Week 107: The 4-Day Workweek and Read-Later Services

Igor continues the documentation of our 4-day workweek experiment and combines it with opening thinking about how much time we spend on creating breadcrumbs.

Week 3 of our little experiment.

Feeling more guilty now then ever when I read anything on one of the four not-for-input days.

Still, feeling a lot more synchronicity between my being increasingly interested in everything and running a small company.

There is still one main question that remains unanswered: will we manage to stick to the rigidity of four output days and one input day? Especially when the work load rises. The questions that I ask myself are: Will I really be able to explain to my clients that this is how we work and that they need to wait? Is it actually fair to expect that from clients? What if I actually would prefer working on a project instead going into an input day? Even with a testing phase, it will be hard to find a definitive answer to that. All of this is part of the experiment.

That brings me to my current iteration of how I save, consume and process my information.

There are an incredible number of read-later services out there. I’ve been testing many. My latest favourite is Pocket. Not because of its design – I prefer Quote.fm and Readability in that regard – but because it also can save videos and provides the best multi-platform solution right now.

On my output days, I try to send as much of the stuff that sounds interesting directly into Pocket without even opening it up in the browser. That minimises distraction. On my input day, I start with the few newsletters that I actually read. These days, it’s mostly the one from Quartz and the New York Times. After that, I switch to Pocket and the saved items. Being interested in many things is in itself a good personal trait, but not necessarily one that always helps the business goals. That’s why we attempt to make the most out of the things that we read and not only on a cognitive level for us personally. Let me show you how the process looks right now.

  1. Saving article into Pocket
  2. Opening it up in a browser
  3. Enabling Evernote’s Clearly to mark important passages and automatically sync them into my Evernote account
  4. If the article is in some way relevant to what we do, save it – with an appropriate description and tagging mechanism – into Pinboard so that it can be easily integrated into our “What we read this week” blog post and newsletter
  5. In most cases, when I do that, I’m also inclined to post it to Twitter and Facebook. For that, I use Buffer to get the most out of my posts
  6. Post an interesting passage to Quote.fm

That’s a lot of breadcrumbing right there. Recently, and looking mainly from a business perspective, I found myself asking whether I’m investing my time sensibly. It is incredibly hard to measure a direct business impact for all of that. It’s actually impossible. My experience and instincts tell me that I should continue and try to automate wherever possible.

I’d love to hear thoughts from other people on this topic.

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.).

3 thoughts on “Week 107: The 4-Day Workweek and Read-Later Services”

  1. I have a similar approach. Right now I save articles with the quotefm browser extension because of its feature to push it to my kindle. After I read an important article, I directly save it from quotefm to evernote and publish them to my social networks.

    but i like to add comments with evernote clearly. will try this from now on. I’m also looking forward to use IFTTT to push articles from instapaper (which I use within tweetbot and flipboard) to quotefm…

  2. I’d like to know whether you, Johannes and Maddie take the same day off or if you time it so there is at least one person available to clients?

  3. Johannes and Igor take their input days at different times with that in mind, yes. I work four days a week in any case, so I am not participating in the experiment, or at least not in the same way.

Comments are closed.