Day in the Life – Working as a Creative Professional in LA

Day in the Life – Working as a Creative Professional in LA

Every day is an opportunity to do your best work, to learn something new, and to give value to the lives of those around you. I aim to do this every day, so I can put my signature on the efforts I do, and feel good about the impact I make daily. Hello, I’m Matthew Encina.
I work as a creative professional in beautiful Los Angeles, California. In a previous life, I was a designer, animator, and a creative director working on TV commercials. Now I teach and create content at The Futur, where I help creative professionals sharpen their skills and earn money, doing what they love.
While no two days are exactly alike I hope to share a glimpse of what the world looks like, through my lens. This is a typical day in my life.
I set my alarm every day at 6am… and a second one at 6:30. I don’t always get up on the first one, so I have a backup. I love the early mornings because I have the most energy, and space for myself.
Before anything, I must have coffee. I usually have coffee in one of two ways.
When I want Hot coffee, I use my Aeropress, which takes about 2 minutes to make.
When I want something chilled, I enjoy a smooth glass of cold brew, which I steep 8 hours overnight in my fridge. Most people say staring at a screen the
first thing in the morning is a terrible way to start your day. However, I find
because of the quality of the people I follow I’m often inspired, learn new
things, and can engage in some stimulating dialogue. This helps to wake
up my brain and gets me ready for the next part of my morning.
Once I’m fully awake and caffeinated, I work out my mind or my body. Most days
I’ll head to the gym where I lift weights, rock climb, or do calisthenics.
Working out helps me to keep mental clarity because of all the mood-boosting
chemicals that are released in the process. I know in the long run I’d like
my body to be as sharp as my mind so I make sure to work out at least three to
five times a week to stay healthy. On the day’s I don’t work out my body I stay in
and right to work out my mind. Writing helps bring order to the chaos of my
thoughts. It gives form to what I’ve been thinking
about and helps me clarify my ideas. Lately, I’ve been thinking and writing
a lot about my creative career how I got here, and the process behind it. That’s
because I had to give a talk on the subject recently at a local event. So
it’s been on the top of my mind. After my morning workout I do a quick check of my
email before I head into work. This helps me understand if there are any urgent
matters that have popped up, to help me frame and organize my day.
I usually roll into work around 10:00 a.m. on Monday we do all of our weekly planning so the
entire team can use the rest of the week to work. As one of the managers here I
lead the discussion on what needs to get done for the week. Recently, we’ve been
using these meetings to run Design Sprints to focus on improving the user
experience on the digital products we sell. Design sprints are a facilitated
way of problem-solving and innovating using the collective brainpower of a
group. It was developed that Google years ago, and has been popularized by Jake
Knapp’s book. I’ll leave more resources about this in
the description if you want to learn more. After I’m done meeting with the
team, I recollect my thoughts and plan out my own week. I crack open Notion, my
favorite organization tool, to manage my to do’s for the week. This includes the
content I need to produce, people I need to follow up with, and plan for a little
time to chip away at some of my long-term goals. Monday mornings are when I get the most email. And if you’ve seen one of my previous videos you, know how easy it is to get sucked into a black hole of wasted time… sorting and
responding to your inbox. To save time I use email templates to help me respond
faster to common inquiries. And to manage all of my meetings and calls I use an
app called the Calendly. It’s a link that I send out to people so that they can
book time with me whenever I have an opening. This syncs with all of my
calendars, so I spend less time coordinating appointments and avoid
double-booking a timeslot. One of my favorite times of the day is lunch.
Luckily here in LA we have so many good food options– especially if you’re trying
to eat healthy. My usual go-to is a well-prepared protein with vegetables on
the side. When I get back to the office I prepare for a long afternoon of deep
work. Before I start I make another cup of coffee to fight the 3 p.m. energy
slump. We have the Chemex at work and I usually make enough for me and a
co-worker. Focus ,focus, focus. From the afternoon till the end of the day, I
focus on writing and making content. Wy role as the chief content officer at The
Futur is to lead the editorial team, produce content, and help create the
curriculum for the educational products we sell. This takes a lot of brainpower
to do so I close my door and run a few focused sprints in 90-minute blocks. This
helps me get my work done uninterrupted from my co-workers, and free from the
distraction of the internet. At 5:00 p.m. music plays on the overhead speakers.
This is a cue for the entire company to step away from their work and take a
break together. This helps break up the day and spur up some camaraderie with
the team. One of our favorite activities at the moment is to play Super Smash
Brothers on Nintendo Switch. When I return to my desk I check my email
once again to see if there’s anything I need to respond to. I also spend time
here responding to people in the community. I reply to comments on our YouTube
videos, and answer questions in our private Facebook and Slack groups. For
the rest of the day if I still have creative juice in me, I do one more
sprint of work to wrap up any lingering to-do’s, and close any open thoughts.
During this period I also review the work of my team and give them feedback.
So when they come in the next day they have a clear direction on what to do
next. I usually end my day around 7 or 8 p.m. When I get home I like to cook. It
helps me to relax because it has nothing to do with my busy day. It helps me to
empty my mind and focus on making a good meal. On days when I’m completely spent,
I order takeout Los Angeles has some of the best diversity in food, and we’re quite
spoiled, because every place in town delivers. I usually like to close out my
day playing an hour of video games or catching up on a show. This helps me
detach and escape from thinking about work. It allows me to slow the momentum
of my thoughts and spend some quiet time with my wife. Sometimes she likes to draw during the evenings, which is perfect because I like to chill on the couch.
Once my energy and thoughts have slowed down, I head to bed. I set my alarm and do it all again the next day. And that’s a day in my life. The composition of the
days don’t always look like this. I like to spend one or two days of the week
working from home, or out of the office. Breaking up the regular routines help
me refocus and introduce new stimuli from other environments. If you’re
interested in learning more about how I organize my life or about my creative
process, let me know in the comments, and if you have questions, ask, and I’ll do my
best to answer them. If you’re curious about anything I spoke about in the
video, I’ve left links and resources for you in the description below.
With that out of the way, it’s time to get back to work.

