A Day In the Life of Finn in 2020
Last week, I shared a look behind-the-scenes into my everyday life and routine. It was so much fun taking you along for the ride on a typical day around here and I thought it would be interesting for Finn to share his days (because they are a heck of a lot different than my days!). So take it away, Finn!
A Day in the Life of Finn
I used to have a terrible morning routine if you can even call it that. I was a multi-snooze guy. Often times my alarm would go off for hours! Understandably, this bad habit aggravated my lovely wife (who as you know, REALLY loves her sleep) and eventually, an ultimatum was handed down. After much consideration, I chose her happiness over the additional rounds of poor 9-minute naps.
Once I got past this bad habit, it became a lot easier to spring out of bed in the mornings. Of course, the moment I finally had this 6:00 am routine down, Casey goes and buys this ridiculously comfortable pregnancy pillow. I swear, it it my nemesis. Every morning I have to fight the urge to turn over and nestle up to this soft warm pillow. Casey has created such a comfortable sleeping environment with blackout shades and comfy body pillows that it makes getting up a true challenge! Now that you understand the struggle I face every morning, let’s get on with my day…
Wake Up and Let’s Go!
6:30 am: Some people find a nice relaxing start to the day as the best option – maybe a sit-down breakfast with coffee and the news. While I agree that sounds peaceful, my mind does not give me this choice. From the moment I wake up, my mind is racing. I think about projects at work, what meeting I have that day, upcoming DIY projects, etc.
My love/hate relationship with my hair is also on full display. Every morning I wake up with what appears to be some nightmare version of a mohawk and there is nothing that can fix it besides a nice warm shower.
Keep in mind that I have my own bathroom, so I am able to quickly head in and shower before Casey gets up. I prefer it pretty hot (Casey’s brothers are into cold showers and I do not understand how they can do it – mentally tough!) Once I’m done with the shower, I do my morning hygiene routine and get dressed before heading downstairs. The more work I can do the night before to prep for the morning, the better my day goes. This includes laying out my clothes for the next day in the guest room and making sure I have made those critical fashion decisions in advance!
7:15 am: I get my dual green smoothie fix. I have this high nutrient green juice and also a spinach/berry protein shake. I need to consume a lot of food in the morning and this allows me to do it on the go. I usually also grab a spoonful of cashew butter and guzzle some almond milk, as well. I grab Casey’s morning shot and we knock that out before I head out the door. Thankfully, it is only a stomach injection (her blood thinner), so it is over quickly. My wife is tough!
I grab my healthy, and #FrugalFeb approved, lunch from the fridge, throw in my AirPods for the commute, and fill my water bottle. I check with Alexa about the weather forecast, making sure I am prepared for the rough Chicago weather. Finally, I say goodbye to Casey (and her belly), giving her a nice long hug and kiss. She is always so warm and happy in the mornings and it’s hard to say goodbye.
8:00 am: I walk about ten minutes to the Blue Line stop because, unlike Casey, I have a 45-minute commute facing me every morning. I’m very thankful that I don’t have to drive. Being able to listen to music or podcasts, read, or even begin working while on the train is a blessing.
On my walk to the Irving Park stop, there is a stretch under the tracks where a lot of pigeons hang out and sometimes they all sit up on the beams above. This is a minefield one must traverse carefully (yep, I’m talking about bird poop). I have yet to get a direct hit, but I have seen it and been in the line of fire. My advice? Always be aware of your surroundings when it comes to the pigeons!
The subway station is outside and in-between the highway, so it can be quite windy and cold, not to mention loud. Thankfully, the train usually arrives within two to three minutes of my getting to the platform, so I am quickly back indoors.
The Blue Line is a popular route for commuters and most mornings my train ends up being fully packed with shoulder to shoulder commuters. The blessing of moving out to Irving Park is that when I get on there are usually still seats available and I never have to wait for multiple trains, like people do at later stops. I usually sit about half the time, but when standing I end up checking the stock market or reading work emails.
When I finally get to my stop downtown, I am lucky because it actually connects to my building, meaning I don’t have to face the weather again. I arrive in my lobby and head up to the 7th floor. We have a newly developed office space in the Loop and the atrium is stunning. We only have offices for a handful of people, so I have a corner desk with my two monitors and I begin to crunch away!
8:45 am: I am a Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Manager for a data security company, here in Chicago. While that is a super exciting title (NOT!!), the role itself is actually very rewarding. The first thing I do when I get to my desk is scan my emails. I review some of our morning dashboards and data updates to align myself with our performance, focusing on operational and financial metrics in Power BI and Excel. Like most financial professionals, I live in Microsoft Excel, even applying it to our DIY projects at home! Once I have addressed any immediate fires, I head to my meeting with our consulting teams.
