A Day in My Life: How to Learn Time Management from What I Actually Do (or Don’t Do)

I am really stuck on this idea that we are what we do consistently.  That’s helped me focus down.  Basically you take the big goals, break them up into the consistent steps needed to get to them, and then turn that into the ideal month, then the ideal week, and then the day to day.

And I have had so many coaching clients tell me that they wanted to hire me because I walk the walk (instead of just talking it) that it got me thinking about the best ways to share my actual life so that I can help more people do this same thing for themselves.

So I picked a random work day that seems normal (Monday, November 13) and got super, ultra, extra anal about my day (hopefully for your benefit, it was a bit awkward for me to keep telling my phone what I was doing and when).

We are going to go through my day and I’ll jump in with ideas about where I could make some changes to maximize my day and my happiness and ultimately my life.  No matter what I say, or how it sounds, we are all a work in progress and I am constantly tweaking and changing things for better results in my own personal and professional life.

So here we go!

(Title) Sunday Night

For me, a great day really starts the night before.  Not just planning any part of it, but getting enough sleep.

There’s a meme I am reminded of which says something like “imagine what we’d be capable of if we all got enough sleep.”

This night I fell asleep at 9:26 and slept until 5:49 which (according to Fitbit) is 7 hours and 35 minutes of sleep (instead of 8 hours and 23 minutes) but I did get an 88 sleep score which is very good for me.

Normally I am closer to 6 hours and 45 minutes of “sleep” and a 75 sleep score.

From a nighttime time perspective, there’s not really a ton I can change.  Ideally my son gets to bed at 7 (which is really 7:30 or sometimes 9pm depending upon his mood).  Ideally we have a bit over an hour of time for just Heather and I before I do my nighttime routine (more on this later).

(Title) Morning Routine  5:49 am - 6:10 am

I woke up before my 6am alarm.  Honestly, a REALLY easy way to see if you’re sleeping enough (and living a great life) is how often you have to be awakened by an alarm.  For me, it’s very rare…I’d say never on a normal day only when we stay up late for something or go out for an event or what not.

I have it setup so when I say “Alexa, good morning” she tells me to weigh in, brush my teeth, and take my vitamins.  She also tells me the fact of the day, the weather, and reads me my calendar (or at least the first 4 events), and then we jam out to some classic rock.

I then got dressed, went for a run/walk while listening to Lauren Vanderkam's "I Know How She Does It."  Which I finished during my run and switched to Tony Hsieh's "Delivering Happiness."  In that 40 minutes of walking/running I covered just under a 5K.

6:50 am: Returned from the run, continued listening to the book, checked for my missing business credit card (bank app said it was not used, but I couldn't find it).

For me, M/W/F are running in the morning, T/Th/Sat or Sun are for lifting.  Then I will usually play disc golf at least one time a week (and ideally Pickleball or another sport at some point).

If push came to shove, I could obviously drop the exercising, but I cannot stress how much better I feel with the weight loss and running more, so honestly…it might be the MOST important thing in my day (at least in the sense that it keeps me alive to be there for my family).

7:00 am - 7:10 am: Woke up my son, started his morning routine.

Unlike me, he almost NEVER wakes up before I go get him.  And because my morning being great is REALLY contingent upon whether or not he has a great morning, I am currently working with him on having Alexa wake him up, play some of his favorite music, and turn part of his morning into a game.  This will probably involve “her” changing the lights in his room different colors and then making him have to go find me.

After he went to the bathroom and brushed his teeth he asked to go lay down for a few more minutes.

7:10 am - 7:20: he laid down while I continued listening to the book and had breakfast (a Kodiak pancake cup).

It’s pretty hard to find a quicker meal that is also delicious and moderately healthy than these pancake cups, they’re 5 points on weight watchers, very good, and you just add water and microwave them.  You can even eat them right out of the cup.

7:20 am - 7:30 am: My son finally officially got up, we continued his morning routine, I made him breakfast (that I don’t think he ate), and then we kicked a soccer ball until he got “injured.”  Nothing says future professional soccer player like him faking an injury at 5 years old.

7:32 am - 7:35 am: While he recovered from that, I did my Duolingo while explaining the answers to him (he’s in a Spanish language program at school), and again tried to get him to eat breakfast.

I wish I wrote down what I made him for breakfast, but I usually give him leftovers from dinner, or make a bagel (thin) with lox and cream cheese for each of us.  I’m sure there’s a quicker/better option for him for breakfast, but honestly…it’s not worth the struggle.  Sometimes he just eats a granola bar on the drive to school (you can judge me, it’s fine).

7:38 am: Showered, checked Facebook while water was warming up.  He watched Bluey on the tv while putting on his shoes.

