A few years ago, we wrote about a typical day on the road. We were in Rome at the time. Recently, we've gotten a lot of questions about what our schedule looks like. People can't seem to wrap their minds around the fact that we run a business from wherever we are. It's a big part of our world, particularly when we're at home in Seattle.
Here's what a pretty typical day looks like when we're in Seattle. Our business has picked up a lot over the years, so injecting a bit of balance into a day is always a bit of a juggling act.
5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. = wake up time.
For the last several months we've been trying to get outside first thing in the morning. We've taken to going on early-morning walks to get java. On this particular morning, the walk is doubly useful, as we're in the midst of a big week so have a lot of plotting to do before we dive into work (and ignore each other for several hours).
Oh, and we're up early because our east-coast clients are well into the workday by now.
6:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. = divide and conquer time.
People are always interested to hear that we each take on distinctly different parts of our business. So different, in fact, that we have no need to collaborate during the work day. In addition to allowing us to bust out a lot of work, working on separate dimensions of our business is good for our individual growth and sense of accomplishment.
On this day, we have several client projects to chip away at. Also, we're preparing for an upcoming conference that is at the very core of the work we do as OD Business Consultants, helping (highly tech-oriented) companies/workgroups operate optimally while maintaining a very humanistic culture. The conference sessions bolster the work we do in general, AND some of the leaders from the companies we collaborate with also attend. It's a key time for us.
9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. = rejuvenate time.
We fully subscribe to the notion that you do your best work first thing in the morning. Given that, our morning work session is intense. So, after that, we head out for a run or to the gym to refresh for the next part of the workday.
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. = transition time.
We keep this part of the day fluid, depending on what's going on. If we have a client conference call, it's often during this time. We also eat lunch (desk side) somewhere in this slot, so we try to keep this day-part less intense.
On this particular day, Kent is piecing together the conference sessions we'll attend. The conference is so "in our pocket" that it gets a bit tricky – like choosing a favorite kid. In addition to bolstering the work we do with corporate clients, the conference also informs the work we do helping individuals with career development. On top of that, many of the conference sessions resonate deeply with how we live our personal lives. So, yeah, personalizing our agenda gets tricky.
While Kent does that, Caanan is forging ahead on a client project. Because we'll be heading to this conference, our work time will be severely limited. We need to get ahead on projects.
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. = one last hurrah time.
Our brain power is diminishing. This is one last slot of time to wrap up projects. Caanan's earlier work on that client's project went faster than expected, so he is capitalizing on a chance to tie up loose ends on other projects and to slip in some writing for the "travel writer" side of our lives. Kent is diving into client correspondence (best saved for the afternoon) and is taking some time to mastermind a trip to Europe.
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. = unwind time.
This is when we love to go for a big walk. Honestly, it usually gets severely delayed. On this day, though, we have a lot to collaborate on, so we're eager to start walking and talking. Oftentimes, these walks get work-planning intense, as – up until now – we're really doing on our own things (we purposely try not to debrief on work until this time). There is usually lots of note taking on these walks.
4:00 p.m. ---> = ? time.
In a perfect world, we spend the late afternoon focusing a bit on side stuff. We like to eat (mostly) healthy and (mostly) in, so Caanan will, perhaps, prep food. Kent will, maybe, tackle some laundry or possibly piece together an itinerary.
On this day, though, we came back into the home office after the walk in order to take on some things discussed during the walk. Remember, we're preparing to be gone, so we don't so much mind leaning further into projects if it means we have even more freedom on the road. Plus we love our work – maybe too much (um, No Vacation Required, yo).
At 4:45 a friend calls. We take it because we have not heard from him in a long time. We won't likely have the chance to talk anytime soon. At 5:15 one of our travel clients calls. Again, we jump on the call, knowing that these opportunities to connect are rare.
We eat dinner at about 6:00 p.m. and then dive into a movie (and a couple cookies). Tonight it's a documentary on Dune paired with homemade chocolate chip cookies.