Since I began working with Lincoln Loop, I’ve been absolutely loving the flexibility. What has surprised me, though, is how hard it has been to consistently put in 40 hours a week. There were several weeks when it was even difficult for me to get to 32 hours, which is my absolute minimum. I decided that it was time to take advantage of this newfound flexibility, and try a new work schedule. So, six weeks ago I shifted to a 4 day work week. So far, it has been great! There are definitely positives and negatives about the arrangement, but overall it’s been very good for me and it’s made it much easier for me to hit my 40 hour goal each week.
I work Monday to Thursday, 8 hours during the day, and 2 hours in the evening. Splitting the time up that way helps me avoid getting to burnt out each day, and gives me a chance to spend some time with my wife and son before the little guy goes to bed. I usually jump back on the computer by 8, and finish up for the evening by 10. This leaves me a couple of hours for some reading (or Minecraft) before bed.
On Fridays my family and I usually spend part of the day out and about, enjoying the opportunity to get away from the house and be together. This is especially important to us since we are home all the time. I work from home, and Barbara stays home and cares for Elliot. The time we spend out on Friday as a family is great bonding time and it fights off any traces of cabin fever.
One of the most effective things about it, though, is the motivation. I get a direct correlation between working hard and putting my hours in, and getting an extra day to relax. I know that at any moment my 4 day week could become a 5 day week if I don't focus on my work and get my time in. This personal reward makes a great motivation to be consistent and not give in to laziness or procrastination. For this reason, I think it’s important for me that the day off be at the end of the week. I’m working towards a reward each week, not struggling to catch up.
The downside is that it has made it more difficult to spend time with friends during the week. I’m always working on weeknights, so we’ve had to turn down invitations to get together on several occasions. To overcome this I’m starting to plan for one free night each week, often working 3 hours during two other nights to compensate.
I definitely feel that this new schedule has made me more productive and consistent, and I’d certainly recommend it to those who have the opportunity. I’m definitely glad to be away from the rigid corporate world and free to pursue the style of work that fits me best!