A Four-Day Work Week?
This was Marshall’s version of e-mail. However, it was filtered, so that only important information reached him—unlike the plethora of crap that satiates our lives and computers. Crap which Matt Richtel of The Times calls “the drumbeat of digital missives constantly [that] shake up and reorder to-do lists.”
When Eisenhower was at the prestigious Command and General Staff School at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., the students were required to work in teams. According to Michael Korda, Ike teamed up with Leonard T. “Gee” Gerow (who years later commanded V Corps at Omaha Beach). They agreed to work evenings from 7 to 9:30—no later. “He was not to be one of those who approached the next day without fresh minds or an optimistic outlook,” Korda wrote.
The Four-Day Work Week
“By the end of this month, the government in Gloucester Township in New Jersey will turn out the lights on Friday—literally,” reported yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. “And in Berks County, Pa., a number of office cubicles could soon go dark one day a week.”
The reason: the high cost of energy. This does not mean that police, fire and other first-responder services will go dark on Fridays. But all the Starbucks-sucking, paper-generating bureaucrats, lawyers, judges and clerks will have three-day weekends.
If this comes to pass, my bet is that everybody will work smarter, concentrate harder and the towns’ business—which will rely on snapshot management—will get done. The results of decisions made on Thursday will be dealt with on Monday.
For example, Eisenhower in his European command was a workaholic as well as a chain smoker. In her book, “Past Forgetting,” Ike’s driver, Kay Summersby, described how George Marshall spent time with Ike’s naval aide, Harry Butcher, discussing the boss’s health. “Marshall did not approve of Ike’s regimen,” she wrote. “He was working too hard, spending too much time in the office. Four hours a day should be sufficient, according to Marshall.”