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This Company Gave Employees Fridays Off Paid, What Happened Next Is Amazing

This Company Gave Employees Fridays Off Paid, What Happened Next Is Amazing

It isn’t the first time the idea of free Fridays has been around. Gone are the days of offices that only consist of grey walls and instant coffee. The competition is rising, as is the psychology behind keeping good employees happy enough to stay at their jobs. Some offices even go as far as offering team games, gym classes, and ping pong.

If one goes as far as questioning the work-pleasure balance, psychologically the Monday to Friday nine-to-five is out of balance at best. According to the article “We Gave Our Employees Fridays Off Paid and Now We Have an Amazing Team,” if we had just one more day to do the things we enjoy doing, the benefits would be outstanding

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So, what exactly are the benefits of having Fridays off work? And what did this company consider when making the decision for their employees? Better yet, what happened as a result of giving the employees a three-day weekend?

So What Did The Company Do?

These days, it seems as if balancing work and life outside work is more difficult than it has ever been. Employees expect more as companies deliver more, and there is little evidence to support the idea that ping pong tables motivate employees and make for better business. However, an extra day just might.

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The company gave their employees every other Friday off, paid, naming it the “18-Day Work Month” with the understanding that it was a truly productive way to motivate their employees. The psychology behind the idea is that people perform at their peak when they aren’t confined to the drudgery of set work hours every single week, day in, day out. Instead, they use the four days they are at work more productively, they focus more intently, and then they spend their three-day weekend having a true break and coming back fresh and focused on Monday morning. The employees are more driven because they are feel like they are being taken care of, that as human beings, they matter. This, of course, leads to happier employees.

How Is This Beneficial?

The obvious fear for companies when they look at this front on is that there are less work hours being applied to the job at hand. However, when approached strategically, they were smart enough to understand that figures may better add up with a more humanist approach. In other words, understanding that by taking care of good staff, your staff will in turn take care of you.

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Seems simple, right? When you look at the bigger picture, you can see that this system works. For example, if you are searching for employees who are professional, productive, and get things right the first time around, you’ll be searching for people who are intermediate or a ways into their careers. These people are usually more settled and a little further along in their lives, as opposed to the general beginner. They will value their free time with their life outside of work. They will be highly attracted to the four-day week and it will encourage them to shoot for the stars and do their very best for this kind of role. This, in turn, will cut your costs on recruitment and training.

It Makes Sense!

If we are wanting to employ the best, we need to treat them like the best and offer things beyond what they might expect. By promoting a unique balance on a very human level, we understand people and respect them as they are — incredible business people who are great at their jobs, but also family people, or people who have built lives outside of the workplace. Acknowledging this benefits everybody. The employees will feel in control and happy. Perhaps this is something for everyone to think about!

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

The Power of Ritual: Conquer Procrastination, Time Wasters and Laziness

Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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Program Your Own Algorithms

Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

How to Form a Ritual

I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

  1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
  2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
  3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
  4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

Ways to Use a Ritual

Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

1. Waking Up

Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

2. Web Usage

How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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3. Reading

How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

4. Friendliness

Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

5. Working

One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

6. Going to the gym

If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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7. Exercise

Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

8. Sleeping

Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

8. Weekly Reviews

The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

Final Thoughts

We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

 

Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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