Cut the Noise: Mindfulness and the 4-Day Week

by Lauren McGuirePresident

Mindfulness is the key to equal output in less time.

– SIY Global


As a woman who has downloaded and then deleted many a meditation app and never journaled for more than 2 days in a row, the word “mindfulness” has baggage.

I was never able to put the concept into any kind of lasting practice that felt helpful for me. Frankly, mindfulness felt too soft or too abstract for me to make time for.

But here we were, at the first 4 Day Week Global training talking mindfulness. Some of my colleagues LOVED this being the way into a 4-day week. My ECD Danni was an animated participant in the group discussion, immediately understanding the value of being “fully present” in getting to a better, more efficient workday.

I was dubious and at times confused.

But Ilana Robbins Gross of SIY Global, brought a few ways to hold mindfulness forward. For me, a slight turn of language to “awareness” resonated and that’s the key when you are working to move an entire organization into new ways of working – different ways of expressing the same ideas so people can make it their own.

🔍 Concepts

• SIY believes mindfulness is the key to equal output in less time.

• Mindfulness is a state of active attention to the present.

• Mindfulness, and the brain’s ability to focus, is malleable and can change with practice over time. If you are interested in learning more about neuroplasticity you should hit up the experts at SIY. There is hope for us all!

📈 The Numbers

courtesy of SIY Global

• An average of 48% percent of our days is spent with our minds wandering.

70% of people self-report their mind wanders during meetings.

Quite simply, we are losing a lot of time because we lose attention. How much better, more efficient, and shorter could meetings be with a group practiced at awareness? How much more could we get done if we were more aware?

📝 The Learning

On the path to a highly productive 4-day week, we must be able to talk about mindfulness and awareness as a company. Your culture can encourage people to ask for focus from colleagues or ask for a minute break if they need it to be fully in the discussion. Creativity and productivity will benefit if you focus on focus.

💡 Idea for Company Practice

Ilana talked about “A Moment to Arrive.”

At the top of a meeting, give everyone a silent minute to catch your breath, collect your thoughts from the last meeting, and focus here, on the task at hand. Commit to not wandering into email or on the web. At MMS, it’s more like A Minute to Get Your Sh*t Together… But same idea.

🧡 Where We’re at This Week

A 4-day week sounds dreamy but you have to learn to work differently and we’ve been warned — there is a curve. So every two weeks we are asking staff how the experiment is going for them, with a simple visual chart below. We want to be honest about weeks where folks are struggling. However, based on the numbers, this isn’t one of them.

Cut the Noise is a column from Made Music Studio President Lauren McGuire, a place to share learnings from this experiment with 4 Day Week Global. She’ll share candid feedback from the MMS team, tools for productivity, meeting management, mindfulness, and more.

Read Lauren’s intro to Cut the Noise here.

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