Things have changed over the years, and I thought it’d be interesting to write a “day in the life” post to tell you what a day of my time seems to consist of (at this moment in time), if only to give you a sense of what I’m working on, what has my attention, and how it may or may not relate to what you do. Obviously, we all have our own groove, so there’s no sense comparing, and yet, it’s sometimes fun to peek behind the curtain, right?
I’ve started in on fitness again, so some mornings find me scrambling out the door to get to a Crossfit class. I have two young kids, so there’s always the effort to get them off to school, if it’s my turn (or camp in the summer, if they’re going). And somewhere in there, I browse my text messages and primary inbox, but just a glance. (I’m trying really hard not to start my day with technology, nor start my morning by digging into other people’s priorities – remember that email is the perfect system to deliver other people’s priorities to your attention.)
After these things, I review quickly what might be doing. I do that via my Google Calendar, and also use Wunderlist, which syncs to my phone, my desktop, and my iPad. Today’s tasks, in case your curious:
- write my monthly column for Entrepreneur magazine
- write my weekly post for American Express OPEN Forum
- write a guest post that Todd requested for Mashable
- write newsletter content for my new we entrepreneur project
- review what I hope are final edits on a book contract
- finish slides that are due for a webinar on social media in pharma
- do the remaining 11 site reviews for something I offered to the Blog Topics community
- complete the script for tomorrow’s Google+ for Business webinar
- read and review a chapter for Robbie Vorhaus
- read and review a chapter for Joel Libava
- video skype call with Michael Bungay Stanier
- perform the live Kitchen Table Talks episode with Joe Sorge
After the list is reviewed, I get into whichever task gets me going. For instance, I’ve already started the piece for Entrepreneur magazine, so I’ll probably be able to get that out pretty quickly. They only want around 500 words, and I’ve come to understand their writing style. I might or might not do the Mashable piece and the Amex OPEN Forum piece back to back with those.
As I don’t have any consulting clients right now (I merged that business and it’s running very nicely without me), most of my day involves media making (writing and video, mostly), connecting with people (via social networks like Google+ and Twitter, reading and learning and experimenting on other marketing and business-building ideas, and trying to squeeze in some time to stretch, eat meals, and live life.
I don’t listen to music very often in the office, but when I do, I have a great Sonos S5 ZonePlayer (affiliate link), and I play either a mix of hip-hop (more oldschool than modern) or some alt rock bands like the Foo Fighters and Weezer.
Oh, one more side note: when I’m traveling for speaking (which starts up again in the early fall), none of the above is the schedule. I just wake up, do whatever fitness I can, and then work for my clients as much of the day as we’ve arranged.
When I’m at the office, I like to venture out for lunch. If I’m in a rush, I go to Subway downstairs and get the salad. When I have a little extra time, I hit up a restaurant like the Firehouse Grill, and enjoy a nice piece of chicken and some collard greens. If I’m in the mood for a drink, I visit the Ale House, owned and operated by the folks who own the Firehouse.
My afternoons are often spent listening (via some free and some paid services), so that I know what’s going on, on catching up on communications, finishing up the tasks from above that didn’t get done, and reading a little bit. On Wednesdays, I go downstairs to the Toy Soldier, to see what’s come in for comics that I might like (I’ve read comics since I was 5), and I check in with Mick Galuski, the owner. He gives me some perspective on what’s on the mind of a small business owner, plus he’s just nice.
I like to get dinner with the kids, but if I can’t, I will sometimes pick up something and eat while I finish off my work day.
I spend the last two waking hours of my kids’ time with them, as often as I can. My daughter is working on art most days. My boy likes finding user-generated Mario videos on YouTube. When I tuck them in, I say weird and sarcastic things to my daughter, and I fashion invisible bad dream catchers around my boy’s bed. Our current favorite involves a giant robot and a dream cannon.
After that, I sometimes head back to the office and work a few more hours, or I read a bit to catch up on what’s going on. I don’t watch TV, though I occasionally get something from Netflix, if only to have in the background at times. I don’t go out that often. I guess it’s because most of my friends are online and scattered all over the world. I do Skype calls and other means of connecting with friends, too, throughout the day.
Of course, above is the ideal. There are distractions. I sometimes find myself dealing with things that I wish I weren’t. I’m learning a new technology right now, and that’s always fun-but-challenging. I’m working on some future projects that are coming together slowly, but I need them to come together faster, so that’s a distraction. Plus, you know, life gets in the way sometimes.
I didn’t talk about how I am obsessed with Google+, so am reading it and commenting more than I should. I didn’t talk about how I might randomly rush to LinkedIn and connect with the people who’ve added me. There are all these ADD-like parts that I wish I could eliminate, but they’re there, and part of the clutter.
The other thing that isn’t written too deeply in here is that I give my kids more time when I can. If my daughter needs a ride to or from camp, I sneak out and do that. If I have an hour or a bit more, I’ll sneak them up to the lake to dip in the water and play a few games. (The lake’s right close by.) So, those things are fun and I like having those in my day.
And So It Goes
A day in the life post is obviously such a self-absorbed thing, but I thought it would be useful to see what comprises my time. Though I’m often paid to be a marketer, right now I find myself doing more media making, product creation, and turning my learnings into something useful for you. I enjoy the work. I always wanted to be a writer when I grew up, but I had thought it would be a fiction writer. This, it turns out, is a lot more challenging to me, and helps pay the mortgage.
I’d love to read YOUR day in the life posts. If you link back to this post, I’ll check out whichever ones I find and leave comments where I can. : )