We’ve all been told that working harder is the obvious path to earning more. However a recent survey found that most millionaires believe that the four day work week is a ‘valid idea’. Who wouldn’t want Fridays off? I know I’d love that. But the key to securing your own four day week is not to endlessly pester your boss, but to get more done during those other four days.
Here are five tips to help you get all your work done by Friday.
1. Schedule important tasks earlier in the week
As tempting as it is to ease yourself into the week, getting your critical tasks out of the way early will save you time. This way you’re not cramming everything in at the last minute and you have time to follow up on tasks if need be. Plus once you get through the really tough stuff you’ll feel motivated to get more done.
2. Prepare the night before
Before you leave work every evening, make a to-do list of the things you must get done the following day. If you’re writing an article, outline it the night before– it’ll save you hours the next day. Don’t leave the office until everything you need to accomplish gets done. You’ll thank yourself when you get to start your weekend early.
3. Say no more often
Being professional doesn’t always mean being compliant. If you’re only working four days a week you have to be ruthless about protecting your time. Start by avoiding meetings that don’t seem truly necessary or don’t have a clear objective. I’d also make sure to cut back on the times you answer you phone. It’s amazing how often you get roped into something that you could avoid if you’re too “busy” to pick up the phone.
4. Take regular breaks
We love positive feedback. So give yourself some reinforcement by scheduling in some breaks and fun. It’s easy to get swept up in the momentum of work, but taking regular breaks through out the day helps you to stay much more mentally fresh and focused. Going for a walk around the block or checking in with a friend can help to clear your mind and prepare you for the next task. I always treat myself with a cup of my favorite tea at 3pm. I look forward to it and welcome the little break.
Being able to take some things off your plate will do wonders for your productivity. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. So let’s say you have a spreadsheet that needs to to be created. It’s basically data entry and anyone can do it. You don’t have to be the one to do it even though it wouldn’t take that much time to import the info yourself. But that’s precious time that you could be spending on something else! Make a list of all the daily tasks that you do, that someone else could do for you. Things like answering back emails, making travel arrangements, doing your accounting or scheduling appointments. Then look into hiring a virtual assistant or someone to help you so you can get back to do what you’re really great at doing.
It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s important to focus on the reward. What would you do with a three-day weekend?