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Paradigm shift story: If businesses around the world are increasing productivity by shortening the work week, can you?

Kai Madrone
August 24, 2021
4
min
Paradigm-shifters
Strategy

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When the pace picks up can you still pause?

Does it feel like life shifted somehow last week, took things up a notch, and you find yourself busier than ever? We hear ya! So now is the perfect time to share the story of a significant paradigm shift that is happening around the world and beginning to change how work is structured.

Have you ever returned to work after a three day holiday weekend feeling better rested, relieved to have a four day week of ahead of you, and thinking this is how every week should be? There's good reason for that sentiment! And there is also a growing movement to make the four day week the norm...

The world needs paradigm-shifting entrepreneurs                                                                                      

A growing global movement is changing the shape of the work week

One of the things we hear frequently from our clients is that they feel a sense of overwhelm about their marketing. They know they need to have a strong online presence but making it happen can be a major endeavor. But it's not just entrepreneurs who feel overwhelmed--it's a condition of the fast-paced culture we live in compounded by current turbulent times. We can relate!

As a paradigm-shifting entrepreneur, you might be a lot like us--the way you work is 100%. Whether you're doing sales and marketing, serving customers, coaching clients, creating content, managing a team, or strategizing your business, every moment is full on. There is no coasting. Which is a powerful way to roll, but makes it all the more important to put healthy boundaries on work so you ensure that you get the rest you need to stay sustainable in your business.

If you want a better work-life balance and are trying to figure out how to make your schedule more sustainable, you're not alone....


Kai's story: Debilitating illness and the 4 day week experiment


After four years of debilitating chronic illness that rendered me unable to do even basic things like grocery shopping, I finally began recovering my health when I started working with my mentor in 2019. Recovery was gradual but steady and I found I was able to function more fully and work more consistently. But even as I gained strength the fact was that by Thursday I would crash. Hard. My plans for the day would be lost and the week would end on a difficult note of trying to recover and struggling to catch up.

So I tried an experiment. I began taking Wednesdays off to see if pausing mid-week for some intentional recovery time would make it possible to finish the week strong and avoid the crash of reactive recovery time. It worked! The pause made all the difference. Thus began what I call "Kai Wednesdays" and my personal policy of a four day week.

Now that my health is strong and my energy is back I stick to the four day week because that mid-week pause is what makes it possible to keep well-being in the picture, show up 100% for my clients, and continue up-leveling The Paradigm Shift Project.

Michael's story: Daddy-Daughter Day and the 4 day week

When Michael's daughter Mai was born in 2019 he and his wife wisely crafted a family schedule that empowered both of them to have solid quality time with Mai while also nurturing both of their careers. Thus "Dad-Daughter Day" was born and with it, Michael's personal policy of a four day week.

(Photo of Michael and his daughter enjoying a Daddy-Daughter Day above :))

The Paradigm Shift Project: our 4 day week policy

As a business we've chosen to operate on the 4 day week because this paradigm shift increases our productivity, well-being, and family time. We communicate this with our clients, coordinate our calendars as a team, and find it works exceptionally well.  We're not the only ones--

The 4 day week is becoming a global movement


After implementing this schedule for ourselves we discovered the 4 day week is actually a global movement! In 2018 an Australian investment firm did an experiment to see if a shorter work week could increase company productivity and employee well being. I probably don't have to tell you--it did.

The experiment worked so well the co-founders of Perpetual Guardian (the investment firm) wrote a book about the results and started a movement to encourage more companies to adopt the practice. Kickstarter, Micosoft Japan, and the Spanish government have all joined with good results.

What's good for people is good for business

While it's common to think of a business as a machine, human beings are not. Treating ourselves and each other like a machine has its limits and more and more businesses are recognizing those limits and finding new ways to structure how work happens so their schedule benefits both employee well-being and the bottom line. (Really, how could the two not be related?!)

If you like the idea of the four day week becoming the new norm, you can sign the petition here and share it with your network. We need the good work you do in this world, so please take care of you. We can't build the better world we know is possible if we aren't living sustainably ourselves.

Bring who you are, share your gifts, and live your purpose.


Kai Madrone
Posted on
August 24, 2021

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