Revamping Your Work Schedule to a 4-Day Work Week with Joe Sanok

by Amanda Abella  - November 23, 2021

I’ve been experimenting with a four-day workweek, which is why I’m excited to bring you Joe Sanok, who is the author of Thursday is the New Friday.

Joe’s Backstory

For years. Joe worked in nonprofits, then at a community college, and eventually started his counseling business. However, he quickly recognized that he didn’t know about starting or running a business, so he started reading business books. Then, in 2012, Joe launched The Practice of the Practice Podcast to share his newfound business knowledge.

Not having competition for podcasts directed towards counselors, Joe quickly became the number one podcast for counselors. In 2015, he left his full-time job for his practice and podcast, selling his counseling practice in 2019.

Being a single dad of two young girls, he often finds “glitter in my hair” and values having the ability to run his business from home to spend time with his family.

Blame the Babylonians for a Seven Day Work Week

Since the Babylonians looked up in the sky and saw seven bright planets, they decided to make a seven-day calendar. The Romans had a 10 day calendar week, and the Egyptians had an eight-day week. “The concept of a year makes sense because that’s how long it takes us to go around the sun.”

In 1926, Henry Ford instituted the 40-hour workweek at the Ford assembly line. His main objective was to sell more to his Ford employees. He said that if his employees had weekends, where they could have leisure time, they’d want to make the most out of their weekend. They wouldn’t use the horse and buggy; they’d use a car. This concept worked, and he sold thousands of vehicles to his own employees due to that decision. This is why we see the 40-hour workweek as the norm in America.

Many Americans in the workforce are moving away from sitting in a chair for 40 hours to do work that they dislike for a boss that thinks that they are a machine – that industrialist model has died. “We’re moving into a new evolutionary model of the way that we think about our work week.”

The Neuroscience Around Work Productivity

“I think we’re seeing some of the most effective leaders recognizing the neuroscience around how we do our best work.” When we focus on tasks that are the best use of our time, we can be more productive. So now, you’re starting to put all of your best energy into your best work week after week.

“We need to slow down so that our brain is optimized for the work we’re going to do and then we have to go out and kill it.” But before we can go out and land the next client, says Joe, we need to do the internal work to change our mindset. Joe says that his new book talks about how you’re an intelligent person who can think and adjust and adapt. So we need to work on these three elements together to make this process more like a meal.

Three Characteristics Found in Leaders

There are three top inclinations that the top leaders have when running a business. First is curiosity, secondly is an outsider perspective, and the third is an ability to move on and take action.

While many of us lose our childhood curiosity as adults, Joe has found that top leaders realize that curiosity is essential to retain. “Leaders that are thinking in new ways are the ones that are curious to say, so what did we learn from this? What did we learn about our audience? What did we learn about our content? What did we learn about our flow?” Good leaders see failure as an opportunity to discover why something happened and to dig into the details to see if they can make this a positive outcome.

From an outsider’s perspective, you can see the view of those that can sway others into following or buying your product or service. A recent study showed that statistically, outsiders could convince a group more than predicted. In addition, since outsiders have such a new lens, they can discover details that the average person doesn’t see when looking at your business.

The third internal inclination is the ability to move and take action. Remember, when we move, we don’t want to move so fast that we sacrifice accuracy. However, most of what we do as a business depends more on speed than accuracy to get feedback.

Which Work Sprint Type Are You?

“When we learn that we’re better able to use time when we’re working on tasks to get more done in a short period of time, the first thing we want to think about is what kind of work we’re doing.”

First, you’ll need to consider if you’re a time block sprinter or if you’re a task switch sprinter. A time block sprinter is a person that’s gonna work on one task for a period of time. Whereas a task switcher needs to have variety in their workday with tasks.

We also want to think about when we do our tasks. For example, an automated sprinter has their job list repeated every week simultaneously to get the most done in that short period to stay in that flow state.

Resources that are mentioned or add value to this episode:

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