Adam Griffin is the Director of Enterprise Sales at Automattic, the web company behind Jetpack, WooCommerce, Longreads, WordPress.com, and more.
He is the also the Founder of Better Than Yesterday Publishing and former founder of Bodeefit, a fitness community of over 500,000 people worldwide.
In addition, Adam is an author who writes about how to create the best version of ourselves. He has been featured on Men’s Journal, INC.com, The Huffington Post, Men’s Fitness, Lifehack, Entrepreneur On Fire and more.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’ve spent the bulk of my career building high growth tech startups, both as a founder and early hire. My background is in building sales organizations, but I’ve been deeply involved in marketing and operations as well.
Writing has long been my creative outlet outside of work. I’ve published two books, both in the personal development genre, and my writing has been featured on most major outlets including INC.com, Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, SELF Magazine, Huffington Post, and others.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Generally speaking, I’m an early morning person, so I love a day that starts early and fast with a workout or some deep work. I certainly have my days where I’ll take advantage of some much needed sleeping in, but I prefer the early starts.
I have intermittent fasted for the vast majority of the last 7 or 8 years, so I don’t have much of a breakfast routine to speak of. After getting the kids out the door, few days look the same for me, but most include some combination of fitness, work, and exploring.
I can do my work from anywhere, so being in the beautiful front range of Colorado I like to mix up my surroundings between Boulder, Golden, a few cool Denver neighborhoods, and home.
I train at an amazing powerlifting gym which has become a second home for me, and the trails surrounding my neighborhood are a natural gym alternative.
Picking up my kids from daycare and school is my favorite routine of all, and I treasure the few hours I get to spend with them every evening until bedtime.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’ve worked remotely for a large chunk of my career, including the past 4 years, and a 3 year stint before that when I was running my own startup. I absolutely love remote work, because it aligns with my general philosophy and lifestyle.
I treasure autonomy, because I produce my best work this way, so having the space to work when and how I see fit is immensely beneficial for my overall well being. That being said, you do have to strike a balance between autonomy and isolation.
It can be very depressing to work from home every day, so I have to make conscious efforts to still be an active participant in the world around me, which is why coffee shops tend to be my office of choice.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
I schedule everything on my calendar, from a workout to a small task at work. If it’s not on the calendar it’s not going to get done, so I start with that. If you saw my daily calendar on any given day, it’s blocked from beginning to end with the things I’m going to accomplish that day.
I also think there’s more hours in the day than we may give the day credit for. I have 2 busy kiddos, a happy marriage, a demanding workload, and still find time for friends, relaxing, and staying fit.
That’s not a brag in the slightest. I think everyone could manage that schedule if they’re being mindful of the way they spend their time, and mapping out their days on their calendar to make the most of them.
5) What does work life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
This is a topic that’s never really resonated with me. It insinuates that one is better than the other, or that you must balance the yin and yang of the two. But I love my work life and I love my home life, so they’re very intertwined.
Maybe that’s an added benefit of remote work that I’m not always conscious of, but my days generally drift between work and non-work from the time I wake up to the time i go to bed, and it’s a fluid process. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Fasting. Heavy weight lifting. Reading. Time blocking. They are the 4 things I have done consistently for as long as I can remember, and they have an enormous outsized impact on my life. Fasting allows me to have control over my food, not the other way around.
Lifting heavy weights has numerous benefits when compared to other forms of training, and can be done in a short amount of time. Reading keeps me in a growth mindset. And time blocking allows me to be productive day in and day out.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
This is a loaded question. If I had to pare down a list, I’d say:
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield (for writers)
- Anything You Want by Derek Sivers (for entrepreneurs)
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (for anyone)
And of course I highly recommend my own book, Redwood: A Guide to Leading a Remarkable Life, which is my own synthesis of the best habits and advice I’ve acquired and utilized over the years.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Plan. Taking 10 minutes to plan my day is the difference in a success and mediocrity. It is easy to waste a day when you haven’t told yourself what to do. But when it’s been planned and mapped out on a calendar, executing is the easy part.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
It’s a process! It’s akin to golf for me – you can improve your game, but you can never perfect your game. Have some grace with yourself as you try to improve the broad strokes of your life.
I’ve spent far too many years being overly hard on myself, when I could have been celebrating my small wins along the way.
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