Thanks to CoCo for underwriting our new How I Work series!
When I Work was formed in 2010 for enable businesses to schedule, track time and communicate with hourly employees.
At the helm as CEO Chad Halvorson is who founded the company and continues to run it out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. We spoke with Halvorson to learn about his work habits and the the way he operates When I Work on a typical day — inside and outside the office.
What one word best describes how you work?
What is your current device/hardware/office setup?
MacBook Pro & iPhone. 100% mobile. No office cube.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Google Apps, Slack, Chartio, Sequel Pro, Voxer, and Satismeter
What your sleep schedule like in terms of hours/wake-up and what’s the morning routine?
I’m my sharpest in the afternoon and evening. I usually fall asleep just after midnight most nights. I wake up between 7am and 8am. My morning routine is usually lightweight and includes some email review and an evaluation/prioritization of where I need to invest the majority of my mental energy for the day.
Is there a method to how you schedule your days?
I prefer to use the mornings to collect and/or share information, or to get mundane tasks done. Morning is a time for input and routine. I like to use the afternoons for strategic/creative matters, solving problems, getting creative work done, and reflecting on the inputs from the morning.
The late afternoons are when I prefer to evaluate big decisions, explore areas we can maximize, and start new projects. Creative momentum ramps up the strongest in the afternoon so if I’m onto something big or important, it’s going to have the best chance of becoming something interesting if I’m able to work on it through the evening and into the night if needed. I like to take a position on big decisions late in the evening before going to sleep because that’s when everything seems to make the most sense, and when the decision is furthest away from the chaos of today or tomorrow.
How much time do you spend in vs. out of the office?
I’m usually at the office between 9am and 6pm and then often jam for another few hours at home between 7pm and 11pm.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
I don’t have cable, Netflix, Prime, etc. or watch television in general.
What is that one thing you have to do, no matter what, every day?
Watch and react to my inbox.
What is your preferred form of communication and why?
I love written communication because it’s generally harder to misunderstand, highly therapeutic, and easier to document than verbal.
On average, how many hours a day do you spend in meetings?
As few as possible as they are usually the antithesis of getting things done. That said, a lot.
When, where and what do you typically eat for lunch?
When I’m able to fit it in; usually between 11am and 2pm depending on the day. I usually go to a place nearby the office and try to keep the fare light.
How many hrs/week and do you work in the evenings and/or weekends?
I don’t keep track, but these days probably around 60. In the past it was easily 80+. That includes nights and weekends.
What is the best advice you ever received, accepted, and applied?
Bells and whistles wear off, but usefulness never does.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see John Tedesco from Minnesota’s tech industry answer these same questions.