I was humpin’

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

One of the best things I ever did as boss of the editorial section of this newspaper was move us to a four day week with 10 hour days. I did it for the right reasons, mainly to lower our carbon footprint, which was a defacto raise for our workers. (Think the phrase “carbon footprint” will ever matter again, after the gulf gusher?) But the benefits went far beyond the purely envionmental.

I’ll be honest with you. I basically work every day, anyway. Even on Sunday, I’m doing Filet of Soul—an hour to get ready, 30 minutes travel, 1-2 hour service, 30 minutes travel home, change—and I answer emails at 4 a.m. sometimes.

But taking Wednesdays off can be absolutely great for a guy’s attitude. Yesterday proved the point. I woke up and went to the garden shop. I think the most expensive plant I bought was $8, mostly six-packs of annuals at about two bucks each, and two hanging baskets, but somehow I spent like a hundred bucks. And that inspired me to install drip systems in two gardens I prepared last year but never got around to piping.

And that inspired me to install a drip system to water the plants on my deck. I even got all those plants in the ground, although I have yet to populate those hummingbird gardens or several pots around my house. Still, all my hard work inspired me to buy a 12-pack of Bud Light so I could sit and enjoy all the work I did. Best Wednesday ever!

So I come in on Thursday, and I’m like melted clay. I just feel relaxed, my head’s clear (I only drank a few of those beers), and I’m actually getting things done with a minimum of static. In other words, in business lingo, my productivity has gone way up. I think a good many businesses could find some good reasons to try the 4-10s schedule for some of their employees.