How was everyone’s long weekend? Mine was a great kickoff to summer—I jetted down to Key West for a couple of days of sand and sun. I absolutely loved Key West, and can’t wait to get back there soon. I’ll post a full recap of my trip here on the blog next week in case you’re planning a trip there!
Recently, Victoria and Grace both shared what their typical workdays look like. Since they are both entrepreneurs, I absolutely loved seeing how they choose to structure and schedule their work days with the freedoms their jobs provide. Even though I work in a traditional day job where I go to an office every day, I learned a lot from their posts—and loved reading them!—so I thought it would be fun to share what my weekdays looks like.
For those of you that don’t know, I do marketing for a real estate developer. I help with all sorts of marketing tasks related to our new business development, corporate communications strategy, and property marketing. I also run our undergraduate and MBA level recruiting programs. Though earlier in my career, I used to take on more graphic design and events work, lately, my days consist of managing all the logistics of recruiting, creating and monitoring Google AdWords campaigns, putting together media and messaging plans for our different properties and companies, managing our online presence and reputation across our websites and social media, mentoring younger members of my team and delegating them work as-needed, writing industry award entries, and all sorts of other random marketing tasks that come up on a daily basis. My workload in terms of the types of projects I’m working on can really change from week to week, so below, I’ve the described the strategy behind how I get my work done a bit more generally.
Though sometimes I’ve got a particularly crazy week and all routines go out by the wayside, this is what a typical ol’ Tuesday looks like for me:
8:05am // This is when my first alarm goes off (I know, I know) and I usually turn it right off. I used to be the person that could jump out of bed without hitting snooze, but now I like to linger in my bed.
8:30am // My “real” alarm goes off and I get up to start getting ready for the day. Unless I’ve got something particularly high-profile at work going on, I don’t check my email until I get to the office and, other than answering any texts from friends or family, make a point to stay off my phone when I get up. There’s always something on there that can get me side-tracked, and I’ll be much more capable to handle whatever curve ball has been thrown my way once I’m actually at the office. While I’m getting ready, I like to listen to NPR’s Up First podcast so that I’m up-to-date on current events.
9:00am // I grab my keys and am out the door. I walk to work, and usually listen to some sort of “pump up music” on my 20-minute walk. Nothing like a good club remix at 9am!
9:25am // I arrive at work, chat with our admin for a bit, and then head to my desk. My coworkers and I got in the habit of eating breakfast at our office because we used to have these clunky Dell laptops that took forever to boot up, so we had the time. Now we have Macs (#blessed), but the breakfast habit has remained. Lately, I’ve been skipping breakfast because I’m trying out intermittent fasting where I’m eating all my calories for the day over an eight-hour period and fasting for the remaining 16—it’s actually going really well! If I do eat breakfast, it’s usually something simple and office-friendly, like a Greek yogurt, English, or turkey sausage.
9:30-10am // For my first thirty minutes at the office, I really try to get in the zone and game plan what my major goals for the day are. I go through my inbox and respond to any quick-burn emails that aren’t going to take a ton of my time, archive any that are FYI only, and leave all the ones that require a longer response on my part at the top of my inbox. I also usually handwrite my top three or four to-dos on a post-it note to keep me on track for the day.
10-12:30pm // It’s during this block of time in the morning that I like to tackle my hardest projects or meetings of the day. Even though I’m a night owl, I do my best work earlier in the day and always like to get the tasks that are hanging over my head done first. I usually take a 10 minute mental break between each project to read a blog post, skim Twitter, or get up and walk around the office to chat with coworkers. I find I do my best work when I take a break every now and then!
12:30pm // I take a break for lunch! Most days, my coworkers and I eat at our desks because we all eat at different times or are in the zone on whatever we’re working on. Some weeks, I’m really good about bringing my lunch—usually leftovers from the night before, so something like a turkey burger + chips, cajun meatloaf + roasted broccoli, turkey meatballs + a side salad, cold pizza. But, most weeks, I buy lunch out most days. I know it’s bad for my wallet, but it is such a good excuse to get out and walk around at lunch. I love going to sweet green or Sweetleaf for a salad, Chipotle for a burrito bowl, Potbelly for a TKY sandwich, or Cava Grill for a Mediterranean bowl. While I’m eating, I usually answer a few emails, check my personal social media for the first extended period of time, chat my friends on my personal email, and/or read a few of my favorite blogs.
