Downshift to Accelerate


Did you know that time is elastic?

If you had two weeks to pack for a flight, the process of thinking, organizing, and eventually packing could easily elongate itself to fill that time. But time can also be condensed because if you suddenly realized your flight left in two hours… you would get hyper-focused and still get it all done, right? This is part of my theory behind the four-day workweek.

What if it has nothing to do with working harder and instead everything to do with our ability to focus? The result is that we could get just as much done in four days as we do in five, maybe even more.

As a creative constraint, the mind knows that it has to operate within the limited window. In this case, the window represents time.

When you have two hours to pack and get to the airport, your mind doesn’t allow you to explore tangents or take breaks. It only allows you to focus on the highest priority tasks. Believe it or not, this can be energizing because we are more energy efficient when we are aligned, focused, and intentional.

We burn more energy when we are distracted, unfocused and allow ourselves to procrastinate.

Now let’s get back to the four-day workweek theory. If we can free ourselves up for one day, we could use this day to slow down, focus on big picture work or educate ourselves on new things. Just like a race car, your fifth day is where you downshift to accelerate.

Does this sound crazy? Standing desks also sounded crazy at one point, but now they make all kinds of sense. This is all part of the path of the awakened leader. Leaders who are ready to look beyond the old-school ways of being and into the new age. The ones who are setting themselves up for success.


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