Episode 109: Trading Overtime for a 4-Day Workweek

Trading Overtime for a 4-Day Workweek

Did you know that working more never actually frees up your time? How often have you felt that all you need to do is just work a little more?

I recently had a wake up call in my business. One that had me reaching for old patterns of overworking and sticking a band-aid on a problem instead of actually fixing it.

Luckily, I have the best team ever and they spoke up and reminded me that isn’t how we do things around here. They advised me that it was time to hire instead and I listened.

Our entire company culture is centered around having more time and freedom without losing clients or revenue. If you would like to work a 4-day workweek, download my free guide HERE.


In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • The 4 patterns of overworking
  • How to recognize these patterns
  • The importance of staying true to your mission and values
  • What it really means when you say you don’t have time
  • How to finally be free and stop trying to work more



Hey, everybody, I just want to start this podcast by saying that I have the best team ever, I feel so supported and taken care of. And here's why we have been doing some amazing things behind the scenes, we've got a lot of new things that are coming up. And because we've been working on several things, we kind of got to this point where capacity for our team, which we measure capacity, we plan out our workload to make sure that our full team can take a four day work week, every week. And recently, capacity was creeping up. And I was tempted to just for the short term, not for the long term. But I was tempted to work Fridays for a bit. And I said that I have the best team ever. Because I was like if I have to I can work on some Fridays, we can figure this out. And you know, I'll just fit it in. Because I'm a CEO that gets busy, just like you do, has to make decisions just, like you do. And my team said, nope, we need to get you back to four day work week, it's time to hire someone else. And they were right. And so we did, we hired someone else. And then immediately was like, nope, I don't have to work on Fridays, we can maintain that just with the new hire, get them up to speed and the capacity issue will be gone. In fact, we will have more capacity to take on even a couple of other projects. And to free up my time even more. I still intend to work a four day work week, but we're going to be moving my focus more and more and more to the higher level items so that I'm as much as possible just focused on vision and strategy. And we are getting pretty close to having implementation off of my plate, and are working on making sure all of the management in the company is off of my plate as well. So we're making strides. But I say all that to say that working more, never actually frees you up. And that's often yet our go to, to solve a problem or go to, to get things done. Or to accomplish a goal is just, I'll just work more. And if you feel stretched thin and pulled in a million directions. And you think that there's never enough time, then this episode is one that you need to listen to. In fact, I'm going to ask you, how often do you feel this way? How many days a week, it used to be the norm for me, I used to feel this way, every single day, every single week. Now, whenever I start to feel this way, it's because workload is increasing, which is a good thing, workload has expanded in the sense that we're developing something new, I'm working on this big project, I have this big, you know, idea that I'm working on creating or we're building, you know, a new piece of, let's say, a new webinar, or new funnel, some new asset in the company that needs my brain on it. When we have those kinds of projects, I start to fill that pitch. And because I'm a human, and because I have patterns, going all the way back to the beginning of work, my working career where in order to get things done, I would just work more. That's my tendency, my first initial thought is not to think about all of the questions that I'd like to think about intentionally. But my first initial gut reaction is I'll just work more to get it done. And I share that because that may never stop. That doesn't just go away. But just because it's your first reaction doesn't mean that's actually the decision that's made. And in this case, even though I offer to my team, I can work extra if I need to. They quickly were like no, there's another way around this. We just need to hire someone else. And so we took that step. I used to say that I wish I could just freeze time forever. everyone in the world, except me, so that I'd have an extra day of work. And I thought that having that extra day would change things. I thought that I finished everything on my to-do list, and then I'd finally be caught up, I'd be able to take a breath of fresh air, and then we can start the time clock over the world again. But in reality, that extra day never would have changed anything. And I know this, because I've done my fair share of working overtime. And it never solved the problem. In fact, me volunteering to my team that I could work on Fridays, wouldn't have actually solved the problem, they would have perpetuated it, because we wouldn't have actually solved the actual root cause of the problem, it would have been a bandaid, for me to just work a little more, there are patterns of thinking, patterns of behavior, that lead to too much work, that can't be solved by working more. So again, I want to say that working more never frees you up. I think we have this idea in our mind that if we just work more now, then someday we'll be free. But what I have found are a few different lessons that I want to share with you today. First is the way that you create your result is the way that you'll have to maintain it. So if I were to work overtime, in order to get things done, then the result that I create from working overtime, is what would be required to maintain that. It's not like I can work overtime for X number of weeks, and then everything just is good to go. And I could start working, the result would be dependent on my time. And if my time was outside of normal business hours, then that extra time was still be required. And so again, I'm so grateful that my team reminded me that that wasn't necessary. And then we found a different solution that is truly scalable. And that will solve it for the long term, we're creating the result in the way that I'd like to maintain the result. The second thing that I want to remind you of is that work expands to fit the amount of time that you will lock. And so if I would just add on Fridays, and say that I'm open to working on Fridays, then the problem is, there are probably other tasks on my plate as well, that I would take longer to do because in the back of my mind, I would always know, well, I have some more time to do this on Friday, you may not think about it this way. And you may not like it when I say it. But here's the thing, I think many of you are working a four day work week. But in five days, you're doing the amount of work that you could do in four days. But you're spreading it out over five, maybe over six or seven, because the work will expand to fit the amount of time that you allow. Third, I don't have time really means I don't have clear priorities. As a visionary CEO, I know that you're never short on ideas for things to do.

