As I was falling asleep last night I thought, “it’s been a long week.” And then I started to wonder, what makes a long week or a short week?
It’s not the number of days in the week – there are three and four day weeks that are super long. And they are 5 day weeks that fly by. But you know that feeling where it’s Wednesday, and you say goodbye to someone at the office and slip in “have a nice weekend if I don’t see you tomorrow” only to realize tomorrow is Thursday and you will both be in?
What Makes a Short Week
I think it’s easier to define a short week. It’s the week that seems to fly by. I think I know the things that cause this to happen for me:
- Day does not start too early (first meeting by 9 or 9:15, time to think and settle in before talking to other humans)
- Day is full, but not Tetris-style booked, there is room to go a little over in meetings and time to visit the facilities or get a coffee and chat with people
- Meetings are engaging – not lecture hall style listening meetings, but small rooms that have the ability to have conversation and action come out of them
- Meetings are long enough to really have a conversation – with all the focus on shorter meetings and creating meeting efficiencies, I find I do enjoy a meeting where there is room to say hello, visit with people a bit, get into business and then engage in a productive dialogue
- Wind down moment – having a moment at the end of the day, to review the day’s notes, send those follow-up emails and make sure everything is prepared for tomorrow means I leave with a clear head and ready to re-engage the next day
Avoiding the Long Week
In an effort to avoid having a long week, I’m trying to implement some tactics in my schedule planning that help me drive short week success.
- Control the calendar (no meetings before 9 or 9:15, leave 15 – 20 minute breaks between meetings, hold time at end of day as a meeting with myself for my wrap up)
- Build Social Time into the meeting agenda, giving everyone permission to catch up and share life moments
- Fewer. Longer. Better. the above will mean fewer meetings in the day, they will be a bit longer and if we limit the number of folks in the room they can also be more engaging and we can make some personal connections along the way
I can’t always control when my morning starts, or how long the meetings are or who is in them. But when I can set the schedule I will try to stick to these steps, as the value of coming out of a short week means we’ve been productive, we are happy, we are engaged and we are energized for the next week.
Here’s wishing you many short weeks.