My days are greatly varied, to say the least, depending on my schedule. For example, I could be traveling to a client or a CTG leadership meeting, working on deadlines for a proposal or preparing materials, having a day that requires attention to more personal tasks, or working remotely from home because it’s Wednesday.
My workday starts at around 8:00 AM. On the days I work with our Belgium offices, I sometimes have early calls scheduled with them owing to the six-hour time difference. Otherwise, I end up checking and responding to emails and providing an early start to some important conversations or ideas before the day in Europe ends or colleagues in the U.S. start working in other areas.
During this time, I also jot down my “hit list” for the day. It consists of three work (not including calls) and three personal tasks, and an occasional fourth if the task merits inclusion. This list, typically, is part of the bigger “to do” list and I keep it to 3x3 to prioritize my time and provide the right focus for the day. This part of my day does not change regardless of where I start my day—at home or in a hotel.
Until mid-day, my focus is to accomplish one to two of my planned work tasks outside of having a meeting/call with prospective clients or internal CTG colleagues. Some days, I come out ahead. Other days, I see a long day coming. Another advantage of my day planning allows me to either push myself or force myself to put the pencils down on the desk and call it a day, as long as the scheduled tasks are complete.
Around mid-day, I refill my water jug, fix myself a quick and healthy snack, read some news, and listen to a couple songs. Depending on upcoming meetings/calls and how much I’ve accomplished work-wise for the day, I sometimes shift focus to personal tasks, especially if it needs to be addressed prior to 5:00 PM. On the Wednesdays that I am working from home, my wife is typically off work and we try to have a lunch date without the kids, either home or outside. It’s short and sweet, without three courses of a meal, and is the perfect re-energizing break mid-day and mid-week.
The rest of the day is spent getting work completed for the day, which more often than not involves meeting clients or preparing for client meetings, attending calls for potential partnerships, gaining insight into solution perspectives and market demands, connecting with people that I either haven’t spoken to in a long time or who can share thought leadership or insight into a strategic account, or working on Solution Team tasks like planning, collateral development, etc. Beyond my planned tasks, there are always “reactive” tasks based on new opportunities that surface, emails that require immediate response, or clarifications/details for any ongoing or planned tasks.
In the evening, I schedule an hour of workout time (currently it’s boxing) and a few minutes with the kids to talk about how their day was. If I am traveling, the remaining day is spent chasing flights or having a client/team dinner. If at home, I spend time with the family, review accomplishments for the day, and if needed, put in another hour or two of work to address immediate deadlines. My day ends with 30-60 minutes of television for any recorded shows/games. I just concluded the latest seasons of Americans and Blacklist, and I also enjoy HBO shows like Silicon Valley, Veep, and of course, Game of Thrones. Soccer is my passion and I always record games with my favorite team, Barcelona, and sometimes Manchester City/Liverpool games. I also enjoy a few minutes of news reading.
Having been on the road Monday-Thursday and having traveled to multiple states each week, I have logged between 80-125K miles each week for the last 15 years of my career. Today, I very much appreciate the family time and flexibility afforded to me in my job at CTG, balanced with being able to feel accomplished at the end of the day. Certainly, being disciplined helps to maintain this balance—especially when working remotely at home—but a large part is the culture at CTG which truly believes that happy people are more productive, supports entrepreneurship, trusts their employees, and rewards progressive work.