I’ve talked about Jack Dorsey before in an article on the life lessons we can learn from him on startups and hard work. He encourages everyone to never stop looking out for ideas as they are everywhere around us, to be passionate about what we do as this will help us keep moving forward no matter what.
Together with that, there are the lessons he shares on the power of simplicity, having your own systems and metrics, using data to your advantage, and being action-oriented.
Now, let’s see how exactly he’s doing his thing:
1. Have themed days.
The first and most curious thing is that he has themed days.
In an article on the uncommon habits of successful entrepreneurs, I mention his tendency to work harder than anyone else we hear about in the industry, but to keep his focus on one side of the business each day.
In an interview for Fast Company, he says this:
‘All my days are themed. Monday is management. At Square we have a directional meeting, at Twitter we have our opcomm [operating committee] meeting. Tuesday is product, engineering, and design. Wednesday is marketing, growth, and communications. Thursday is partnership and developers. Friday is company and culture. It works in 24-hour blocks. On days beginning with T, I start at Twitter in the morning, then go to Square in the afternoon. Sundays are for strategy, and I do a lot of job interviews. Saturday is a day off.’
That’s something many other entrepreneurs are doing in their own way.
The closest example that comes to mind is Steve Jobs. He used to dedicate Mondays to executive team meetings and Wednesdays to marketing.
So, how is this related to productivity?
The benefits of working on one aspect of the business each day are a few:
First, it’s about focus.
You know that working smart and actually getting ahead is all about concentrating on the right thing and paying your whole attention to it. But we get so distracted by everything else going on and the other tasks on our list. And we end up jumping from one activity to the next, without really focusing on any of them long enough to actually get things done.
But knowing you’ll only work on a particular side of the job today makes things much simpler and easier.
This also gives some categorization. And just like you group similar things in every area of life, so it works here. We understand things better when they are grouped. It’s a way to get more organized too.
The concept of having themed days builds discipline because you do the work about every aspect that needs to be covered at the right time, regardless of whether or not you feel like it.
What’s more, you and everyone else in the company can have everything ready for the meeting, the new project, the presentation, or whatever it is you’ll be doing on that exact day.
2. Daily walks.
Another thing Jack Dorsey does that helps him run the 2 companies smoothly is more of a personal habit that keeps him healthy and focused. That’s taking a daily walk. He refers to it as his ‘thinking time’.
Luckily, the offices of Twitter and Square are pretty close to each other and Jack himself lives within walking distance from both.
Actually, he considers this one of the key factors to being able to work that much and manage every aspect of the work in the companies.
in an interview for Business Insider, he says this:
‘As a reminder, both companies are across the street from each other, so that allows me to be at both companies every single day and be present,’
3. 100-hour workweek.
Jack likes to say that ‘Success is never accidental’. And I can’t think of a better proof of the fact that hard work pays off than every week of his life.
He has an 8-hour shift in the first company, followed by another 8 hours in the second, and works 6 days a week.
That’s the official information, of course, but it’s needless to say that he may work even more, and continue doing it on Saturday as there’s always something to get done.
Well, in the best case that’s a 96-hour workweek.
Does this mean we can’t start a business if we don’t invest that many hours in it? No, of course. It’s all about creating systems that work for you, knowing when to say ‘no’, prioritizing, delegating and managing your time effectively.
But we’re talking about running 2 billion-dollar companies here, so Jack’s case is a bit different.
4. Morning ritual.
Here’s another thing Jack Dorsey does to be able to stay on this insane schedule: his morning routine.
You probably know I’m a big fan of these as I’m writing about waking up early and kickstarting the day all the time, have talked about it on the podcast, and admire all successful people who get up before dawn, have a special routine that sets the tone for the whole days, and get to work right after it.
So with Jack Dorsey, it looks like this: He wakes up at 5, meditates, has a quick workout and makes coffee.
Simple, short and powerful. Enough to get you energized, and physically, mentally and emotionally ready to win the day.
Some other simple habits and tricks that help Jack Dorsey handle the crazy schedule he’s taken on are:
- keeping a diary where he tracks his progress;
- planning everything;
- staying present;
- making sure everyone in the companies communicate with each other and cooperates.
I believe we can all replicate some of the things Jack Dorsey does daily and see how it goes for our goals and business. Are you willing to try his work schedule?