Google lets its employees spend one day each work week focusing on their own projects, a practice that’s delivered 50 per cent of Google’s offerings, including Gmail. Tech blog WebWorkerDaily suggests mixing up your work schedule by setting aside your own 20 per cent time.
Photo by Pingdom.
The author, Celine Roque, points to several benefits of having this extra “non-work” time, like sparked creativity, time for exploration, opportunity to tackle things you wouldn’t during normal work hours, and motivation to exercise your autonomy in the workplace. Even if you don’t have a full 20 per cent to offer, you can still enjoy some benefits:
Before you schedule your 20-Percent Time, remember that the number shouldn’t be taken literally. Allocate the time that works for you. You can take one day each week, an entire weekend, or even 30 minutes each day. Personally, I like to start my day working on a personal passion project. It gives me fuel to work through the rest of the day. Plus, it eases me into a heavier workload ahead — after all, if I make a mistake on my personal project, none of my clients will suffer.
Just because you don’t work for the world’s largest internet juggernaut doesn’t mean you can take advantage of its good idea. And while you may not have total control over how you spend your workday (that’s up to the boss), you can, as Roque points out, still try to apply the idea or at least draw inspiration from it in smaller ways. (It’s basically how I built a website from scratch with no experience.)
Got your own take on the 20 per cent time? Let’s hear about it in the comments.
Mix Up the Workweek by Setting Your Own “20-Percent Time” [WebWorkerDaily]