Sleep, Exercise, and My Work Routine
Published: May 1, 2012
Author: Todd Mintz
“A discovery that took me quite a while to understand is that your productivity doesn’t come in hours. It comes with the energy you have every day.” Leo Widrich, co-founder, Buffer
Inspired by our Company Fitbit Challenge and this very important, revealing post, “The Importance of Sleep in a Startup,” I’ve decided to share my sleep /exercise routine with the world.
Apart from nights out at rock concerts and the like, I’m usually in bed by 9:30pm. I’m usually up by 4:30 AM. In other words, I get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night.
Every day, I do at least one hour of cardio exercise at the gym (elliptical, treadmill, or a combination of both). Two or three times a week, I do weights for about 20 minutes. An “off” day for me is an hour-long outdoor walk.
I do my workouts in the morning before I begin my workday, so although I am reading through my feeds & answering email while I’m drinking my coffee prior to heading to the gym, I don’t officially “work out” for my clients until I’ve “worked out” for myself. I start my day at roughly 8:30am, and other than a short lunch break, I work pretty much “straight through” until dinner time. Once dinner is done, I do check my email and respond to urgent issues, but otherwise, I’m off the computer for the entire evening.
My work style is a definite contrast to people who say they work 70+ hour weeks and get by on 4-5 hours of sleep each night. Some people even brag about doing this.
I say that those folks are idiots and they are doing a disservice to both themselves and their clients.
The main differentiator between an excellent paid search account manager and an ordinary one are their insights and intuition. A person needs his/her full allotment of sleep, exercise, and nutrition in order for the brain to work at an optimum level to glean the sorts of nuggets that will allow clients to achieve maximum ROI. Furthermore, a disciplined person working at peak mental condition who knows that they are going to work a “normal hour” work day is forced to work at an optimal level of efficiency in order to achieve maximum productivity. When the mind is sharp, that’s easy to do.
There are occasional days that I’m forced to work on “short rest.” When this happens, I go out of my way to avoid any mission-critical tasks for my clients and just focus on busy work. On these days, I’m working with “impaired judgment” (as if I’ve had a couple drinks), and with the well-being of my client’s businesses at stake, I do not make campaign-critical decisions until I am well-rested.
The other interesting nugget about my work routine that I can share is that very few of my high-level PPC insights occur during the work day while I’m at the computer. Almost all of them occur either at the gym, while driving, or while watching television (particularly while watching movies, but never while watching sports). Even if my body is working normal-length work days, my mind is working 24-7 for my clients.
In closing, if I were slaving away at my computer for 70+ hours a week, I would be a very unexceptional, perfunctory account manager unable to offer clients the “value add” that our agency prides itself on. With plenty of sleep and exercise, my mind and my insights are razor-sharp, and my clients get all that benefit.
P.S.: Here’s a healthy, energy workday concoction that works well for me.
– Todd Mintz, Senior SEM Manager