Front-Load Your Week
Entrepreneur|Startups Fall 2017

How working more on Monday and less on Friday allowed SONNY CABERWAL, head of digital business development at Newell Brands, to focus more on his family.

A FEW YEARS AGO, I began laying out my week on a spreadsheet—all 168 hours of it—to see how I allocate my time. It’s an eye-opening exercise. About 30 percent is sleep, and 30 percent is work. Then family and friends get 25 percent, and the rest is learning and general maintenance. I also realized I wasn’t always making the most of those hours; I was squandering time, which is the one thing I can’t get more of. For example, I have three young children— but getting home to put them to bed at 8 P.M. wasn’t quality time. I’d rather be around from 3 to 8 P.M. And sometimes I was so busy working on my own projects that I had no time to relax.

So I came up with an experiment. I’d compartmentalize my time to make sure I spent quality hours on the things that mattered. The big one: Rather than work a normal workweek, I’d divide it up—the first four days at work in New York, and then Friday through Sunday at home in North Carolina. I’d front-load the week with work, then dwindle down to spend more time with family and friends: 18 work hours on Monday, 14 on Tuesday, 10 on Wednesday, 6 on Thursday, and 4 on Friday. When you add it up, that means more family time than if I just went home for dinner every night. It also means more-focused work time.

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