We also discussed work-life equilibrium, such as patterns, delegation, and imagination. What follows is that portion of our conversation, edited for length and clarity.
Eric Bandholz: what’s your morning routine?
Ronnie Teja: I managed to get up every morning and check my Stripe account. But lately I don’t check it after every few days. My stress level has diminished.
Bandholz: I have a morning routine before getting to work, and then a routine at work. The routine at home is a lot more regimented than the one at work. I am a rower. Occasionally I’ll get up at 4:40 in the morning. I will return, eat breakfast, and get my daughter off to school.
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I then head to the office around 8:30. Fifty-percent of the time I’ve got an idea to do immediately — like a standard entrepreneur. Sometimes I’ll come across the team involved. Other times I will bite my lip and hold off. I personally will usually catch up with a couple important individuals to guarantee what is going well. Then we have got our 9:00 a.m. assembly.
Teja: Can you see in the daytime?
Bandholz: No. Just short stuff — Reddit, Twitter.
Teja: I’ve been trying to not touch my phone in my morning. This is hard. I read for about thirty minutes. And this is the weird thing. For all my life I made fun of people who journal. Now, just recently, I am the one doing it. I write in my journal every morning. I understand why people do it.
If I go to bed with a matter, in the morning that the solution somehow magically appears when I write in my journal. I haven’t done anything like this. Concerning reading, it’s a great mental exercise, right? It’s similar to meditating; it calms me down.
Can you check your email in the morning?
Bandholz: Not much. It is the exact same for text messages. If somebody texts or emails me, I won’t return to them sometimes for eight hours.
Teja: Have you turned off all your notifications? Are you making a choice to never look over your mobile phone? I can’t stay away from my phone for over, possibly, 45 minutes. When I play squash I leave it in the men’s locker room. That’s it, more or less.
Bandholz: I have Twitter and Instagram alarms turned off. I truly don’t have WhatsApp. I truly don’t have Facebook. So none of them are on my mobile phone. I typically respond to emails when I get to my office.
Smartphones are addictive. One of my goals in the past couple of years has been disconnecting from the specifics of this business so that it might grow without me. I can now check out for four days, not read my email, and the business functions just fine. By not responding to notices, I’m letting people figure it out by themselves.
I am still involved with the venture. I still have to set the vision for the company and set expectations for the group. I’m still a product guy. I really like being included in the product.
Teja: It is like you’ve raised to another level with Beardbrand.
Bandholz: Yes. Plus there’s value in boredom. When I fly, by means of example, I do not get the wi-fi. I’ll sit there. But frequently that’s when the ideas start coming. Consider integrating boredom in your life. Your imagination will go through the roof.
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