10:00 am: We are currently running some large projects, focused on improving our systems management and data warehouse management, so we meet and discuss the project status and actionable events. I only have about one meeting per day which is how I prefer it. I really like to focus and be productive and sometimes meetings have a tendency to produce little substance while soaking up valuable time.
11:00 am: I throw my pods back in at my desk and begin to number crunch in Excel (my buddies and I always say “crunch, crunch, crunch” in reference to our nerdy jobs and tendencies). I work on updating our revenue forecast, reviewing upcoming deal profitability, and revising our quarterly forecast. Often times, I am working on large data sets and analyzing our raw data, looking for trends and insights within the data. I will usually work like this for a few hours, only pausing to get more water or to drain said water. I also snack a lot at my desk, I constantly need healthy snacks to keep me going in the early afternoon since I am a late lunch eater. I love this trail mix and snack on it while still crunching away!
I am self-diagnosed as “overly intense and focused” when I am at work. I am still the goofball I am at home, but at work I tend to lock in on my tasks and I appear to have RBF (resting b*tch face) at times. Casey often says she would be afraid of me and not want to work with me because I’m so intense, yet she forgets that she is actually my boss already, as Playbook CEO! I enjoy my work and I am always looking for a challenge or growth opportunity. If I was bored and had a repetitive job, I would go nuts. The beauty of my job is that only about 25% of my time is planned and the rest is always evolving and focused on the demands of the business.
1:00 pm: I take a break and go get my lunch from the fridge, warming it up for about a minute or so. Most of the time, I will eat at my desk, alone. If I have to go out for lunch or get something, then I will usually eat with coworkers. My lunch today consists of sweet potatoes, beans, rice, broccoli, and chicken (all of which I prepped on Sunday). Having a bowl full of this is a launching pad for my afternoon. I feel reenergized and fueled up! If I go get a sandwich or tacos, I often feel sluggish later in the day, but sometimes you’ve just got to indulge in a little Potbelly’s to keep your sanity.
2:00 pm: Similar to my morning, there is always work to be done. In this case, I am working on preparing a PowerPoint (aka “deck”) for our upcoming budget cycle. Transforming the data I have collected and reviewed this morning into slides can sometimes be difficult, but as long as I do not get caught in the minutiae, I can get it done quickly.
5:00 pm: With those specific tasks done for the day, I shift my focus to some of my long-term projects, like dashboard construction and report distribution. I am running a background project for my business unit, centered around delivering top-down metrics for the managers and executives, working to give them insights they currently lack. Developing this in Power BI is a challenge for me, but one I love. I need to think like a data scientist and a business analyst all at once, while also creating something with real value and advancing our capabilities as an organization.
I tend to work rather late, usually not heading home until around 6:30 pm (at the earliest). This allows me to be fully prepped for the next day and also chat with some of my counterparts in Singapore and/or Australia, if needed. (Our parent company is in Singapore so we often have to align meeting times.)
6:30 pm: The reverse commute is usually the same, just colder. By the time I get home, Casey is usually snuggled up with the TV on and typing away on her computer. She is always working!
I usually change into my comfy clothes right away (shorts and a long sleeve tee) and grab a small dinner or snack as we catch up on the day. A lot of times there are Playbook matters to discuss, and I try my best to give her the same level of effort I give my work tasks.
I end the night by prepping some food for the next day, doing a quick workout on the rowing machine, or sometimes just sitting down and watching a show with Casey. We love spending time together and it never feels like enough, so sometimes a good laugh on the couch is just what we need.
10:00 pm: I help Casey go to bed and I famously tuck her in with her childhood blankets and that damn heavenly pregnancy pillow she has (NEMESIS!). I usually stay up for about an hour or so and watch some west coast hoops or some sci-fi Netflix show that she has no interest in. If you’ve got outer space, post-apocalyptic world, or thrilling crime drama – I am here for it!
11:30 pm: I lock all the doors and turn off the lights before heading up to bed where Casey is already deep into her much-desired sleep. When I crawl into bed, she usually acknowledges me but lays there undeterred by my cuddle attempts. She is like an oven, always warm, and I have icicles for feet, so I try to keep them at bay. Usually, I just kiss her on the forehead and say good night, but sometimes I find myself hunting for a little nighttime kick from her belly, as it is the only “alone time” I have with the baby right now.
Eventually, when we add a third person to our lives, this routine will all get blown up, but I couldn’t be more excited for the challenge!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.