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Sweden started with 6 hour day. If we were to adopt a similar structure or a 4-day working week, will we gain anything from it? It is a sustainable culture?

When I first heard about the six-hour day in Sweden, I wanted to know just how much they got done in a day. I was surprised to know that it really worked for them. In fact, some companies even claimed that their productivity has increased by several manifolds as a result of fewer hours. This set me thinking. Will the system or something similar work in India. I remember when I was associated with a software company, how even 8 hours proved to be less and people used to insist on overtime. However, as a consultant, I realized that Sweden was right in adopting this work culture. We usually work only 4 to 6 hours in a day but, because we are never able to focus on our work and our system makes us overwork, we are never able to achieve the day’s work.

For instance, I remember a time when my colleague insisted we did not need to hire another resource as there wasn’t enough work for a new member. As a result, our team remained overworked and we were never able to achieve good results.

If India were to adopt Sweden like culture, it would definitely be one-up and there would be more job satisfaction around.

Why a four-hour five-day workweek sounds good?

Our productivity depends on the cognitive overload we go through on a regular basis. If we were to limit the hours in a day set for work and freed the remaining hours for you to concentrate on growth, you will see a tremendous boost in productivity. For a long time, we are used to working on multiple things at the same time, which makes us vulnerable and does not help us with our need to finish the task. Instead, if we were to work on a single aspect at a time, we would be more efficient and productive.

  • I have five tasks to be completed in the day. I can either do small bits of all five tasks under stress or, plan them well. If I choose the latter, I can finish a good amount of work in the four hours of the day, allotted to me.
  • Let’s say I plan the day in such a way that I have to invest only few minutes for one task, and probably half an hour for the other task. I will see which part of the day suits best for these tasks and accordingly appoint that time for it.
  • So, basically, I will time every single task. My planning needs to be done at an early hour, to make sure I achieve every single point I set out to, in the first place.

When I say productivity, sadly in our country it is measured through the number of hours that we work. However, if we were to monitor it from the number of tasks you managed to accomplish in a day, then it would be a win for all of us. With a four hour workday, you know you have four hours. You need to finish the day’s task in those hours, and you are not going to be able to sit here forever.

  • Your mind won’t wander unnecessarily. You know you have to up your efficiency in these hours and maximize your output.
  • You will learn to delegate the tasks better and would know how to plan efficiency.
  • You will learn to prioritize and organize your tasks better as a result, which will eventually help you further your progress. In short, it is not just a good idea for you as an individual, but also to the entire organization.

You will spend fewer hours talking about random things and will have more spare time to stay motivated and inspire yourself.

How to make the most of the four hour day?

  • You know the four hour day works but, you want to know how to maximize your output in the four hour day. Here are a few things that might help you work those four hours.
  • Planning is very crucial to the four-hour day worker. You need to wake up a little early, plan the day around all the tasks that you have in your mind, and then maybe relax a bit with a cup of tea or coffee that you are fond of.
  • Meditating early in the morning will help you seek some peace and solace. You will know how to make the most of the day by getting rid of the stress involved.
  • You should ideally delegate the tasks within your team. If you sit to work through all the tasks, it will become impossible. The best way to get things done on time is to make sure everyone in your team is involved.
  • Focus on what is important, and leave what is not to the last hour. This way you will get most of the things done and can utilize your remaining hours in improving yourself, and your skills.
  • The distractions can be plenty, and you need to make sure you get rid of them. When you are planning your work to be done in four hours, limit the distractions. You should ideally have minimal to no distractions. If you love being on social media, keep it for another time. You should not include writing emails or the time spent on social media in those four hours.

Summing up

I personally believe that the four-hour work a day can boost productivity and keep the organization costs to a total minimal. Imagine having spare hours to work on other things? Now that is something that you don’t get with the eight-hour work a day, do you?

I think it is time for India to adopt this new culture, and free their resources from working overtime. It is a slow change but truly a necessary one.

As a consultant, you can hire me to ring in change into your organization. From changing the growth mindset to bringing in work routines that help increase productivity, you can expect me to plan and execute them for you.

If you want to avail my services and improve your organization and make it more dynamic, connect with me via phone or email.

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