Is it the time you spend with your most important client? Is it the hours at your weekly management meeting? Or is it the hours you spend exercising?
But will they be the most productive hours for you this week?
Well, not according to Mike Soenen, Chairman and CEO of Emergency Link, a highly successful US based company, which ensures that those who should be contacted in times of emergency are connected.
Mike’s view is that the 5 hours he spends every Sunday planning the week are the most productive hours of his week.
His rationale is as follows: this is time that is uninterrupted, so he can be really focused. It is the time to set priorities for his own week and also to ensure that the priorities are crystal clear for his direct reports. As a consequence Mike hits Monday running, and so does his team.
He argues that if he were not to invest that time on Sunday then he would have to do it on Monday, and Monday would be half over before he finishes tis piece of work, which accounts for 5 hours lost in his week. Expanding that to his team – if your team has 8 people, then that is another 40 hours and now you have wasted one week’s work of a key employee! Can you afford that?
Hard to argue with his approach, isn’t it?
Do I agree with Mike’s philosophy? Absolutely! I have been an advocate of this approach for years – it just makes so much sense!
I accept that working on weekends is not what we are led to believe is ideal when it comes to work/life balance but then regular readers of my posts will know that I hate that term “work/life balance”! Life is not separate from work or vice versa and my philosophy is that balance in life is finding the time to do all the things you really want to do!
Investing some time on a Sunday, or Saturday (it doesn’t matter which!), really helps you to have that focus Mike talks about. It also helps you psychologically. You go to bed on Sunday knowing that the week is sorted and you do not start your Monday with a feeling of overwhelm.
You have total clarity about your priorities and the priorities of your team, and you have geared yourself for success.
What do you think are your most productive hours? Would you disagree with Mike, or me?