Thanks to CoCo for underwriting our How I Work series!
What one word best describes how you work?
What is your current device/hardware/office setup?
Macbook Pro, 2 mismatched monitors, loud music.
Excel/Outlook/Ppt, Dashlane, UberConference, SignNow, Twitter (@scottlastname) & Spotify.
Slack is also creeping in more these days.
What your sleep schedule like in terms of hours/wake-up and what’s the morning routine?
Sleep is usually 8ish hours of sleep per night, unless there’s a significant problem or project I’m dealing with, then it can be much less. Wake-up depends on which kid decides to wake us up first. I usually catch up on biotech industry news with a twitter scan and tackle any urgent emails at breakfast while hanging with my wife and 2 kids.
I usually bring our kindergartner to school and if I don’t have any outside meetings, I usually can’t wait to start my 11-step commute to my office at home. Our team is virtual, so we start every day with a call to discuss priorities and share what we are working on, where we need help, etc.
Is there a method to how you schedule your days?
Work-day is pretty consistently 10-12 hours but usually broken into one early morning fire-extinguishing portion, the core day, and then post-kid bedtime section. I try to consolidate all out-of- the-office meetings to one or two days per week if possible to minimize car/traffic time, and never near/during rush hour. If I do need to commute, I’ll schedule calls during. I also try to stack conference calls back-to- back so ‘heavy thinking’ project work isn’t interrupted or broken into small pieces. I usually have a hard-stop at 5:30pm when it’s time for the nanny to go, then spend a couple hours with my wife and kids on dinner/neighborhood shenanigans/bedtime, then usually back to work for as long as I can stay awake, which isn’t usually that late.
How much time do you spend in vs. out of the office?
80%+ in office if possible.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
Avoid time-sucks, black holes and shiny objects. Never answer a phone call when you don’t recognize the number. Don’t play startup, do startup…be high in the ‘walkie’ quadrant and low in the ‘talkie’ quadrant (cred to CB Insights great matrix). Limit networking/events to those that help you solve an
immediate or near-term problem and stack them together. Zero-drama policy is a must.
What is that one thing you have to do, no matter what, every day?
What is your preferred form of communication and why?
Depends on the situation. If it can wait, it’s more than 2-3 sentences, and/or needs the recipient’s thoughtful consideration: email is preferred. If it is needed now, can be responded to in a soundbite – Text or Slack. Phone calls if message/discussion could be confusing. In-person if need a deep discussion or white-boarding.
On average, how many hours a day do you spend in meetings?
Probably 3-5 hours per week in face to face meetings; 15-20 hours per week on conference calls/virtual meetings.
When, where and what do you typically eat for lunch?
Usually later around 1 or 2pm, – I try to sneak out of my office and time it when my kids are out for the afternoon somewhere so I
don’t get distracted. Usually eat whatever is fastest/easiest/somewhat healthy from my kitchen at home & avoid anything that could come with an afternoon ‘bonk’.
How many hrs per week and do you work in the evenings and/or weekends?
60-65 total per week. Evenings almost consistently every night for 2-3 hours, weekends I try to avoid, but will sneak away if there is something on my mind I can’t shake and is distracting me from family, or something I need to accomplish that can’t wait.
What is the best advice you ever received, accepted, and applied?
Some of the best advice I’ve received wasn’t really intentional, but from family, etc. in life that left us too soon. In that respect, perspective on taking big swings, punching above your weight, challenging status quo and brevity of life have been the best advice I’ve ever accepted and applied.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Charlie Youakim, CEO at Sezzle from Minnesota’s tech industry answer these same questions.