Comments (100)

  1. Hi, thanks for the video, please tell more about your work sprints and how you work with notion

  2. Thanks for the vid, wondering about them earbuds you have on towards the end of the video. What brand are they?

  3. Hi Mr Matthew. Firstly, thanks for all the efforts in sharing your personal life with us. Truly inspiring.

    Some of us are either burnt out or still trying to fight the good fight.

    What is your thought on work-life balance (for creatives/designers/professionals)?

  4. Loving these videos so much.

  5. ¡Perfect content! very helpfull. I was pleased that you varied your days working in a different space or simply doing other things, I would like to implement that in my routine.

  6. Man, after watching this i'm motivated to be organized and structured as you!

  7. Awesome content! It would be cool to know all of the equipment you use throughout the day like technology, software, journals, pens, etc.

  8. You are one of my career goals, kababayan (not sure)!

  9. what device is that at 5:33?

  10. this video is an amazing work
    you did a great job
    thank you for that <3

  11. great video to give positive energy to all. Question thou, how you stay focus during the afternoon sprint?

  12. He works 10 hours a day and since I can imagine myself doing the similar job in a few years, I am genuinely curious to know what's his salary?

  13. LOL at 5:00 PM most people are already at home

  14. You're the man, Mathew. Very inspiring!

  15. Why would you dislike this video?

  16. Quick Aeropress tip – stop the plunge as soon as you hear the hiss – it will make your coffee less bitter and more flavourful 🙂

  17. This was super cool to see! Love getting inspiration from other people's day! I would love to see how you organize things, how you use Notion and that kinda of thing 🙂

  18. Love the way you share your day-organizing tip! as for a student, I really want to learn more about planning daily routines.

  19. Your work style is my goal, I cheer from Japan

  20. What apps that u use on your phone ?

  21. Live your life people and stop comparing yourself to "achievers" like this dude unless you wanna end up depressed and frustrated.

    Youtube and all the social medias for that matter are full of super successful, super creative, super social, super healthy and beautiful people but in fact, this could be a just one side of their life or even a complete hoax. They try to make believe that they are here to motivate you but what they really do is make you envious and deep down make you feel bad about your own life.

    The life that you live is no worse or no better than this dude's, just make sure you enjoy simple things in it and stop trying to live up to the standards that so many people on the internet are trying to set.

  22. That office looks amazing!

  23. How did you start that career bro

  24. Finally I found a perfect "A day in the life of developer or designer" this is the best video I've ever seen. Please keep posting 👍🏻

  25. Well , I regret writing this comment cuz you need to take time to reply to this one haha
    This is the Best routine ever , keep it up Matthew

  26. How is the clock called, seen in photo of this video

  27. 1:51 the tick chick in the background ⭐️GREAT VIDEO BTW💥

  28. Nice person respect from pakistan

  29. How much time do you spend on instagram, twitter just mindlessly scrolling? If any. Great video as always!

  30. Very interesting. I hate separating work and personal life and if that is something I have to do then that job/career is not for me. Pretty much all of my idols Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Aryton Senna, Frank Williams, etc dedicated their lives to what they do and that's the types of people I want to model after.

