The concept of “hump-day” has had a long history – too long, in fact. But what does it really mean? More recently (within in the last decade), many employees and managers alike have talked about the importance of getting through “hump-day” or more commonly, Wednesday, in an effort to make it to the weekend. Unfortunately, some consequences of the “hump-day” mentality have served as severe career killers.

Staying Productive

For some, hump-day is viewed as starting from the bottom of the hill on Monday morning, arriving at the top by Wednesday afternoon, and then coasting to the bottom of the hill by 5 PM Friday. If this is you, you’re a victim and you should alter your approach! Employees like this have had an unsuccessful and unproductive week and will continue this terrible habit until it’s no longer acceptable to their employer.

Picture this. A high school athlete who begins his basketball season the same way throughout his high school career. He fails to improve his game and in return jeopardizes his future in the sport and is unable to compete at the collegiate level. His career ends before truly reaching his potential in the sport because he displayed a hump-day attitude to his training and a proactive approach. The same results are expected to those who use this approach in the workforce. Intuitively, we know we must continually improve if we want to take our careers to the next level. With a hump-day approach to the workweek, we sabotage productivity and psychologically set ourselves up for a mediocre week and a mediocre career.

Productive Leaders

Look at greats like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and a host of other great achievers. They didn’t push forward for 52 working hours and then slump backward for another 52. They raised their bar of achievement, and then set the bar higher again and again.

One career adviser suggests that, instead of working for the weekend, try filling out a “Leap-Day Worksheet” at noon Wednesday. (Maximum time investment: 35 minutes.) 1. Make a list of the meetings/activities/events that have occurred so far this week. 2. For each entry in Step One, answer these five questions in less than five minutes: a. What did I do that was effective? b. What did I do that was not effective? c. What could I have done to be more effective? d. What did I learn from this experience? e. How can I use what I learned to perform at a higher level for the remainder of this week?

Weekly Inflection Point

From now on, make Wednesday at noon your weekly inflection point to capture key lessons and catapult to a higher level of performance over the remainder of the week. After all, the greatest performers in history didn’t rise briefly and then fall backward. They leaped forward to higher and higher levels of achievement and hit repeat.

Don’t be that high school athlete who wasted his potential barely skating by. Give Monday through Friday your all, every time, and make the most of all opportunities allotted to you.

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