We’ve all been there. It’s 5 p.m. and the workday has somehow raced past you without allowing you enough time to tackle what needs to be done. Twenty emails in bold type stare at you impatiently from your inbox, while you ponder if the three voicemails left on your phone during lunch can wait for a response tomorrow.
Wait! Did you even have time for a lunch break?!
Now it’s time to head home, where you may have more chores and tasks piled up, errands to run, and appointments to set. But your workday responsibilities and business hours leave you little or no time to address them.
Even for the most efficient of us, these days can occur all too frequently, taking a toll on our sanity and preventing us from reaching our true, productive potential. If weekends are reserved for relaxation and spending time with family and friends, when and how are we supposed to get to our workload and finally CATCH UP?
“That’s what Sundays are for,” you might say. But instead of leaving your “catching up” for this traditional day of rest, perhaps it would be more worthwhile to incorporate a recovery day directly into the workweek, complete with approval and (gasp!) encouragement from management!
Behold the “Catch-Up Day”
The next time your company is truly in need of more innovative and creative thinking from your employees, or you are expecting them to take on an abnormally large workload, schedule a “Catch-Up Day” for your team. On this day, your team members should:
- Respond to every … yes, EVERY … unanswered email, voicemail and text
- Clear and organize their workspace and free their desks from all clutter
- Pay their bills, schedule doctor’s appointments, pick up dry cleaning, and run any other errands that are important and typically cannot be done on weekends
- Create a task list (perhaps even digitally), in which tasks are grouped according to priority level and deadline
- Take a deep breath and get to bed early!
Yes, this may not be completely feasible in some work settings, but it should definitely be viewed as an investment in innovation, motivation, and productivity. I can almost guarantee that your team will come to work the next day feeling refreshed and motivated to attack their workload with a renewed sense of urgency and a focus that simply wouldn’t have been possible 24 hours earlier.
Scheduling the occasional Catch-Up Day could become a key ritual for your organization, helping to foster a healthy culture in which your employees’ state of mind is acknowledged as being one of the crucial factors driving your company’s ability to achieve its true potential.
Give it a try. Your sanity is counting on you!