Let’s set up the foundation calculation for this discussion. A typical day of work consists of potentially 6 hours of productivity. Yes, it’s scheduled for as many as 12 hours. But, 2 hours are spent revving up (1 hour) and winding down (1 hour). You have another two hours obligated to the lunch “watch” and the lunch “-itis.” The “lunch watch” is when you watch the clock anticipating lunch. The “lunch -itis” is that sluggish feeling you feel right after lunch. It takes some time to get back into the groove of work after the meal. And, the last two hours of every work day is spent in a coordinated dance of bathroom breaks, desk arranging, pencil sorting, and co-worker conversations. That leaves 6 hours of actual productive work.
When is the 8th Day?
With that foundation, understand that getting another day’s worth of work is as easy (or difficult) as finding 6 hours to be productive during the weekend. I have found that the best time for me is 6pm to 12pm on Saturday night. Consider that time for a moment. What do you normally do during that time? I would venture to say that it is wasted time. Or, it’s time that you consider your time to relax. Mine is not to argue with you. Mine is only to point out that this is YOUR choice. Ask yourself, are there activities that I do on Saturday that I could move to another time during the week? Just make sure that your answer and your resulting activity fits with the goals that you say you are willing to sacrifice for.
What About Rest and Recreation?
Consider the potential gain of both a balanced schedule and another day of productivity. Please understand that I am a believer in rest and recreation. It is my highest priority to spend quality time with my family and friends. Yet, consider that these too respond to the discipline of schedules. Friends can have Thursday nights, 6-9pm. Family requires 20 minutes per day of intentional interaction. Double up on that every day. Schedule “wind-down” time on Friday nights. Schedule shopping on Sunday afternoons. Schedule movie viewing and party time on Sunday evenings. Exercise is a morning routine. Errands fit neatly into the “before-work” category for 9am-5pm employees or “after-work” for 6am-3pm employees. The point is that scheduling time does not jail you in a prison of time, scheduling enables you to respect time as a resource and exercise your discipline ensuring rest and recreation in balance with productivity.
You actually have two chances to produce an 8th day of the week. The first is to take the Saturday 6pm-12am. You may miss a few ball games on television, but you will replace them with productivity. The second is to structure your sleep schedule so that you can wake at 6am, 6 days per week. Take the 40 minutes from 6am until 6:40am and write. By weeks end, you will have produced what amounts to the productivity of another work day.
[ Michael A. Wright, PhD, LAPSW is a leadership coach and organization consultant based in Nashville, Tennessee. With over 18 years of experience guiding individuals to their goals, Michael has the techniques and patience to help you succeed. Follow @MAWMedia on Twitter or connect for a consultation at MAWMedia.com ]