How I worked 2 days a week for a whole month (and didn’t earn less money)
A few of you have asked me to share more details of my latest productivity experiment where I decided to work 2 days a week – for a month!
From the middle of July, for 4 consecutive weeks, I had heaps of fun, family and travel stuff planned. My sister and family were visiting Spain, then I was back to the UK for a family catch up (plus 5 nights camping for a festival), so when I looked at my calendar I knew I needed some kind of STRATEGY to survive!
I made the decision to go on a productivity experiment and work for just 2 days a week.
The purpose of the experiment was to embrace either being in work mode OR being in play mode. Not a bit of both at the same time.
Which I confess, I do a lot.
Full Disclosure – this wasn’t actually planned far in advance so I didn’t set myself up for this. My business is 5 years old now and I have systems, processes and a team in place to make this a little easier without too much pre-planning.
To be clear – I had to drop a lot of things to make this happen.
I just decided it was worth it.
Turns out I got a lot more from the experiment than just enjoying being present with my friends and family.
Below I’m sharing some of the lessons and tools I used. Maybe try a little experiment for yourself and see what happens!
The Tools I used
- Asana: I have all my projects and tasks in Asana.
- My iPhone: I generally try to work from my laptop rather than my phone, but for this experiment, I checked in from my phone – for ease.
How I managed Emails and Social Media
I did do a 30-minute check in every day, which I tried to do in the mornings, to make sure there was nothing urgent that I needed to deal with. My main priorities for the month were my 1:1 clients and my WSS members. I was in maintenance mode (although I did actually have a FB campaign happening to sell one of my programs managed by my awesome FB Ads lady!)
How I switched off
The whole experiment was based around being fully present with whoever I was spending time with (and not thinking about stuff I hadn’t done!).
Therefore, it was super important for me to have a clear plan for when I WAS working (that bit is important – when you are working fewer hours, the less decision making you have to do the better).
So I always knew what I had to do when I was in ‘work mode’. If that hadn’t been the case I would not have got anywhere near as much done.
I actually think this is why it worked so well – I knew ‘what’ and ‘when’ so my mind could let it go.
FREEDOM COMES THROUGH…DISCIPLINE
Again learning just how true this statement is!
How I got everything done
On the two days that I was working, I had to show up for client calls, I chose to batch my clients so that I could take full days ‘OFF’.
In between the client sessions, I had Asana letting me know anything I HAD to do, but honestly, mostly I just didn’t do everything and gave myself permission for that to be ok.
My FB page was already taken care of so content would still be going out consistently there.
I didn’t show up in the FB groups I’m usually connecting in, I didn’t share much on Instastories – because the big reason for doing this was to be more present and ‘off’.
Something I am not always brilliant at, but I fully embraced it and it felt soooo good.
I know how powerful that is and I just don’t think we do that enough when we work for ourselves. Stepping back. Switching off. Playing.
In short, I didn’t get everything done. I did what had to be done. That’s the thing about working considerably less than usual – you get super clear what is actually important.
You get CLEAR on your priorities….which is really big.
The short term benefits
– How I felt. I felt amazing! I loved the time I spent with friends and family (and the WSS meet-up I hosted in Leeds!).
– The inspiration that came around my business, I started getting excited about it again. I still parked the ideas and insights for when I was back in full action mode, but it felt good to have the creative juices flowing again.
– I dropped the addiction to checking my FB notifications which had crept back in. I’m now back to having notifications for everything turned off and checking in at specific times throughout the day instead, which serves me and my business WAY better.
The long term benefits
Writing this about 3 weeks after the experiment ended I can say that I most definitely found a new zest for my business. Stepping back was so good for me! It helped me re-connect to what lights me up, which has resulted in me giving my business a big shakeup!
Watch this space on that one – the stepping back gave me room to see that I was resisting stepping into the bigger mission for my business. I’m sure I will be sharing more about this along the way.
This 2-day experiment was a huge lesson in the value of stepping back – the insights that came through only came BECAUSE of the space I gave myself and taking myself out of the day-to-day norm.
AND…I learned that working less doesn’t mean my business will break!
I’m often trying out productivity experiments and this one ended up being bigger than I expected #businessshakeupinfullswing
How do you feel about working less? If the idea stresses you out, it might be even more reason to start your own productivity experiment!