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In 7 Hours With, we explore the routines of leading professionals in their space to learn the when, why, where and how they work. In each diary, we will look at what they’re doing at seven different check-ins throughout their day.
Katy Donahue is the head of strategy and operations at Fabletics, a company that designs high-performance activewear. Before starting in this role, Katy worked as a chief of staff at Fabletics parent company, TechStyle Fashion Group.
I woke up at 6:30 AM to make an early Barry’s class (Barry’s Bootcamp is a workout class focused on HIIT cardio). I am most definitely NOT a morning person so don’t have a routine that I stick to every day.
I also live a short 10 minute walk from the beach, so if I’m not heading to a morning workout class, I’ll try to walk to the beach to get a little fresh air before work. On days that I walk to the beach in the morning, I’ll stop by a local coffee shop to grab an iced coffee for my walk back.
I live in LA, so I drive to work every day. I drink a lot of coffee, but don’t usually eat breakfast except for the occasional smoothie. I usually get to the office around 9 AM, although that could be earlier or later depending on my meeting schedule for the day.
The first thing I do in the office every morning is head to fill up my water bottle before diving into the day which is typically busy. I head up strategy and operations at Fabletics, which has over 200 employees and a lot of moving parts. The bulk of my role involves overseeing our market research, analytics, and general strategy for the brand.
After I’ve gotten settled with my coffee and water bottle, I usually spend the next hour reviewing my calendar for the day and nailing down my 1-3 top priorities for the day. I travel occasionally for work – to our 26 retail stores, to our fulfillment centers, or to conferences – so those days look a little different depending on the week or month.
I have a packed schedule of meetings this morning, and have been running around trying to get action items done for each. I’m typically the most productive in the mornings, so I do usually try to schedule meetings in the afternoon and work time in the mornings, but that’s not always possible with a global team. Today is one of those days where meetings invade my usual “work block” time.
I take time to each lunch every day around noon — I am not productive while hungry! I try to leave my desk to eat lunch, either with my team or catching up with a co-worker who I don’t see frequently, but I’m definitely guilty of eating at my desk during busy weeks.
Today, I’ve gotten all my major meetings done in the morning, so I have plenty of time this afternoon to get work done. I’m a huge productivity nerd, so this time is sacred to me. I’ve turned off all email notifications on my desktop and mobile – it started as an experiment and I kept with it when it seriously increased my productivity.
My boss and key co-workers can call or swing by my desk if something’s urgent, but it’s helped eliminate distractions during “deep work” time. Another thing I love to do on a weekly basis to boost productivity is my weekly “procrastination hour.” I schedule an hour every week (for me, it’s Thursday mornings) to work on the things I’ve been procrastinating, which has also been a huge game changer!
On Friday afternoons, I also have a recurring block on my calendar to review the next two weeks and make sure I have enough “work time” blocks.
I try to leave the office by 6 to head home and cook dinner or to grab dinner with co-workers or friends. If I didn’t workout that morning, I’ll try to catch an evening dance class with some of my coworkers. I don’t have any major after-work routines, but I try to fit in a quick meditation and stretch most nights.
I generally jump back online around 8 or 9 PM for an hour to catch up on emails, read industry articles, and check in with what our customers are saying on social media. It’s a good time for me to also start thinking about priorities for the next day and to reflect on any longer-term, strategic priorities. I try to be laptop down by 9:30 PM, although I’m not always amazing about sticking to that rule. It’s all a work in progress!