More companies are now moving toward a 4-day work week as opposed to the traditional 9-5. It has become a trend, and employees are enjoying the benefit of schedule flexibility, which seems to be a win-win situation for both employees and companies.
However, like everything else, it’s a two-edged sword: there are positive and negative impacts. It's up to the employee if they find it difficult or more convenient. So, for working folks who work 10 hours straight, it is essential to maximize each day to avoid working overtime on a Friday.
If you are working long hours for extra income, you will need to find a balance and schedule your working day accordingly for the well-being of your physical and mental health.
A 4-day work week may be annoying for some. However, recent studies show that working longer hours may result in anxiety and depression; therefore, employees are more prone to burn out.
But with proper planning, time management, and fair expectations, you can prevent a mental breakdown, become more productive, and content with yourself.
Without further ado, here are our six tips on how to survive a 4-day work week without experiencing burnout and general fatigue:
1. Wake Up Early
Working long hours may rob you of having enough time for personal tasks when you get home. While you may prefer to complete your chores before going to bed, it may result in being late for work because you overslept.
However, with proper planning, an unfinished personal task the night before can be done in the morning, and you also benefit from getting up early.
So, when you go back to work the next day, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and you will feel more productive. Therefore, making time for yourself in the morning will compensate for the time that you lost from working a 4-day work week, 10 hours a day.
2. Set an Evening Routine
After a long 10-hour workday, you may feel that there’s not enough time to unwind in the evening. Your body is exhausted from a long day at work, and your mind is also telling you to go to bed early.Your body needs to relax after a long day so give yourself a break before bedtime.
Use the extra time to indulge in a few occupations that make you feel happy and relaxed: curl up with a good book, call your favourite relative/friend, or take a long bubble bath. Whatever you think will relax you the most.
3. Take Breaks Wisely
Working non-stop is not an option, so you need to plan breaks to re-energize yourself before getting back to work. However, breaks should be used wisely and should not be used solely for eating. An effective break should reduce mental and emotional stress. With that in mind, try to do things that relax and calm your mind. Taking short walks and listening to soothing music will help you distress.
4. Complete Your Task for the Day
Create a checklist of the things that you need to accomplish every day. Since you’re committing to a 4-day work week, you need to maximize your time and work smarter, not harder. Plus, leaving a task unfinished can prolong your workday for the week and skyrocket your anxiety. Start by accomplishing an easy task first and do the difficult ones last. When your workday is filled with things to do, it will create a sense of accomplishment.
5. Walk and Stretch Every Now and Then
If you work long hours at a desk, it’s crucial to get up and move once in a while. A 10-hour workday can feel overwhelming, and it is not healthy to sit for hours on end. In fact, research shows that sitting at your desk for hours on end poses serious health risks. By getting up and moving every now and then, you will feel more productive, and it’s also a great way to reset your mind.
When you return to your desk, you will feel more energized and ready to work. Standing for a short period can prevent back pain caused by prolonged sitting. One of the best alternatives is a standing desk that offers many benefits, and it can be used for writing or reading while standing.
The adjustable standing desk is a great alternative to the traditional sitting desk. Investing in a standing desk for your 4-day work week not only benefits your health, but it’s also a great investment money-wise. Since you need to stretch to keep you going the entire day, you need a piece of furniture to keep you on our toes — pun intended.
However, to make things better, we recommend that you also invest in a wobble to pair it with your standing desk. The chair helps you stimulate your muscles and stimulates metabolism. Basically, you’re burning calories while you’re working! Without even knowing it, you will be burning calories and strengthening your core.
It has a wide range of adjustments and can accommodate a variety of people. It allows you to have a half-standing pose when you take your break from standing but do not wish to sit down completely. While we have enumerated all the things that we need to consider and do during our 10-hour shift, there are some drawbacks that we must eliminate during our long shift.
6. Minimize Unwanted Distractions
You might not see it, but breaking focus during work to check your phone or personal messages will take a big toll on productivity and focus. Just when you’ve finally synced with work, the next thing you know, you’re snickering at a cat meme that your friend sent.
We’re not bashing fun or memes — cat memes happen to be our favourite, but the best way to make sure that you don’t break your productivity streak is to minimize unwanted distractions. Either deactivate your internet or use Airplane mode, whatever you need to do.
BONUS TIP: Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture
Working a 4-day working week is no joke, and you should take it seriously. However, don’t lose sight of the bigger picture: your mental and physical health. Just do your best, and everything that’s left can be tackled another day.
Remember, without proper personal care; you won’t be able to be as productive at work, which will lead to more stress, anxiety, and depression.
So, if your current job doesn’t have standing desks, remember to keep moving and stretch from time to time.