/How a NY-based CEO carves out 2 meeting-free days a week

How a NY-based CEO carves out 2 meeting-free days a week


  • Lindon Gao is the CEO and cofounder of retail tech firm Caper, which has raised $14 million in funding, in keeping with PitchBook, and is backed by Lux Capital, First Round Capital, and Y Combinator. 
  • Gao began his first enterprise, a gaming commerce firm, at age 14, and launched a jewellery designer provide chain firm, which he nonetheless owns at present, at age 19.
  • He begins work at round 7:30 a.m. and units apart two “focus days” a week, the place he does not attend conferences except they’re essential.
  • He based mostly his routine off Y Combinator founder Paul Graham’s essay on the “manager’s schedule” and “maker’s schedule.”
  • Here’s what a typical day is like for the New York-based govt, as informed to freelance author Robin Madell.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

I normally get up between 5:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. with out an alarm. 

I am delicate to gentle once I sleep, so I get up at any time when the sky barely lights up. 

Since gyms are at present closed, I picked up calisthenics exercise routines at residence. I like working out from residence higher as a result of I can cook dinner and eat between exercise reps, and this protects a good half hour of my morning. I work out completely different muscle teams day by day of the week and decide to cardio twice a week, the place I run with a masks for 2 to 6 miles. 

My breakfast is straightforward: eggs and coconut yogurt. I do not drink espresso, as caffeine offers me an uneven burst of vitality degree all through my day. I hold my food regimen easy with a good stability of low sugar and wholesome protein.  

I sometimes begin work at round 7:30 a.m. 

My weekly schedule follows a sample: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are full of speculative conferences or to-dos spanning as much as 16 straight hours, whereas Tuesdays and Thursdays are focus days, the place I do not take any conferences except the conferences are essential and cannot be rescheduled. 

My work schedule philosophy follows one in every of Y Combinator founder Paul Graham’s essays describing the distinction between a supervisor’s schedule and maker’s schedule.

The supervisor’s schedule is for bosses and follows a sample the place every day is lower into half-hour to one-hour intervals, and by default the supervisor is predicted to alter what they’re doing each hour to take care of completely different issues of the enterprise. 

But there’s one other manner of utilizing time — the maker’s schedule — the place a massive block of alone time is reserved to create issues. The maker’s schedule goals to reduce time wasted in context switching and maximizes productiveness to ship outputs that require extra deep pondering. 

Although a supervisor’s schedule may help distribute my capability to unlock bottlenecks in verticals of the corporate, I additionally want focus time to strategize and steer the corporate towards the precise path. On my focus days, I spend my morning earlier than eight:30 a.m. sending and responding to emails and messages to ensure I am not the blocker on any workflows. 

Between eight:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., I evaluate all of the workflows and new documentations throughout my firm and atone for the newest trade dynamics. Based on suggestions from my supervisor’s schedule on yesterday, I evaluate areas of the corporate that require probably the most consideration. 

Then I categorize my to-dos into 4 quadrants: essential and pressing, essential and never pressing, not essential and pressing, and never essential and never pressing. 

This relies on writer Stephen Covey’s technique for elevated productiveness.

Upon prioritizing my record of to-dos, I atone for messages once more for 30 minutes at 10:30 a.m. to sync with my crew forward of their day. 

I sometimes cook dinner and eat my lunch between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. I sometimes keep a low-starch food regimen for lunch to keep away from uneven distribution of vitality within the afternoon. I handle 50 folks, and through lunch, I conduct one-on-one conferences with my teammates. After lunch, I attend numerous firm standups earlier than I’m going again to my focus day. 

Between 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on focus days, I strategize and put collectively deliverables that require deep pondering. 

Some examples of focus-day duties embrace drafting firm OKRs (goals and key outcomes), creating board and investor decks, product roadmapping, writing documentations and briefings for product, doing quarterly budgeting and useful resource allocation, scoping for brand new hires, and figuring out gaps in every day operations and dealing on resolutions. 

Maker’s time helps me get out of reactive pondering. I sometimes postpone huge selections till I’ve time to interact in gradual pondering, the place I may be deliberate, methodical, and rational. Maker’s time additionally helps me keep level-headed whereas being bombarded with a ton of knowledge day by day from staff, purchasers, and traders. 

I eat dinner between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. and briefly recalibrate myself earlier than logging again onto work at 7:30 p.m. 

Between 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., I get one other two-hour spurt of productiveness. I then hop on a fast name with my China crew to get aligned on key initiatives for the day earlier than heading to mattress at round 10:30 p.m.. 



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