Why are Monday's so dreadful? I finally figured it out - It's because we don't get Friday's off from work. Oh, and according to Carlos Slim, Mexico's richest man, maybe we should forget about Thursday's too.
It often makes sense to integrate the habits of successful and effective leaders into your own business. And if success and effectiveness are judged through monetary gain, Slim is hands downs one of the world's best.
But why would a man like Slim make a claim about the benefits of a 3-day workweek? First, he believes that with increases in technology the amount people work naturally decreases. Second, as we become healthier, people also desire to stay in the workforce longer. Slim sees these older workers as highly knowledgeable and feels they are an important part of the workforce. However, by only working three days a week, companies can retain older talent while also making room for the younger generation. Slim believes this will help cut down on unemployment. It can also be a solution for companies dealing with excess personnel.
Slim has even put the idea to the test, offering three-day workweeks at his company Telmex. So far, he says forty percent of the applicants eligible have taken him up on the extra-long weekend.
Innovative? Yes. Considered a bit crazy? Indeed.
Carlos Slim is just my kind of guy.
Since it worked for Slim, I tried to replicate the short workweek strategy at my own business. With that in mind, I set out to reduce my hours and see what benefits or challenges arose in the process.
I took Slim's advice (to an extent) and began experimenting with how to structure my new week. However, the 3-day workweek seemed a bit too aggressive. Instead, I started out slow, committing to take Friday's off.
I'll be straight with you. The experiment wasn't easy. My phone continued to ring off the hook every Friday, and my incoming emails never slowed in spite of my out of office notification. In total, I followed through for three months.
Although Slim's methods weren't sustainable for a small business owner like myself, I learned a few good lessons along the way:
- The importance of setting boundaries - setting boundaries between your personal and business time is imperative for keeping your sanity.
- Working smarter, not harder - with less time to complete projects, you naturally create better, more efficient solutions.
- Sticking to priorities - so much time is wasted on unnecessary details. Stick to priorities that drive business progress to achieve ultimate success.
- Buy-in from your team - for any drastic change to be successful, you need acceptance from your employees and partners. Get everyone on board.
Now that I've returned to working five days a week, I still get nostalgic from time to time. The long hikes I took on Friday mornings feel like ages ago.
If I ever meet Carlos Slim, I'd like to ask him one question. I'd say, "Carlos my friend, how many days a week do you work?" I'd bet my business that the answer is more than three.