I had a conversation with Alistair about the 4 day week again. He knows that I am a sceptic, he knows that I’ve got fears around it. And he also knows that I am absolutely open to those preconceptions being challenged and for my scepticism to be converted. 

One of the breakthroughs that I did have was the conversation that a fifth day doesn’t necessarily mean do nothing, because that doesn’t excite me, nor does sitting down and binge watching Netflix or just having a massage and nails done every week. That that doesn’t do it for me. But we got to talking about all the other things that both we, and I in particular, would love to be able to get into. 

I want to be able to write more. I would love to be able to finish the book that we started. I would really like to get on the speaker circuit and get more involved in conferences and events. There’s also a lot that can be done around personal branding that fits in with all of those things, and they’re all things that I’ve always seen as core functions of my work at Focus HR. But I hit a realisation that, actually, it could be separated out. It could be that my four days are dedicated to Focus HR – the running of the business, the team, the clients, and even the marketing. 

And my fifth day could be about development – development of me as an individual, as a professional, there’s always going to be a positive flow on effect from that to Focus HR, but my fifth day can be about exploring my writing, my speaking. I know that sounds extremely selfish when I keep saying the word ‘my’, but you get the picture, it is something that I could still feel like I’m doing something worthwhile, something satisfying, and something professionally challenging on my fifth day, rather than sitting and watching Netflix.

And so that that moment of realising that I can still set some goals and things that I want to achieve on day five really helped me to actually get excited about having some time to be able to do that and to be able to categorise and separate that out from Focus HR, where previously I’ve seen it all wrapped in one, which got to be a bit overwhelming because I constantly beat myself up, because I’m not able to get to those things because I’m so focused on the day to day running of the business. And so if we can get really efficient and really focused on getting everything I need done in the four days, then I may actually have the headspace, the time and the freedom to spend time on those are the elements that I’d really like to work on.

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