When briefly discussing the topic of compressing multiple weeks worth of work into fewer weeks, followed by more lengthy time off with VersionOne CTO Ian Culling today, he asked me: "Have you read that book?"
Or, maybe you'd prefer to do two heavy days back-to-back and get them over with. Fine, go for it. Swap Tuesday and Wednesday. Maybe you have the flexibility, and desire, to do 4 hours on Sunday evening, or Saturday morning. Great, then chop off 4 from Mon or Tue, or turn them into simple 10 hour days. It's up to you and your employer.
As the "next step down", but perhaps more palatable all around, consider the 5 week schedule compressed into 4 weeks.
Here, we have 37.69 hours times 5 = 188.46 hours.
So, divided by 4 = 47.12 hours per week, or 9.42 hours a day.
9.42 hours a day? That's almost nothing, right? It's 9 hours, 25 minutes, and 12 seconds actually :)
Big deal. Work from 8 am to 6:15, with, a 40 minute lunch break. That still gives you about 4 to 5 hours after work, assuming you get home around 7 and want to go to bed at 11.
With this schedule, you end up with pretty much regular hours, regular evenings, and regular, full weekends. Want to leave early on Fridays? Have at it. Work 2 to 4 hours from home in the evening, and leave on Friday at 2:15.
Yet, again, most importantly, is that after working this schedule for four weeks, you've already worked the same number of hours you would have worked in 5 weeks had you worked 8 hours a day.
Because you did it this way, you should now take 9 straight days off for a mini vacation.
With 52 weeks in a year, the pattern is something like 40 working weeks, and 10 9-day mini vacations.
That's 200 days working, 90 days off. But, add 10 more days and 4 more weekend days:
210 / 94 + 61 more weekend days from the other weekends.
We end up with 210 working days and 155 days off. Not bad.
Will the company shut down if people are out a week after working 4 straight weeks? I doubt it. Rotate the schedule so that not everyone is out the same week. Or don't. Shut the whole thing down. Be creative. Go for it.
Maybe my math is off a bit, but you get the picture.
Perhaps there are other, even better options. Maybe 10 weeks on, 2 weeks off (16 days straight!) is the ticket? For example: if you worked the same schedule as above, 9.42 hours a day, you'd have to work 10 weeks in a row, but then could take two full weeks off + 6 weekend days. Since, there are 4 groups of 12 in 52 weeks, you could it 4 times a year!
It all boils down to the fact that there are multiple ways to work toward this goal of both satisfying your obligations to your career, and of carving out more continuous blocks of time off for rest and recreation.