Why 14 Day Weeks Will Make You A Winner!
As I often say on Twitter, everything in the mainstream is backwards and ineffective. This is an attitude I firmly stand by, and when it comes to how people schedule their time there is no exception.
The ‘average’ persons life is not optimised in any way. More often than not their entire way of being from their opinions to their weekly routine is dictated to them by society, school and their employer and is optimised for the benefit of those institutions as opposed to the actual person themselves.
The unfortunate reality is that our system rarely serves people’s own best interests, and the only way to solve that is by looking outside the status-quo and optimizing ones life and environment around ones own needs.
Which leads us to the working week and why it is terrible…
The Standard 7 Day Week Consists Of:
- A 5 Day Work Period
- Followed by a 2 Day Leisure Period or ‘Weekend’
The problems with this are numerous, firstly the work period is too short to build proper momentum. It does not allow enough time to become truly immersed in ones work and maximise productivity before the week ends and momentum is lost to another leisure period.
To elaborate let me break down a typical white collar employee’s week:
On Monday people return to work, they have no momentum after the weekend and are usually in a state of resistance at the prospect of having to go to work again. Mondays are often spent performing the least amount of work possible, procrastinating, chatting with colleagues about the weekend, and re-acclimatizing to the work environment after enjoying 2 days of leisure.
Tuesdays are not much better, typically they will have gotten over the resistance of being back at work however they will still have no momentum, they will not feel immersed. On Tuesday people will start to get themselves into a state of productivity, they’ll begin digging into serious work projects, get their heads down and begin to become immersed in their work once again… Just as the day ends…
By Wednesday the week is in full swing, they will have a little bit of momentum going from the day before, many will be stuck into some project or another and starting to feel immersed. Productivity is relatively high.
Then Thursday hits, at which point people begin to feel the work week is almost over and they soon begin to have such thoughts as:
- “It’s the weekend soon I might as well take it easy.”
- “There’s no point starting anything new since I won’t be able to finish it tomorrow”
- “I can’t wait for the day to be over so the weekend will come sooner and I can relax.”
And so on…
This destroys whatever small degree of momentum and immersion they had managed to build up from Monday to Wednesday. It puts them back into a state of resistance where they are now focussed on the coming weekend and the leisurely pursuits they plan to engage in rather than on productivity.
Finally Friday rolls around and the weekend is already in full swing in the minds of the average employee. It’s a day of chatting about what you’re going to do over the weekend, of procrastinating on that latest project so you can start on Monday instead, of avoiding work and waiting until the day is over and that beloved leisure period arrives again.
However no sooner than the much beloved weekend has arrived it is gone, as often times at least one day is spent simply relaxing, recuperating from the week, and performing common household duties such as laundry, lawn mowing, and other personal responsibilities. Which leaves only 1 real day to enjoy leisure before the work week begins again.
The end result of this is massive amounts of wasted time, drastically diminished output and a fortnightly productivity curve that looks something like this:
My Alternative 14 Day Week:
- An 11 Day Work Period
- A 3 Day Leisure Period
(This can be adjusted to a 10/4 split when you wish to increase the balance of leisure:work)
What this allows you to do is enjoy an extended period of immersion which results in increased momentum and higher peak productivity over a longer period of time. Because of this you are able to significantly increase your productive output when compared with the average person.
You enjoy the same start to your week as every standard employee (as illustrated in the previous example) where you return to work on a Monday after enjoying some leisure time and must re-acclimatize yourself to the work environment to begin building momentum.
However instead of building your momentum only to have it evaporate as soon as it has appears by the arrival of Thursday and the oncoming end of the week, you are empowered to continue with that momentum and use it to fuel your work into Thursday – through the ‘weekend’ – and onto the following week. This provides you with a greatly extended period of maximum productivity, along with a higher overall peak productivity as you are able to build a much greater degree of momentum and become far more immersed in your work.
