, and consider if this work schedule ought to be updated.

Tips for Setting a More Flexible Schedule

  • Establish healthy boundaries for your business - these are policies for the type of work you'll take on, what days you'll be available to do it, and how long you're willing to work each day.

  • Stop letting yourself be on-demand! You are not a 24/7 hotline and if this is a turnoff for a client, I can promise you that you will be happier without that type of client in your life.

  • Embrace technology wherever possible - automation is your friend and is going to be the quickest way to help you honor your boundaries.

    • Utilize a booking system (for setting meetings without the back & forth, scheduling services, and streamlining your sales process)

    • Email Scheduling & Automation Campaigns + Social Media

    • Sending out quotes & invoices

    • Automate your sales & on-boarding process

    • & More!

  • Decide to follow your new schedule - it won't work if you don't let it. If you keep checking your emails when you shouldn't be working, or become so accommodating that you're working when you should be relaxing, you're making that choice.

The most important part of moving to a 4-day work week with a more flexible schedule is actually following it.

If You Feel Like it Won't Work for You or Isn't Working so Far

Life is all about choices and mindset. If it feels like things are happening to you, it's because you're letting them.

We can choose what we give our energy, time, passion and resources to. We choose every day even when it feels like we aren't.

There's going to be times when you feel like you have no choice, but to work during your time off. There could be a client emergency, a big project comes along that challenges your boundaries, or you don't feel like you can afford to take your time off.

The universe is funny about testing you during this time to see if you're really serious about making a change.

If your new schedule is tested and you choose to work, take this time to consider what policies you can put in place so it doesn't have to happen again.

  • Can you charge more to work during this time?

  • Is it possible to have someone else available during emergencies?

  • What if you had an automated system in place so if a client reached out they'd receive a message with other resources to check out?

  • Is there a shift you can make in how you offer your services that will allow you to make things more streamlined and your clients more self-reliant?

  • If it's a lead generation issue, what marketing tactics can you try to better attract your ideal audience?


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