Take A Working Day Off
Sometimes mixing a little leisure time with business time works."We all have times when we think more effectively,and times when we should not be thinking at all" Daniel CohenI will add one more thought to this brilliant quote.There are also times when we can do both at the same time and still reap the benefits of the time we are "on" and the times we are "off". -BBThis is a concept that I use and one that we teach in our seminars and it works really well for some people. It's based on the reality that it's the quality of the work you do, not how or where you do it. Depending on the type of work you do, and where you do the most of it, try this and see if it works for you.When I moved north of the city and even farther into the country, driving to my primary business (I own a plastic recycling company that requires a processing facility which is in the city near major roads and our customers) was now almost 2 hours one way, in good weather, which we do not have 6 months of the year where I live. This necessitated a change in my regular routine. I would work from home one day a week and this would cut out two round trips a week. It also would mean that I would have to change my routine and what I did from home, a new challenge for me.I tend to put in a lot of hours, sometimes out of habit, sometimes out of necessity. I use to equate volume of hours with getting a lot accomplished. I have, over time, learned that that is not always the case and is, in fact, usually the opposite.Wednesday is the day I work from home. I organize the schedule down at the recycling facility and make sure the right staff is there and work is properly laid out for them. It does not make sense to have a working day off and then have the phone ring off the wall from your business 2 hours away. It defeats the whole concept. Another reason I don't own a cell phone.My schedule from home on Wednesday is set up for two things to happen: get a certain amount of work done, as well as get some "other activities" done. The other activities can be as far ranging as you want; it's your choice. In my case it's working on my pond. Yes, my pond. I have 10 acres out here in the boonies, and when I moved in there was a small natural swimming pond, about a half-acre. I intend to do some work on it and that is where I will spend at least a portion of my working day off. (I have done working days off in the past at other places and will for illustrative purposes here, describe the most recent location).My schedule is this. Get up at 5:30 AM, feed the cats before they drive me crazy. This is my normal routine and I want to keep it as normal as possible. It helps me stay on target and reinforces in my mind that this is still a work day and there is a set agenda and work has to and will be accomplished, just in a different fashion. On other days, I'm in my car and driving south to my facility while I listen to the 6:00 AM news. On Wednesday, I want to be sitting down at my computer working by no later than 6:00 AM This way, by 8:00 AM, when I would normally be just getting to work, I have already booked in 2 hours of prime work time. These are what we call Power Hours, described in the Power Time System in more detail.This is where the "off" part comes in on the working day off concept. Its now 8:00 AM and I've already worked 2 straight hours. These were 2 Power Hours where I was uninterrupted and accomplished considerably more than I would have at "work ". I schedule 4, 2-hour work sessions of A Priority activities, for a total of 8 hours on my working day off. When does the "off" part come? Right now.I'm up at 5:30, and start work at 6:00, I work 4, 2-hour sections and I want to have my feet up at 6:00 PM, no later than 7:00 PM. That makes my working day off 12 hours long. That leaves 4 hours of off time throughout the day. In my case, I have jobs I want to do around my new swimming pond; trees to plant, rocks to carry and move, hills to be built, a waterfall to make. Lots to do.These activities are all on my Living List. And, like any activity on that list, at some point you have to make the time available to actually do those things. This is when some of those non-work activities actually get done. In real time, its February 6th 2009 and where I live there is 3 feet of snow on the ground therefore no work on the pond this time of year. In the winter we heat our house with wood, so on my Wednesdays, my working day off, I spend some time doing wood related activity. I still consider this to be relaxing and a "time off" activity.That's my schedule and it works very well for me. I work 4, 2-hour shifts and intermingle those with outside activities that I find relaxing and refreshing. I usually take some time off and go out for lunch with my wife as well. You will determine how you schedule your working day off and what you want to accomplish work-wise as well as non-work related.IMPORTANT NOTEWhat I have found, as well as the feedback I get from my clients who have used this technique, is that the quality of the work that they complete on their working days off is consistently superior to the results they achieve working with their traditional schedule. Give it a try. I know you will be very happy with the results.