The result I have found is that projects are completed faster, overall work enjoyment increases due to immersion, you rarely feel ‘rushed’ to finish something ‘by the end of the week’ and you gain a significant advantage over everyone else who operates on a standard 7 day week due to your increase in total productive hours.
On top of that you get to enjoy a far better period of leisure and relaxation! Often times I will adjust my end-of-week based on my performance and work requirement, allowing myself additional leisure time for highly productive weeks and good results. For example if I have a particularly good week I may end at 2pm on a Thursday and take Thursday afternoon through to Sunday off – giving me a 3 ½ day weekend.
This allows for a much greater degree of enjoyment and relaxation. For example I can spend Thursday afternoon settling into the weekend and recuperating my energy from the working week. During the summer I’ll often spend the afternoon on the beach in front of my house, read a book and then go to dinner with my girl or some friends to finish off the day. After which I still have 3 full days of leisure to enjoy doing whatever I want, this means I have time to really enjoy the things I like doing. For example I could go away for a 3 day mini-vacation somewhere. Or I could spend a day with my girlfriend, another day enjoying one of my hobbies and still have a whole day left over to simply chill out at home, get a massage, watch movies or see family. The possibilities are greatly increased with this additional time. It allows a deeper level of relaxation and a significantly increased opportunity to enjoy hobbies or leisure activities without any sense of feeling rushed or limited by the shortness of a standard 2 day weekend.
The end results of this minor change are tremendous, it results in massively increased productive output, faster project completion, a longer period of higher peak performance and a significantly improved period of leisure which allows you more time to enjoy your hobbies and still have time to relax properly. The overall outcome is higher life enjoyment and a fortnightly productivity curve which looks something closer to this:
As you can see by comparing the two charts I have provided, the 14 day week delivers an increased maximum productivity due to the increased immersion that is built up over time, and an extended period of peak productivity due to the higher levels of momentum achieved by carrying on rather than winding down your 5-day work cycle for the weekend.
Why 14 days specifically? I originally got the idea from an associate of mine who had the idea of changing to a metric calendar system where a week would last for 10 days, as he believed this would allow us to enjoy a longer work week along with additional longer weekends and would complement the metric system.
The problem with this is that nobody else is doing it, and nobody else’s calendars align with a 10 day cycle in any way. Aside from the simple fact that hours and days do not divide up metrically into a year, neither does anyone else’s schedule. By operating on an alternate week schedule such as 10 days you would run into all kinds of insanely frustrating issues with things like scheduling, with your weekends never aligning with anyone else’s and so on. It’s just totally impractical.
Whereas with a 14 day week, your weekends always match up perfectly with everybody else’s. Your week schedule remains consistent with the western calendar system, and there are no causes of confusing or mixed scheduling.
You gain an increase in performance, an increase in overall productive hours, and an advantage over most average people, while also being able to enjoy an extended and more immersive leisure period. This allows for better experiences, more opportunity to practice sports or hobbies, and a deeper sense of relaxation and recovery. All of which result in you having more energy and feeling happier, and that compounds into more success.
In fact, you may even find that by implementing the 14 Day Week you rarely if ever feel the need for extended vacations as your long weekends allow you more than enough time to enjoy all of your hobbies to the fullest.
I highly recommend giving it a try. If you are an entrepreneur and set your own hours it’s an easy change that offers numerous benefits. However even if you are an employee it will serve you well provided you have flexible hours and can enjoy the extended leisure time. At the very least your boss will almost certainly notice you are frequently working on what he perceives as ‘weekends’ and that will no doubt further your career.
As a final tip: If you decide to implement this (which, if you’re in business, you should) then it’s very easy to do using Google Calendar. You can change the settings in Google Calendar to display a 2-Week block at a time which means it’s really easy to keep on top of your 14-Day week just with one simple adjustment in this free and popular tool which Google already provides. I’m sure you can do a similar thing in the Apple Calendar although I don’t use that myself.
If you found this useful and are interested in receiving more excellent tips to help you succeed in business and life consider signing up to my mailing list and following me on social media via the links bellow.
- Rob O’Neill
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