Can You Schedule Happiness?

As the new year closed in, I thought about Email Broadcast and 2013. Come January 1st, I knew I was moving my business headquarters and family to San Luis Obispo, The Happiest City in America (according to Oprah) and I began to think about what other changes we needed. How much do we want to grow? What can we do differently? How will we shake things up? How can we keep our ideas fresh?

And then, as if the Universe was directly answering my questions, I started to see and read articles supporting a hunch I had already been considering. These articles seem to support a recurring theme: It seems what REALLY makes people happy is not more money (beyond a fair salary), but more autonomy over their work, and more free time in their life. So it occurred to me that perhaps we could do BETTER work by working less. Perhaps by SLO-ing down, we can work smarter.

 

Happiest City in America

Give me your honest, first gut response to this:

 

How do you feel about a 3-day weekend? If you’re like most people, it’s the best invention ever. Getting that extra day to relax, or getting those chores done and STILL enjoying the weekend, or taking only one extra day off of work and stretching it to 4 days, or only having to work 4 days following that weekend—all good things.

What if you could have 52 3-day weekends a year?

How would you feel about your company if they offered that? Would the QUALITY of your work increase if you only had 4 days a week to get things done? Would your creative juices be more available if you had some time to experience more of life-out-of-the-office? Could you focus more on the work at hand knowing you still had a weekday to run all your errands? Would you be more loyal to your employer and its clients?

To answer these questions, and avoid making a rash decision, I decided to start the experiment quietly on January 1. I examined my own productivity throughout each day to see if I could better focus on the important tasks. I re-read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (RIP 2012), and revisited the “Getting Things Done” productivity system I had implemented in 2011. It turns out that it is possible to be more effective with less time. And with Fridays off, I was able to explore my new surroundings and do more with my family—giving me even more energy and better ideas. Our people are loving it too.

Email Broadcast is starting Offline Fridays!

So, as of today we’re making it official. We will be closed on Fridays by default. Will we work Fridays if our work is not complete and client work is overdue? Of course. But our intention going forward is to continue the experiment. We’ll be taking Fridays off to handle personal business, getting a jump start on the weekend, pursuing volunteer projects or taking family time—all of the things that make us happy.

Our hope is that if you are a client, you haven’t even noticed except that we seem to have even more creative ideas than we did before, and are even more efficient when we are in the office. If you are not yet a client, but love the idea—please consider supporting our mission with your business!

We think you CAN schedule happiness. Here’s to you and yours!


Ken Mahar
Email Broadcast CEO

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