Millennial & Boomer Chat: What is Your Perfect Work Day?

Posted In: Mentors / Networking
Posted On: 9/19/2016

WATCH NOW: What is your perfect workday?

And READ ON as millennial career champion/mentor, Jane Miller, and millennial entrepreneur, Jake Hurwitz, weigh in on this question...

Jake: My perfect workday starts with a 90-minute workout. In my mind, adrenaline is the best coffee, whether it is induced from a trip to the gym, a hike in Boulder, or a 5-mile mountain bike lap. Whatever it is, a morning workout always sets me up for a productive day.

Then, for the next 10-12 hours, I enjoy bouncing around from client meetings, to phone calls, to lunch with my team, to alone time designing at my desk. A solid mix of everything helps me stay levelheaded. At the end of the day, I love to cook a nice dinner—one hour in the kitchen is all I need to press the reset button and get ready for the next day.

I always consider physical activity and one hour of personal time to be part of the workday. After all, without these opportunities to relax and re-assess, I would not be sharp and motivated when it comes down to grind-time.jane miller, jake hurwitz, millennial boomer chat

Jane: What I love about your answer is your sense of balance.  It’s like you know what keeps you levelheaded and so you want that to be in your day.  I also find it interesting that in your perfect day, you are planning to put in 10-12 work hours before you cook that dinner.  Have you heard the generalization that your generation doesn’t plan on working that hard?

Jake: I can certainly understand where that generalization is coming from. However, I think that our generation is starting to adopt a new mentality: ‘work smart, not hard.’ This is vital. After 8-10 hours of head-down grind work, the human body naturally starts to shut down. So, continuing to push yourself more and more without a break will result in poor-quality work. So what’s the point!? Integrating balance into the work day will result in higher-quality work, more productivity when you actually are working, and of course a healthier lifestyle.

Jane: I have lots of perfect days that work for me.  Sometimes, I want to be fully engaged with lots of people and feeling that we are making progress on some issue. (Yes, I know, we are back to my word: achievement!)  Other days, I like having alone time to think through things and get refreshed.  I come across as an extrovert to the outside world, but I have the introvert’s need to get recharged by being alone.  I do know that my perfect workdays always involve people who “fill my cup” versus drain it.  Do you feel the same way?  Do you feel like you avoid people who zap you of energy?

Jake: Of course. One of my favorite sayings is, ‘you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.’ I take this very seriously. Sometimes it’s hard, but it is essential to erase those who bring you down in any capacity. Instead, surround yourself with people who are smarter and more successful than you ALL THE TIME. Before you know it, you’ll be up on their level and likely exceeding them! After all, if you are the smartest person in the room, you’re definitely in the wrong room.

Key takeaway: how do we, as managers, understand that balance (i.e. wanting to do something other than work) can actually enhance the productivity of our employees?

How to activate that concept: Encourage balance in the workplace by providing incentives and/or recognition for those that do more than just live and breathe work.  Provide a way to track leisure items like charity work, exercise, or even reading a book and then do a simple giveaway like free movie tickets or a Starbucks gift card.  It doesn’t need to be elaborate, just the recognition that balance is respected and encouraged.

Our next question: “Who do you admire most in your life and why?”