How do you feel on Monday morning — are you refreshed after the weekend and eager to get to work? Or perhaps you feel bored with the last week.
Either way, preloading your workweek will make the most of the additional power reserve while tackling your workload. You’ll commit to working more hours early in the week before tapering off at the end of the week when you’re tired and less productive.
What does a preloaded work schedule look like?
Your week’s preload is a welcome alternative to the optional 8-hour workday. Instead of following the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule that has been forced on many employees since the early 20th century, preloaded schedules offer more flexibility.
You’ll still complete 40 hours of work (if that’s a requirement set by you or your employer), but your hours are weighted, so you’ll be busier at the start of the week than at the end of the week. .
A good example would be:
- Monday: 12 o’clock
- Tuesday: 10 o’clock
- Wednesday: 8 o’clock
- Thursday: 6 o’clock
- Friday: 4 o’clock
Total = 40 hours
Feel free to experiment with variations if the above plan doesn’t quite suit your rhythm.
Preloading is not suitable for whom?
Preloading is not for everyone. Usually, it works best in freelance or remote paid roles where you have some control over your schedule. If your employer requires you to work regular hours, it may not be feasible to experiment with alternative schedules.
It can also be problematic if you tend to overwork. If you try to squeeze 12 hours into Mondays and Tuesdays, you might be tempted to cram the same amount of work into Fridays, for a total of 60 hours of the week. Remember: this is not meant to preload your schedule and is a quick way to show the signs of burnout.
What Are the Benefits of Planning Your Work Schedule?
But if you can make the switch — what are the benefits?
- You’ll tackle your toughest tasks at the start of the week when you’ll have the highest energy after a relaxing weekend.
- If productivity dips afterward, it’s easier to work on fewer hours and less stressful tasks.
- When life rolls around and you need to schedule appointments and activities outside of work, you’ll have plenty of time to spend on Thursdays and Fridays.
- Or, make the most of your free time on Friday and do something you love. Go early for a weekend, enjoy time off with friends or family, pick up your child early from daycare — do whatever works for your work-life balance.
Preload every day of your work week
If you’re giving your work schedule a productive shake-up, you don’t have to stop with your weekly schedule. How about analyzing how you spend your personal days?
Many people start their workday by procrastinating. Instead of getting stuck on the most important task of the day, it’s easy to get sidetracked when replying to an email, joining an early meeting, or connecting on social media. Consider rescheduling your day if you go to lunch and feel like you’ve barely accomplished anything.
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain
This quote is well known in the productivity world and highlights the importance of getting your most important tasks done first of the day (and of your week).
Using the Ivy Lee method, you’ll write down a list of the six most important tasks you want to accomplish the next day. Rank them in order of preference. At the beginning of the next day, you will have completed your most important task (which is to say eating the frog). You won’t start the second quest until you’ve finished the first. Add any leftover tasks to tomorrow’s list.
Use these apps to organize your preloaded work schedule
Preload work requires a lot of discipline and time management skills. If you don’t keep track of your time, it’s easy to overwork yourself. If you find yourself working an eight-hour day on a Friday, preloading isn’t working as planned — either you didn’t load enough of your hours at the start of the week, or you went over and over and worked more than you’d like. have a plan.
The following apps will help you take control of your schedule.
Whether it’s chatting with clients or colleagues, meetings can eat into your week and sap your productivity. Take control of when your real-time appointments happen using Calendly. You will set a free time to meet, and your attendees will not have access to your blocked time slot.
If you plan to work until noon on Friday, your Calendly schedule won’t allow people to book a meeting with you later than this time. And if you want meeting-free days, that’s fine too!
The time allotment is a great addition to a preloaded schedule. You’ll set aside time for a task and use Toggl to track your time.
The great thing about Toggl is that you don’t need to set up your client and project information before you time your work (though you could). Instead, just tap the timer button to start ticking the clock. You’ll then add a description of the job when you’re done.
Asana is a great tool for task management and it is closely related to the Ivy Lee method. Add tasks and projects you want to complete and set due dates to hold yourself accountable for getting the work done.
Add multiple tasks and projects at the start of your preloaded week and view them in List, Board, Timeline, or Calendar format. This is a useful way to check that you don’t have too much to do for the weekend.
Are you having trouble getting your work started and done, even if you’ve put time aside? Use Pomodor and commit to the Pomodoro technique, a popular productivity hack.
You’ll set a timer and work for 25 minutes of sprints before taking a 5-minute break. Repeat the cycle three times, then take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes. You will be surprised at how much you reach when the meter points!
Try preloading for size
Do you need to breathe fresh life into your work schedule? Preloading is great if you have low energy levels over the weekend. Say goodbye to any Friday night panics you’ve experienced in the past struggling to meet deadlines before the weekend.
Instead, your weighted schedule means you’ve completed your most pressing tasks a few days in advance. We all deserve to work at our own pace, so experiment with alternative work schedules to find a rhythm that works for you.
The Complete Guide to the 9/80 Work Schedule
About the author
https://www.makeuseof.com/complete-guide-frontloading-work-week/ A Complete Guide to Frontloading Your Work Week