I made a post on facebook this morning that I’m heading off to a Giants game with a client. Predictably, someone said “Matt, don’t you ever work?” It is a refrain I sometimes hear when I share what I’m up to. Yes, of COURSE I do! In fact, I’ve been working harder this year than ever before. Sarah and I have just found better ways to schedule our time.
The traditional work week of Monday through Friday, 9-5pm is fine for most. But for us, that just isn’t the smartest way to work.
For one, markets close at 1pm Pacific time. So if I don’t ‘get to work’ until 9 am, then I’ve missed three full market hours! If I work late until 7pm, is there really anything to do? Come on by at 6;#0am, our computers are fired on and so is the coffee pot. But don’t call, we don’t turn our phones on until 8:30am so we can focus on work quietly.
Between the two of us, we’ve created what you might call a modern day work week. Our schedule centers around market times, the times of our client needs and the times of our family needs.
Markets aren’t open Saturday and Sunday. So we typically don’t work Saturday or Sunday, either. Occasionally we’ll meet with a client and we do hold our monthly dinner series on the weekend. But mostly, Saturday and Sunday is reserved for our family time and work around the house.
Monday through Friday find us all over the map. Most of you don’t need us at 7am, so we keep phones off, but we’re working. We generally break our days Monday through Friday into two categories – focus and buffer.
On focus days, we try to plan our client reviews and visits. Like today, I’m at the Giants game with a client who recently introduced us to his friends. “A Giants game isn’t work!” you might say. I counter it is just as productive as a round of golf. Or a chamber social. Or a Rotary meeting. There are all sorts of functions I attend in order to meet people and help the community. Want to come to a Giants game with me? Introduce us to someone and you’re in!
On buffer days, we do everything else. Rebalance accounts and make trades, follow up on loose ends, make calls, write blogs, set appointments, finalize documents and paperwork. We try to focus on what we call ‘backstage’ operations work. It is also the days we plan our dental, veterinarian, medical, auto, shopping and other appointments of life.
With smart phones, messages, emails, etc…it is easy to work 24 hours a day. Sarah and I choose to work very hard but also very intelligently. That way, our work doesn’t consume us to the detriment of our family, health or sanity!
So, yes, we do work. We work very hard. We just work in a different manner than what used to be the norm. This keeps us fresh, sharp and organized.