Shop sign saying "sorry we're closed but still awesome"

I don’t work on Fridays! Which means my clients get a more attentive, engaged, and supportive version of me on Monday to Thursday.

One of the things I love about running my own business is that I get to define Wise Genius’ business culture. And since autumn 2020, I’ve decided to work a 4-day week.

In my previous life as an employee, I worked in an office where there was a constant competition to see who could arrive in the office first in the morning and leave last at night. Extra points if you worked at the weekend. I hated it!

When I decided to start working for myself, I wanted to be in control of when and how. My children and their school hours dictated this for the first few years. As they got older, and needed me less, I had more time to work.

Embrace the flow

It turns out that defining your own business culture is harder than you think! Are you self-employed and still stuck in the 9-5 mentality of life as an employee? You sit at your desk in the morning, stop for something to eat around 1pm, and then work until the early evening. Just like in a job!

If running your own business feels the same as being employed, maybe it’s time to think about making a change and embracing a different way of working. Remember, you’ve chosen to be in charge, and you get to work how best fits your lifestyle. There will be days when you feel like doing nothing and others when you are full of energy and ideas, and raring to go. You get to embrace the flow.

Why Friday?

Why did I choose Friday as a day not to work, instead of any other weekday? Friday has always been an admin-type day – when I did washing, the weekly trip to the supermarket, sorted out the household finances, and business-related admin tasks. I tapped into that “end-of-the-week” feeling – clocking off early, drinks in the pub, takeaway for dinner, slowing down into the weekend. The pandemic made it easier to do. Life was slower, I had fewer external demands on my time, and felt the need for more space and rest. So, I slowed right down on a Friday.

And I found myself looking forward to the end of the week and a day to myself. I became more focused on Monday thru’ Thursday. I was able to plan my time better. I enjoyed the weekend more, with less of a rushed transition away from work.

What do I do now on a Friday instead of working? I have been known to…

  • Eat a huge bag of pick-n-mix in a virtually empty cinema whilst enjoying a film my husband wouldn’t watch in a million years
  • Take pleasure from kneading & baking bread
  • Meet a friend for a walk, followed by tea & cake
  • Clean the kitchen whilst listening & dancing to 70’s disco
  • Snuggle up with a good book
  • Catch up on life admin – recycling old clothes, donating books to Oxfam, shredding out of date paperwork

Do I check my email? Yes! And I will respond if it’s urgent or something I can reply to quickly. Otherwise, it gets labelled and dealt with on Monday. My attitude to answering the phone is unchanged. I only answer it if a) I know who is calling & am b) in a position to talk without disrupting what I’m doing. If you leave a message, I’ll call back later. Promise!

Now even though I choose to design and build WordPress websites four days a week, my clients still get my full attention. I continue to deliver the same standard of work and care as much about the projects I’m working on as when I was available on Fridays too. In fact, you get a better, more present version of me because I’ve decided to take control of my working culture and create new boundaries.

So, what would you do with an entire day off to yourself? Feel free to share your thoughts via email – Or why not message me on social media – feel free to connect on LinkedIn and/or follow me on Instagram.

Image credit: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash