The question says it all.
I wake up and people pay me for my years of experience, aesthetic taste, and knowledge of best practices to design digital products. Then those same people ignore my advice, dilute my designs and cut corners all to produce mediocre, unoptimized, inferior products that function poorly.
haha! so true!
I live in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and my typical days looks like this:
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
I naturally wake up around 6:30 AM. I work through communities, my feeds, and messages for 30 minutes. Turn on podcasts and let them play in the house. Then, 50 kettlebell swings and 50 pushups. I’m out of the house by 8 AM. Our housekeeper comes in on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (8 AM to Noon) and we have SOPs set up for different days of the week and managing the household.
I ride my motorbike (scooter) into town then 7:40 AM to 8:00 AM, I listen to podcasts while I’m riding and pick up a roost at one of my favorite coffee shops. My “commute” on my motorbike is about 10 - 12 minutes.
8:15 AM - 8:45 AM - Eat - I’ll usually read a book during this time and make notes if need be.
8:45 AM - 9:00 AM - Review work plan for the day. I manage my personal work tasks/ plans in Things.
9:00 AM - 12:20 PM - Turn on Rescue Time to block distracting sites. Turn on deep house music. Work in focused pomodoros for 30 - 50-minute sprints depending on the tasks at hand. In between pomodoros, I’ll check in on Slack to see what is happening. Goof off on Facebook and hop back into the tasks.
12:20 PM - 12:45 PM - Lunch, reading, and head back to my home office.
1:15 PM - 5:30 PM - Turn on some trance music and pick up the pace whilst chasing flow state. I’ll use the transparent browser Helium http://heliumfloats.com/ on my second display and run visualizations over top my second display. Usually something like this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ7hUvU-d2Q - Again, work in 30 - 50-minute sprints. Stand up order cold press, stretch and some kettlebell swings in between.
Fridays - 1:15 - 5:45 - work from a shisha place down the street from my devs. Work, smoke shisha, review progress for the week. 6:00 PM - Meeting with my development team who are working on a startup I’ve co-founded.
Tuesdays and Thursdays
Same wake-up schedule, and routine - but, I stay in my apartment area and go downstairs, go for a swim and then breakfast by the pool. Socialize with neighbors and then head back to my home office for a head down session around 8:30 AM.
I’ll work from home and have lunch in. I’ll do 45 minutes at the gym in the afternoon and then go back to work.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll usually wrap up for the day around 4:30 PM and go and meet friends and shoot the breeze.
One thing I try and avoid at all costs. Interruptions, “grabbing a coffee” or lunch. I treat the workday as sacred and if people want to meet up, we meet after work. Otherwise, it jacks up my whole rhythm and routine.
I also wear big ass “don’t talk to me headphones” when out - which usually works out. lol
"Work in focused pomodoros for 30 - 50-minute sprints depending on the tasks at hand." Use any app for this?
I used to use this one, which is ok: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/be-focused-focus-timer-goal-tracker-for-work/id973134470?mt=12
These days, though its junkiness kind of annoys me, I pay for RescueTime Premium and just use their "Get Focused" mode.
RescueTime syncs with the app Gyroscope, which I use to track productivity:
I’m also in some productivity groups on there with close friends.
Also, depending on workload, I will alternate between Modafinil and Armodafinil once or twice every other week.
I would never micro-dose quarterly. Though, I heard it works wonders for an occasional reset.
That book and wall poster at the end of each year for Gyroscope is DOPE!!! That alone is enough to convince me to at least try it out!
Yeah, I pay for it. Total no-brainer and I love paying for quality stuff when people put in the effort.
The founder is active on Medium as well: https://blog.gyrosco.pe/@aprilzero
I kinda handle work in the same way. You win the morning, you win the day.
Rescuetime unlocked my productivity by making me more self-aware. Didn't know about Gyroscope so thanks so much for sharing.
Also, I've tried Modafinil and had a rough time after 4h. Became very sleepy and then extremely angry / irritated with a biiiiig headache. Took 200mg.
Micro-dosing only headache.
Never tried with a lower dose. Any suggestions?
Yea, these things affect people in different ways.
It sounds like you should probably avoid these kinds of things all together.
You may not have drunk enough water. Though, Modafinil is known to induce irritability in some people.
You may have a look at something natural like Ciltep.
I've never heard of someone getting a headache from m-dosing. Could be a hydration thing again, but if in doubt, it sounds like you should avoid these things all together.
You win the morning, you win the day.
Man, so true. I need to remind myself of this more often!
yeah pretty good
- 07:45 - Get up, shower
- 08:30 - Cycle 4 miles along the seafront to work
- 09:00 - get to work
- 09:05 - go to cafeteria, eat bacon sandwich
- 09:25 - 12:30 - Design
- 12:30 - go to cafeteria eat soup
- 13:20 - 5pm - Design
- 17:00 - cycle home
- 17:30 - catch up with my kids while they eat dinner
- 18-19 - watch scooby doo
- 19:00 - put the kids to bed
- 19:30 - cook dinner
- 20:30 - go to bed and read
- 20:31 - fall asleep
- 01am - get woken by kid, get them more milk, clean up urine etc...
- 04am - get woken by other kid, argue about why he can't come into our bed.
I know how that painful 1 am to 4 am schedule works.
08:30 - Cycle 4 miles along the seafront to work 09:00 - get to work 09:05 - go to cafeteria, eat bacon sandwich
Completely eradicate effort spent biking to work with bacon sandwich, haha ;)
Ha ha, I only do it so I can eat the sandwich :-)
Varies day per day but today it's just an internal debate about whether I want to be in this industry anymore or not.
Any insight on what you're feeling here? Work/life balancing ? Teams, company types? Or just something entirely personal? Specific type of design you do? (graphic, UX, industrial etc)
Just really caught my attention here.
Just haven't been enjoying the work nearly as much as I used to recently. Lack of opportunities (catch 22) to work with teams doing the sort of product work I want to do.
Use your design thinking towards making the world a better place, not any particular product for profit.
Only today? :P I go through that debate every time I am between projects, and often even when I am on a project. (I work as a consultant).
I get up between 7 and 7:30. I eat something, maybe drink some coffee. Then I am 8h at my full-time work. That drains me so when I get home I just lay in bed and try to recuperate. When I am not so tired I learn new stuff (like new coding language), and that is at least 2x per week.
Wow. You just described my schedule. Only self-pity is missing.
Haha, yeah. Only when I go out and do a sport after work hours (in my case biking, bouldering or skateboarding) I actually discover there's plenty energy left somehow. Maybe that helps!
Hi! I'm not a full-time designer anymore but would like to share my usual day when I was still on the job. I work in Japan.
- My work usually start at 9am, but I wake up around 8am. There aren't really a lot of time there so I take my breakfast at work.
- While drinking coffee and eating breakfast at my desk, I usually spend my morning by checking and organizing my inbox and tasks. I also read design related news and check for inspirations or downloadable stuff that I can use for next projects.
- Around noon I usually take lunch alone. I was the only female employee on our company by that time so I'm usually alone.
- After lunch I'll start to work on my tasks and submit them before going home.
- During weekdays I just play games and do mock sketches at home if I still have time but I usually go to pubs or places near my office to grab some drinks.
- I usually go home around 3am or 4am.
This routine went on for 3 years and there were a lot of stress working as a designer here so I quit my job and move to another city to have a different job.
What job do you have now?
Oh, I work as a frontend engineer now. Back then it was more on advertising and printed design work. The transition was tough learning how to code from scratch but it was all worth it :)
I get up when I want except on Wednesdays when I get rudely awakened by the dustmen.
I put my trousers on, have a cup of tea and I think about leaving the house.
I feed the pigeons, I sometimes feed the sparrows too.
It gives me a sense of enormous well-being.
And then I'm happy for the rest of the day safe in the knowledge there will always be a bit of my heart devoted to it.
A Hobo who lives near my street does the same things except for waking up in a house. jk, don't kill me.
I read that in cockney
Reading this thread, I notice a pretty nasty trend of most people here spending more time working or prepping for work, rather than living in the world outside of design and bringing that to design. Aside from the few who don't work in office everyday. I'm not saying you need to wander the world and dick around for hours on end, but just feels, off. Seems it'd be pretty hard to bring new or interesting ideas to the table in any type of design with your head held firmly down in an office or on a particularly strict schedule, and as a person looking for a career switch to design, it seems depressing that its the same.
Most of people here are web/app/inteface designers.
I didn't mention that I play basketball, video games, manage online communities, and, you know, have holidays and weekends where I hang out with friends, go to events, etc.
Seemed irrelevant when asking for a "typical" day.
- 06:00 - 08:00 - Wake up, spend whole time trying to get son to brush teeth and get ready for school. Walk dog and have a coffee.
- 08:00 - Run to work - 5-10miles
- 09.30 - Get to work, change, read some emails, be amazed at everyone else's chi morning of chilling listening to meditation podcasts and stuff.
- 12.00 - How in the name of shit have I only replied to a few emails and it's lunchtime?!
- 12.30 - Some uninspiring lunch done
- 15.30 - Team daily 15 min standup call starts, how in the name of shit is it already that time and I've only replied to a few other emails since lunch?!
- 16.15 - End of the 15 minute daily team standup call
- 16.30 - Run home - 5-8 miles wondering how I only managed to get through some admin and reply to emails and perhaps 5 minutes of design or dev in there.
I live in Harrisburg, PA, USA. Most of my days are like this...
- 5:30-6:30: Get up, feed dog, take dog for walk around neighborhood.
- 6:30-7:00: Shower, breakfast, wake up the wife.
- 7-7:30/8:00: Depending on traffic and construction, it can be 30 minutes to an hour to drive into the office. Usually listen to the radio to hear the news, weather, and traffic report.
- 8:00-8:30: Get into office, quickly review emails and make my daily to do list.
- 8:30-9:00: CX Managers morning meeting with my fellow directors and VP
- 9:00-12:30: A mass blur of meetings, check-ins with team members, do any mandatory training...maybe actually design something...it depends.
- 12:30-13:30: Lunch, we have a cafeteria that is somewhat OK...either I grab lunch from there or go out and grab something while I'm doing midday errands. Honestly, it's hard to eat as a manager, so I usually snack on almonds and such through the day when I can.
- 13:30-17:30: Again...mass of meetings, project management, research...maybe design something. I leave at 17:30 since it's after rush hour.
- 17:30-18:00: Drive home...usually better in the evening. Get home, check carboys and get gravity readings (I brew beer, so this is an everyday event).
- 18:00-21:30/22:00: Hang out with wife and dog, maybe watch some TV or just sit and listen to music and talk. If the strong urge to watch a Lynda video possesses me, I'll do it, but mostly we just hang or go for a walk.
- 21:30/22:00: Go to bed, check out Imgur for a while then go to sleep.
The majority of my meetings is all focused on brand alignment, product design and development, as well as serving on a few committees on internal culture, compliance, and internal development. Even though I am in a lot of meetings, I make it a point to have face time with all my people everyday and check in with them. Many times, my role is protect them from really stupid asks on projects they are working on. Some days I miss being a practitioner, actually doing the design or writing the code...but it's a trade off for taking on strategic work.
The only real time this schedule differs is Friday at 16:00 my department heads out early and we go for drinks at a local brewery and deck...where everyone gives me suggestions on my next homebrew batch I should make.
- 6:00 Wake up and shower
- 6:30 Cook breakfast for my son and myself
- 7:30 Leave to drop off my son at kindergarten
- 8:30 At the office in Copenhagen
- All day Work, mostly coding or meetings / problem solving any parts of the business
- 17:00 Leave work and head home
- 18:00 Arrive at home and cook or eat dinner
- 20:00 Put kids to sleep and clean up after dinner
- 21:00 More work (meetings with US based employees)
- 23:00 Sleep
Get up, get to work.
- Check email / respond to everything / knock out quick-wins
- Project work
- Go home, buy food, make/eat
- Scour the interwebs
Not long enough.
I bask in sunny Los Angeles, CA
I'm a full time student and full time in house designer
So I'm on a time crunch almost all times of the day but to spare you the details I'll just share my work days.
- So I wake up around 6AM the latest, brush my teeth and then meditate (Insight Timer) and proceed to eat my rolled oats smoothie.
- I like to take things slow in the morning so I sit down with my journal, write out a few thoughts and then plot out my day.
- After that I'm on the road, listening to an audiobook or a podcast — sometimes when I can't stand it anymore I'll pop open my spotify .
- Once I'm at work, I'll chat with a few co workers - work in that fancy promodoro timer method and give it my best.
- Around lunch time I like to go for a walk with my co workers to our little food truck ally (linked for visual context).
- After lunch, I'll drink some tea to get back into the groove of things till it's time to go.
- Headed home, it's super traffic ૮( ᵒ̌▱๋ᵒ̌ )ა so I'll listen to an audiobook to really calm my mind.
- Get home, check up on social media (I honestly do it throughout the day) and start up on some side project work or just errands that I need to complete.
- Eat dinner, and clean up daily then proceed to bed.
My days are super varied but this is what I could condense it too ¯(ツ)/¯
I love to spend time in nature, hiking and riding a bike...also take a photo or thirty. That's how I spend days. In between I meet my friends and go to a jazz concerts or festivals.
Oh yeah...Monday to Friday I do office design job, you know...Sketch-ing, problem solving, my favourite—pen&paper prototyping, drinking coffee, eating, listening to music&postcasts—always learning something new. Don't have any strict schedule—when I work I work, when I chill I chill.
Most important, I try to never stop exploring so (almost) every work day after job I create something new both digital and physical or read a book or something from the beginning of the post...try to be away from the screen as much as I can when I'm not working—'cause that's where the ideas are born. Just live and breathe. Just be. Here. Now.
...whell sometimes I have an ordinary rainy day.
Cheers to my colleagues!
- 6:30 - 8:30: Wake up attend to children, get clothed, eat breakfast etc..
- 8:30 - Commute to work
- 9:00 - Check emails and scope plan for the day
- 9:30 - Throw said plan out of the window as I get pulled off task for lots of random crap
- 10:55 - Check DN and reply to this thread
- 12:00 - Become distracted as I start to think about lunch.. eventually eat lunch, check typical websites for an hour
- 1:00 - Start working on my daily plan
- 2:00 - Get pulled off task again
- 3:00 - Debug irrelevant problem that's not even related to my job but someone needs doing NOW
- 3:30 - Die inside as I realise the day is almost over and I haven't done anything towards my tasks that have actual deadlines
- 5:00 - Head home
- 5:30 - Attend to children, eat an evening meal, put children to bed etc...
- 7:30 - Try to do all the things I failed to do earlier in the day
- 11:30 - Bed, catch up on TV shows etc
- 12:30 - Sleep ...repeat.
Well... Alarm goes off at 6:30 - don't get up till 6:50.
7:30 leave the house to walk to the bus stop.
7:50 - Get on the bus
8:20 arrive at work and get vital coffee and cereal - always the best start to the day.
8:30 - 9: Catch up on the news scroll designer blogs etc.
9am Check the schedule to see who's in the office and what I've been allocated to do for the day
9:05- Get on with morning work usually looking into our user testing hub first followed by probably some written tasks/research.
1:30 - Back to the grindstone!
(Friday) 4:30 - Team weekly round up
5:30 Set off for the bus home!
After work most days I have a lot going on with volunteering and other stuff. Usually home for 9 and in bed by 10:30!
That's a rather quick lunch.
OOPS! It's supposed to sat 1:30! I get an hour haha
In the morning around; 7:45, it's a quick train ride to work. ( 5 minutes ). From there I grab a coffee and read HN, DN, Things, Slack, Email and obviously do my work for the day.
At 12 we take a 45 minute break, grabbing a sandwich and going for a walk with some of the dev guys.
Work until 4, tasks depending on the day, but mainly frontend dev, UX or UI work/sprint scattered across the week.
In general I block almost all the websites except HN, DN and Stack Overflow and wear big headphones almost all the time behind my desk.
Home at 4:15, I cook with my girlfriend/head into the city center for drinks/spend a quiet evening with a book.
Finish at 4pm. You're lucky!
There are some things that I absolutely do not like about my current job, but it's very hard to say goodbye with these hours!
I totally understand that - finishing at 4pm must be SWEET! Missing all of that rush hour traffic as well!
Well sleep and wake up times are pretty random but i'll try and be somewhat accurate.
- 7:00a wake up, coffee, meditate
- 8:30a leave to work, grab another coffee from a local coffee shop
- 3h - 4h(depends on mood and ideas) - design if not in meetings or calls
- about 1.5h lunch
- 4h - continue main project at work or work on side projects
- 6:30p - go home, time with wife, cook, eat, watch a movie or do something together.
- 10:30p - 12:30a - Work on personal projects(this is my time to learn and grow)
- 12:30a-1:00a - unwind and rest eyes so i can sleep better
Rinse repeat, a bit out of the regular flow but i have a lot of constant projects that I have to handle.
On weekends it's more like 3-4h for personal projects.
– 9 AM: Wake up. – 9:15 AM: Walk the dog. – 10 AM: Get back home, check mails, make coffee. – 10:15 AM: Usually making some calls. – After that Work till 2 PM. Walk the dog. – 3 PM: Get back to work. – 6 PM: Hopefully I'm done with all the work. Walk the dog. – From then on it's either working if there is something left to do, work on my own stuff or switch to windows to game something. – 9 PM: Walk the dog. – 3 AM: Sleep.
- 05:30 - 05:45 Get up, resist the urge to dive into my notifications; put my phone in the living room. Make coffee. Listen to the news, listen to the news again, think about the news while drinking coffee.
- 06:30 get dressed, grab bag that i prepared the night before.
- 07:00 wake partner up, make coffee for him.
- 07:05 leave for work by bike (because Dutch).
- 07:20 arrive at work, make tea.
- 07:30 ready for work, spend part of morning "getting inspired", searching for cool new things online that might get us further as a team & company.
- 08:30 rest of the team arrives, do a 15-20 minute standup.
- 08:45 continue "getting inspired".
- 10:30 eat apple, drink extra water, do the task I want to do the least.
- 12:00-12:40 lunch, reddit & socialising with coworkers.
- 12:40 complete the task i wanted to do the least, when finished, do the tasks i wanted to do.
- 16:00 bike back home
- 16:15 start cleaning up at home, prepare dinner
- 17:15 dinnertime
- 18:30 watch the news
- 19:30 work out & shower
- 20:30 painting, drawing, other creative outlets
- 21:30 prepare bag for the next day
- 21:40 bedtime!
Wake up at 6 am, stretch, skate the local skatepark before the groms come out and interfere with my lines, shower, breakfast, coffee and green smoothie, walk to work with my dog Obi, designernews.co, drink tea, design, meetings, design, meetings about meetings, more tea, design, watch the real skaters shred the park on my way home from work, cook some healthy dinner from one of those overrated food prep services, game a bit or work on freelance work, walk Obi before a night time tea and stretching, do it all over again. Often break this up with a surf vacation or just going up to the mountains for the weekend.
- 05.00am Read/Pray (Bible App)
- 06.00am Draw/Code/Design
- 07.00am: Commute
- 09.00am Work (Design/Code)
- 12.00pm: Lunch
- 13.00pm: Back to work (Design/Code)
- 17.00pm: Hometime/Commute
- 19.00pm: Dinner
- 19.30pm: Draw/Code/Design
- 21:30pm: Sleep/pray
I need to get back to the gym :(
I wish I could wake up this early.
You probably can. I shower somewhere in between too :P
Should designers draw? :P
those 4 hours commuting really kill your day.
I guess you could see it that way... But I have my laptop and music with me so I can do stuff during the commute. Thanks for your concern :)
There is a video that sums up a typical day of a designer actually. https://youtu.be/hO1TwZbbBFE
So all this guy did for a full day was to move some shit around in Sketch?
Yea :D Great life style, isn't it?
I'd be bored out of my head if that was all I had to do.