Week 104: The first Input Day

Igor is reporting from his first input day in the first week of the 4-day-work week experiment.

If you think that we always have everything neatly planned out, let me put it this way: today is officially the first day of our 4-day workweek experiment and Monday will be my “input-day” for the rest of October. And yet, here I am writing this week note. That’s not a bad thing. Experiments come and go, but well established and functioning processes don’t always need to make a step back for innovation. Not every system needs to be broken all the time.

When it comes to experiments, it is also wise not to try to make a too-rigid rule system. The purpose is to roam free, adjust as needed and find the sweet spot that will eventually become a routine. Introducing a 4-day-work week in a small, still young company can seem easy, but it’s not and I’m looking forward to find out which of the small things that where part of a 5-day-work week will have to adapt. While at it, I will continue doing certain things on input days that are part of the usual other days. Like checking the accounts of the company, invoicing clients (as a small company, never ever be late about this) and updating the to-do list. If I would make myself not do all those things, because I decided that it’s an input day, I’d probably end up being distracted by those small things and not get any of the reading done that I prepared for the day. It helps more to clear your mind by finishing those small tasks instead of writing them down on a ever growing to-do list.

As for the way I approach this input-day: I got up as I usually do (around 7am), got on my bike and went for a 40 minute gym session. Cleared my mind, got back, ate breakfast (fried eggs, fresh veggies and a good piece of bread with butter) and went into reading for the next three hours. My current favourite for saving things to my to-read list is Quote.fm. If I find something interesting for a newsletter we publish or the weekly reads, I’m saving it to pinboard for the rest of the team to see. With Evernote and their Clearly extension, I’m dissecting every article for good, usable quotes and research material. I’m very much looking forward to the business version of Evernote that will – hopefully! – make it actually usable for collaboration.

So long, we will keep you posted about the progress of our experiment.

In case you have missed it: check out our interview with Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, of Good Night Lamp and Designswarm.

Author: Igor

Igor likes to connect the dots. As a strategic consultant in an increasingly complex world, he favours broad knowledge over specialisation. In the last five years, he helped shape strategic decisions at large corporations like Deutsche Postbank AG and Deutsche Telekom AG as well as at startups like Amen and refund.me. In his work he is focusing always on finding the appropriate solutions as well as the people who will be executing upon his advice. Beside the consulting work, Igor speaks at international conferences on variety of topics (SXSW, PICNIC, re:publica, etc.).