7:48 - 7:50 am: Got dressed in my “uniform” (brown flip flops, khaki shorts that are basically athletic shorts that look professional and a Hawaiian shirt (or sometimes I wear a t-shirt to the office and then change there).

7:50 am - 8:00 am: Watched another Bluey episode with my son.

I’m sure I could cut out the TV and a bit of morning play with him, but I LOVE the time we spend together in the morning, so I wouldn’t get rid of that.

8:02 am: Left for school, we sang We Didn’t Start the Fire (by Fallout Boy because my child doesn’t appreciate Billy Joel enough), What Did the Fox Say, Sweet Caroline and other favorites of his and then I dropped him off at 8:21 am for an 8:35 start.

It would be REALLY easy to save some time here by having my wife drive him (she does 2 days a week and I do 3), OR we could carpool with some neighbors OR I could hire someone to drive him to school.  But again, I enjoy our time together (as long as he’s not yelling at me) and I never book myself for anything before 9, so it works out easily.

To be more complicated, but still helpfully on brand…I could also hire a tutor who lives with us or move to a different house that is closer to his school OR send him to a closer school but we aren’t going to do that.

8:30 am: Arrived at the office, listening to the book during the drive.

Here I could consider moving the office to be closer to his school, but honestly I don’t think under 30 minutes from my house to his school to the office is bad enough to warrant such a change, especially when I only work 3 days a week, but if you have an hour or more of a commute each way everyday…it does start to add up.

8:30 am: Finished up the chapter of my book and then looked at my email

My assistant starts her day at 8am, so it was already organized and ready for me to dive into the ones that required my reply.  I cannot stress how much of a time savings this is.

9:00 am-9:30: Meeting with my Assistant


Review the Prior Week’s Calendar - any follow up needed?  What can we do better?

Review the Upcoming 2 Weeks - any prep still needed?  What open work time do I still have?

Review her tasks - updates/bottlenecks/where can we bring in help

Anything else?  - Any other questions?

This meeting is worth its weight in gold.  I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have a dedicated assistant and spend 30 minutes a week maximizing her other 39.5 hours to maximize my whole week (probably 25 hours of work, but then also other stuff like chores, doctors visits, etc)

9:30 - 11: Driven Law Meeting

Here is where my office does our version of the Traction Level 10 Meeting and then we modify it for our needs.

Basically the core of the meeting is only 60 minutes (instead of 90), we go over everyone’s working ON the business tasks for the prior week and the upcoming week, review our weekly KPIs, see where there are some issues with the #s and then have a group discussion on a pre-assigned topic and then we use the last 30 minutes for content creation while we have everyone together.

Another thing that I wouldn’t change consistently.  At most, I might at some point hire someone else to run the meeting, but considering I only spend about 2-3 hours a week working ON my firm…another thing I can’t really quibble over.

Also, we normally only do the content every other week and then just let people out 30 minutes early on the weeks we don’t film together.

Normally I would then write my newsletter from 11-12, but I had lunch a bit further away than normal so I worked on getting my office together and ready for our Friendsgiving event on Thursday (I had just moved my office upstairs over the weekend so there were a few things that I needed to do).

I hired some help to get the office moved, but then I still had to organize my new desk, super glue something that broke during the move, etc.

11:30 am: Left for lunch, I listen to my audiobook on the way

I could have picked a closer place or Uber’d to lunch to get more done but I did not as I didn’t need to.

11:55 am - 1:45 pm: Lunch with a friend/referral source

It would be easy to drop these lunches, or cut them shorter, but

  1. I REALLY enjoy them (mostly due to who I am eating lunch with,) and
  2. I REALLY find a lot joy and impact from them when I do not have to rush through lunch to get back for something

I don’t know if you’ve had a similar experience, but everytime someone has to inhale their food and run back to the office in 45 minutes or so I just don’t get the same enjoyment out of lunch.  It’s harder to have truly personal connections in the short timespan and I’d rather spend an extra 30 minutes at lunch 3 times a week to enjoy it and get more cases/referrals/connections from it.

1:45pm:  Drove back to the office while listening to my audiobook

2:10 pm: Returned to the office, cleaned up upstairs from the weekend move a bit more

2:15 pm - 3:00 pm:  Email.  Honestly, I feel like this was a heavier than normal email day for me.  Although just over an hour might be a LIGHT email day for you.

I also had a very pressing email for the non-profit I am on the board of that was time sensitive to today.

My assistants 3 main priorities are

  1. My email
  2. My calendar
  3. Her task list

This is IMMENSELY helpful towards limiting the time I need to spend on email.  If you cannot afford an assistant to do this (could be as low as $1000-$2000 a month with a VA, and maybe $2500+ for someone local) you can use a series of email rules and filters and forwards and zaps to REALLY limit your email time.

