Power Down 1 Day Every Week – and Watch Productivity Soar!

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks
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Off the Grid

My Power Down Process

This has been one of the few pieces of advice I’ve adhered to since starting a business 3 years ago. The rule is very simple, take 1 day every week, and go off the grid. I mean like off the Matrix – not even that evil guy with the grey suit from the movie could find you. You need to treat 1 day of every week like you’re retired, unemployed or a back-packer – however you want to image it.

My day is Saturday. Saturday is the most special day of the week for me. Since Christmas of 2009, I’ve treated every Saturday as if I was 12. My routine is simple – I drive to the cottage (shack, Lake House) every Friday night and begin my process of unwinding. As a business owner responsible for the welfare of clients and employees, I carry a heavy burden each week – not to mention a family. Friday night I begin the process of undressing from my business attire into board shorts and a tee-shirt. You are guaranteed to see a 9oz. glass of Shiraz or Pinot Noir in my hand within 15 seconds of getting to the lake. Once I’m settled, I light a camp fire and begin my vegetation. Fellow sales leaders will know this feeling – the business week doesn’t turn off like a light, but begins to melt slowly away. Each classic rock song on my IPod by the fire begins to reduce those analytical thoughts about metrics, results and next steps.

Saturday is like no other – I’m waterskiing, wakeboarding or surfboarding (behind a boat) every weekend. Once the winter comes, repeat these steps with snow skis on my feet.

What does this do for you?

My productivity level has skyrocketed in the last 3 years under this routine. I thought I understood the value of time management until I began running my own business. As a sales leader, you live a very similar life to mine. There is no “off switch”, if you want to be a world-class sales talent, you eat, sleep and breathe sales. Yet, if you’re catching yourself working all the time, you’re only working at half speed. Try this and I promise you that on Sunday, you’d be so focused to on tackling the world. My Sunday’s are probably the most productive day of the week. On Saturday I’ll come up with my most inspirational ideas (other than the shower and lavatory), and I’ll scribble those ideas down on a sticky pad between water-ski’s. Sunday I begin to execute with a feverish intensity. Try this and I promise you much, much greater focus.

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