Bringing about dramatic and lasting social change requires lifelong leadership and learning lessons along the way.
Typical Tuesday with Acumen Fund's James Wu
Our Typical Tuesday series is designed to give you a window into what real social innovators’ work actually looks like. Here, we ask Acumen Fund's James Wu to describe a typical Tuesday in his own words.
Name: James Wu
City: London, United Kingdom. Sometimes New York. Though my heart is in Brooklyn.
Job: Manages brand and creative direction at Acumen Fund.
Midnight-2:00am - Lovely wife tells me to stop working and to come to bed. I fire some emails back and forth with my team in NY. I tell them to stop working and go home. They tell me to stop working and go to bed.
2:00am-8:00am – I go to bed. I sleep and dream. I'm so baffled and amused by a bizarre dream that I force myself to wake up and analyze it.
8:01am - I promptly forget all the details of the dream and sigh.
8:01am-8:30am - Make tea, check email, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Reader. Schedule a few tweets and tumblr posts for the day.
8:30am-10:00am – I work. This is the quietest and therefore the most precious and productive time of my day. I try to get most of my thinking and writing done during this window.
10:00am-11:00am - Enjoy breakfast with the lovely wife, then walk to the office unless it's cold and rainy, which is most of the time in London, then I take the bus. I prefer the top-deck of the double deckers because it’s a better way to see the city and the natural light is great for reading. It’s the only time during the day I really get to read a book.
11:00am-2:00pm - I work, which includes some combination of reading, scribbling, sketching, writing, diagramming, powerpointing, thinking, tweeting, liking, tumbling, and surfing the interwebs for inspiration. But, mostly just a lot of emailing—especially with my colleagues in India, Pakistan, Nairobi, and Accra, who (with the exception of Accra) are all up and
working before me.
2:00pm-3:00pm – The team in NY starts their day and I join a team call with colleagues in NY to discuss topics ranging from leadership to fundraising.
3:01pm-3:30pm – My stomach reminds me I haven’t eaten, so I scarf down a sandwich from a nearby cafe at my desk while catching up on the world through Facebook and Twitter. I skim through Google Reader and save stuff I want to read for later.
3:30pm-4:30pm - I try to work and ignore the emails piling up in my inbox.
4:30pm-5:00pm - Skype with someone who is interested in learning more about Acumen and seeking career advice.
5:00pm-6:00pm - I try to work and ignore the emails piling up in my inbox.
6:00pm-6:30pm - Respond to urgent emails that can't wait.
6:30pm-7:00pm - My colleague Vinay and I go to the Marquis Cornwallis (a pub on the corner) for a cheeky pint or two.
7:00pm-8:30pm - Walk home and sit down to a lovely home-cooked dinner prepared by my lovely wife. We chat about her lovely day and whatever it is she read that day. (She's getting her Masters in English lit.)
8:30pm-10:30pm – We shamefully hop back on our computers and work.
10:30pm-11:50pm - Watch whatever TV show we're currently obsessed with on Netflix. Right now it's Breaking Bad.
11:51pm-11:58pm - A thought enters my mind in this window that despite how it must look or sound, I actually have the best job in the world and the most wonderful life, and feel so grateful and blessed.
11:59pm - I kiss my lovely wife goodnight.
00:00am - I begin my day.
Follow James Wu and Acumen Fund on Twitter.
Photo: Parris Whittingham
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