And so you can always come up with new ideas, new projects. But if you don't have time, what that really means is that out of all of those things that you could do out of all of those ideas, you're just not clear on what your priorities are, you're not clear about where you should be spending your time as the CEO of your business, you're not clear what your team should be spending your timeline, you're not clear what should be done now versus later. And if you don't have clear priorities, then your results are going to be delayed. You're going to be spending your time on things that aren't moving the needle, you're going to be making progress on a lot of things, but just a little progress on a lot of things instead of a lot of progress on the few most important things. And then the last pattern that I've seen, that I'll mention here today is the thought error that working more equals more results. You've heard me talk about this before, and I'll talk about it again, I'm sure. But there's a belief that if you want to achieve more, you have to work more. You think that you've got this big vision, you want to accomplish more and the way to do it. The way to create it is just to take more action. And while action is required. Hands down it's required. The quantity of action you take isn't as important as the quality. And it's also important to note what actually creates your results. Always come back to what you're thinking. And we've done some episodes on that before, so I won't dive in deep. But you need to understand the relationship between your thoughts and your results, and not place so much emphasis on the quantity of work, the quantity of action. So remember working more, never frees you up. When you work more to create a result. Remember, you're going to have to maintain that amount of work to continue that result. Remember that the work that you do will expand to fit the amount of time that you allow it. Remember that when you think you don't have time, what that really means is you just don't have clear priorities. And remember that working more doesn't equal more results, you can create more results without working more. With all of that said, What is my recommendation is to work less, what I really encourage you to do is to go ahead and set a four day workweek. I know you don't feel like you have time. And so this might sound counterintuitive. But setting a four day workweek may just surprise you. Because it'll force you to think about how you can create that result. Without working more. It'll force you to make decisions about your priorities. If you maintain that boundary, you'll give a set amount of time and you'll likely be more productive. In other words, you can get more done in less time. And you can find that you'll actually work less and achieve more, maybe you'll be surprised that you can get it all done. I bet you will. And that's the worst case here. I think that you figure out that you could still get everything done in that amount of time best case, in my opinion, is that it forces you to ask some more serious questions that it's not so easy to just get it all done, but that you actually have to think like a CEO, and start making higher level decisions about what you should be spending your time on what is actually the priority, what actually creates your results. 

Next Steps

  • Sign up for The Brief HERE to be in the CEO know
  • Doors are open to join Margin, a 4 week live course all about how you can go from feeling slammed to spacious by creating whitespace in your daily schedule. Participants typically free up 10+ hours of time in their schedule on average. Click here to register: Margin

Let’s Connect

Listen + Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher

We’d greatly appreciate a podcast rating and review so we can reach more entrepreneurs like you!

  • Search for the podcast in your podcast app (The Elevate Effect™)
  • Scroll down and click 5 stars
  • Tap “Write a Review” & enter a brief review
  • Press send

Send me a screenshot of your review (DM me on Instagram or email hello@kathrynbinkley.com) and I’ll give you free access to my CEO Scorecard. This is the same tool I use with my multiple 6 and 7 figure clients to help them uplevel their role as CEO and achieve massive results.

Related Posts