3:00pm - 3:40pm - wrote a newsletter, normally this takes me closer to an hour even with ChatGPT’s help but this one went pretty quickly.

And to be fair, I did not write THIS newsletter that day, I wrote about Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies.

I could probably outsource this to my team, or at least just speak about a topic for 10-15 minutes and have them turn it into a newsletter, but I find that me writing these myself REALLY ups the impact I get from them.

That being said, once I write it, someone else formats it, confirms the studies ChatGPT gave me are real, adds in GIFs, puts it into Lawmatics to be sent, and then I get it back (on Thursday) to review.  They then edit it and send it and track the KPIs associated with the newsletter.

They also make social media posts to get people to sign up for the newsletter and turn it into smaller posts and (soon) it will become articles on my website.

3:40 pm - 4:00 pm - I reviewed a list of upcoming birthdays from people I am connected with online and set the needed reminders to wish them a Happy Birthday, buy them a gift, take them out to lunch, etc for the upcoming month (December).

I could probably automate some of this, but it would prevent me from actually remembering when it’s someone’s B-day and doing something nice for them.

4:00pm - 4:30pm - Met with a coaching client

This cannot be automated or outsourced in its current format, but one I hit 10-15 clients (which is my limit with my current schedule) then I plan to offer some more group options to

  1. Allow for more people I can
  2. Allow for it to be more affordable as I am increasing the pricing of my 1 on 1 coaching, and
  3. Do all of this in a manner where it works for my life to still provide a TON of value

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm - Zoom networking catch up meeting with Steve Fretzin

If you’re not connected to Steve you should be.  Steve was a HUGE help when I was trying to grow LegalEase Marketing and I genuinely LOVE what he’s doing in the realm of business development for lawyers.  On top of catching up about life and seeing how we can help each other, I’ll be back on his podcast soon from this chat to talk more about what I do.

5:00 pm - 5:17 pm: Wrapping up the day, putting away the stuff I superglued, final email check, etc and then I left the office listening to the audio book on the way home.

5:30 pm - 5:55 pm: Made dinner at home.

I don’t recall what we ate, but I know that I ENJOY cooking, so I do it.  If I did not enjoy it, I could order out more, hire a personal chef, buy precooked meals, etc.

Honestly food is probably the EASIEST way to save time, because it’s not just cooking, but also food shopping AND cleaning up.

When it comes to food you just need to figure out what your goals are with food.  For me it’s to balance food I enjoy with food that keeps me healthy.  Right now the Taylor Farms premade salads are a HUGE help here (the everything bagel and the cheddar ale are my go tos).  

If you want to save money, you need to cook more, if you want to save time you can cook less, etc.  If you want to lose weight, only buy food that fits your diet, etc.

5:35 pm - 6:15 pm: Ate dinner with the family and had a family conversation.

Every night we say 3 things we are grateful for and 1 thing we could have done better.  My wife also bought some fun icebreakers for kids to lead to more fun discussions.

Obviously this time COULD be cut down, but again (at least for me) what’s the point of all of this if I cannot spend quality time with my family.

6:15 pm - 6:35 pm: My wife ended up taking a call, so I laid in bed with my son and read books with him until she came back.

6:35 pm: She took over the nighttime routine with him and I went back to listening to my book and went for a short walk outside the house to get 2000 steps (to get to my 10,000 for the day).

7:05 pm: back in the house and I turned on the TV to watch Bad Batch (I still haven’t finished the second season and if Benji comes running back into the living room it’s something he can watch too).

7:35 pm: Episode was over, and my son was asleep.  So my wife and I talked for a bit.

8:00: Nighttime Routine - saying “Alexa, Good night” has her dim the lights in the house, turn the AC to sleep temperature, remind me to brush my teeth (with a timer), floss (I am one of THOSE people), and use my waterpik.

8:10 pm - 9:15ish pm: Watch tv with my wife (probably 2-3 episodes of Modern Family) 

9:23 pm I was asleep according to FitBit

I am sure I had some extra 3-5 minute chunks on my phone during the earlier part of the day.

And I know they say TV before bed is not good.  But it works for me.  It’s the one thing that really shuts my brain off.  I cannot play with my phone or read books late in the day or my mind is racing with ideas and I cannot sleep.

And ultimately, this is what it’s all about.  Finding the day to day/week to week that works for you.  The one that makes you happy, and then you live it and make changes as you see fit.

Let me know if this was helpful.  I am happy to do a non-work day, but I’m not sure if that’s as helpful.

That being said, next week we are talking about (WHAT IS NEXT WEEKS)?

Until then, have a great weekend and I will see you back here then.

Upgrade Your Life.

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