Even if you genuinely love your job, there will always be aspects of it that you dread more than others — whether it’s responding to a certain category of emails, returning phone calls, or logging expenses. Maybe you knock those all out in the morning, or have some other system. Or maybe you put them off until you can’t anymore, and then have to scramble to get everything done.
Either way, Michael Thompson, a writer and career coach, says that there’s a better way: Scheduling a designated “hate day,” when you do all the tasks you really hate. In an article first published on Medium and then syndicated on Business Insider, he walks us through how a “hate day” works, and why it can make your whole week better, and more productive. Here’s what to know.
How to schedule a ‘hate day’
In the article, Thompson describes a hate day as “a day each week when I lump together all the tasks that steal my energy to knock them out in one long, extended punch.” When he mentioned this system to a friend of his from Munich, Thompson learned that there’s a German term for this (of course), called a “Kleinscheiss Tag” — or, “little shit day.”
Part of the appeal of the Kleinscheiss Tag, at least for Thompson, is that it allows him to quickly filter annoying tasks and requests as they come in throughout the week. Yes, that may sound like he’s putting them off, but in fact, he’s putting them into a virtual pile that he’ll deal with on his designated hate day. Doing this, he says, “frees up a ton of headspace,” giving him the chance to focus on his most important work.
How to respond to requests between hate days
But what about the inevitable follow-ups from people who email you right after your hate day and get antsy for a response? For situations like these, Thompson recommends replying with something simple like, “I’ve got this scheduled for Wednesday,” to both acknowledge receipt and let them know that they’re on your agenda. “It allows you to quickly keep both yourself and other people in the loop without constantly using up positive brain space on tasks that slow you down,” he adds.