1:15-3:30pm // After lunch, I take another big chunk of time to get in the zone on my projects. My coworkers and I also do longer working sessions after lunch if we’re at a point on a project where it’s easier to collaborate in person than going back-and-forth on emails.
3:30pm // Is it just me, or does the afternoon slump hit hard around this time? I usually try to take a break in the middle of the afternoon and eat a piece of fruit or a Greek yogurt or take a walk around the office. I am also known to treat myself to a Diet Coke from the vending machine around this time of day!
3:30-5:50pm // During this time, I finish up any big priority tasks from the day, respond to any emails that have come in over the afternoon that I can quickly respond to, and tackle any admin-items on my plate, such as quickly pulling some Analytics data for a coworker or processing an invoice with accounting.
5:55pm // Unless I have something pressing, I shut down my computer for the day and head out to my workout class. My coworker and I change together in the bathroom and it’s one of my favorite times of the day when we just fill each other in on our personal lives.
6:30pm // Orangetheory or spin class starts! I typically go to OTF twice a week and spin twice a week. When I finished grad school, I really made an effort to get back to a consistent exercise routine, and I can honestly say, I look forward to OTF or spin after work. It’s such a great way to relieve stress and a nice way to cap off the work day. When I was figuring out what exercise studios worked best with my life, I opted for class times that were right after work and studios that were on my commute home so that I would have absolutely no excuse to not go!
7:30pm // Class is over! Unless it’s super cold or rainy, I generally opt to walk home instead of Metro so that I can get a few more steps in and decompress after the day. It’s also a fun way to get in a few more minutes of catch up time with the girls I’ve become friends with though class.
8:00pm // Once I get home from class, the first thing I do is eat dinner. Some nights I heat up something I’ve meal prepped from the weekend or whip up something really easy like tacos, but most of the time, I buy a salad from sweet green or Sweetleaf on my walk home from class. It’s just so much easier than cooking once I’m home and starving. I almost always eat on my couch while watching something from my DVR—I’m a sucker for The View!—or an episode of Friends on Netflix.
8:30-11:00pm // After I’ve eaten, I typically hang out on my couch with a La Croix and finish up any blog-related tasks. Though I try to write most of my posts on the weekends, there’s always a couple of posts that sneak through unfinished. I also answer any blog-related emails, schedule posts on social media, plan out my Instagram feed, brainstorm new post ideas—all that good stuff. If all of my blog-related tasks are done, I’ll usually just do things on my personal to-do list, like put away laundry, clean my apartment, plan an upcoming trip or friend date, get down the rabbit hole that is the internet.
11:00pm // Around this time, I’ll usually start to make moves on getting ready for bed. I usually listen to an entertaining Podcast during this time, which is a great way to do a little something for me at the end of the day. Since I workout at night, I also shower at night and then dive into my skincare routine, which I am religious about.
11:40-12:00am // I wish I could say that I don’t play on my phone in bed, but I usually spend twenty more minutes scrolling through Twitter, watching Instagram stories, catching up on Instagram posts, the like. I’m usually pretty focused when I’m at work or working on my blog after work, so it’s nice to have a few minutes of guilty pleasure social media indulgence.
12:00-12:30am // I almost always read before bed, and usually can read for about half an hour before my eyes get heavy and I close my Kindle for the day. Even though I go to bed late, my job start time allows me to sleep in pretty late, too. As such, I almost always get eight hours of sleep, which I truly believe makes me the best version of myself. Anything less than seven hours of sleep, and I really struggle the next day!
I really love my little work day routine, and am soaking it up while I can—I know that an 8:30am wake up call isn’t always possible in the working world, especially when kids are in the mix! If you have any questions about how I structure my days, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments below.