  31. Show us how to effectively use Notion.

  32. More on the creative process and bring projects to life- details on steps you take when planning and taking action.

  33. ryan holiday! nice one!

  34. How the f* you dislike something from Matthew? 80 don't have a backup alarm XD

  35. are you interested in traveling ? visit djerba

  36. I've been looking for the bag at 2:52!! What bag is it?? <3

  37. Would love to see more about your creative process! How do you come up with your best ideas and what do you do when you're "stuck in a rut" for design projects!

  38. Incredible Video Matt! Well done!

  39. Thanks for sharing Matt! Always appreciate your videos 🙂

  40. I would love to see how you set up Notion to work for you! Great video

  41. What are your educational degrees?

  42. wow, after wathcing this i realize how broke my life was

  43. What kind of your clock? It’s very beautiful

  44. Great vid. What team online platform are you using at 3:25? It looks really useful

  45. I'm from VN, I really love to learn from you bro! This video was inspired me a lot! Hopefully can see more useful tips from you for a productivity workday! Cheers!

  46. this make me want to kms

  47. When the next videooooooo????? I've already seen this like 20 times!!! Btw love your content

  48. What is your wage approximately thanks

  49. Love the video. I was looking for an app to help me organize my week and Notion is the best I've seen so far. Thank u Matthew!!

  50. Are there any apps/software you use to help keep you organized?

  51. Any suggestion for good content to follow in IG about Ui/Ux?

  52. It definitely looks like a perfect day…. Please show us how you organize your day and cretive process. I really love your videos!

  53. This is great, brother! I follow you on Linkedin and I'm so glad I found your Youtube channel. Being the creative director for my agency, it's always refreshing to see the day of a life with someone in a similar position as me. Looking forward to more of your content.

  54. Honestly, I love your videos. I want to be as successful as you.

    I'm 16 and I really would like a tip on where I could start. If you have any ideas, please fill me in on them. I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you, and please keep up the content, you're really inspiring.

  55. I’ve never been so excited to subscribe to someone’s YouTube channel! Wish you the best 🤝

  56. well done, great video Matt!!

  57. New to your channel would love to learn from you.😀

  58. I liked this video until I saw you using Suros Regime

  59. Why does he speak so slow lol

  60. Really great video Matthew! 🙏

  61. keep doing this content!

  62. This video is somehow satisfying to watch. Which also reminded me how much quality time I have wasted in a day xD

  63. I use your content to learn english and have fun!, nice voice, nice timing. Thank you!

  64. Thanks!, you made me back on track after watching your videos. Keep up the good work mate.

  65. i really wanna work with you guys , you guys just awesome

  66. Bro, you need to come to saigon it’s fun

  67. Thanks a lot for sharing buddy! We have a lot in common, even the hours are pretty the same in some cases. Cheers Matt!

  68. Hey Matthew! I know this is a stretch, or maybe not, but would you be interested in beta testing my app in December? The reason why I ask is because I’m working on a start up, Observe; allowing students an opportunity to test drive their future by observing professionals in their field etc. Observe will also allow professionals to share their insight in their respective field and build their personal brand etc

    If you’re not able to do beta testing, no worries, I totally understand. Maybe later. If you are, I would just add you to the list.

  69. This is awesome! More like this. Maybe you can also do an overview of how you use Notion and some of the other productivity apps so we can see some use cases in actual professional situations

  70. Nice! This motivated me to structure my time better and make time to relax in between work. 🙏🏽

  71. There was a graffiti artist who wasted his time doing nothing, ruined his own clothing business, friendship break-up, failed on his college and played too much online games. so basically he ruined his own life and yeah, that's me. But I know one thing about my self, I love art and I really do.

    Now, I have decided what should I commit for and that is becoming a designer. As a newbie self-taught designer choosing logo and brand identity as my discipline, learning, practicing, learning, practicing and so on for a month straight cause I know that I need to pay for what I've done with my life. You and Chris are my very first designer idol, you have inspired me a lot and I've been learning a lot from you guys and I'll keep doing this because I've promised to my self that one day, I'm gonna get to your level.

    Anyway man, thanks a lot for what you've done. Much love <3

  72. How do u organize your creatve work flow .

  73. hi Matthew could you make us a video about "Notion" and how it helps you to do your job? thx

  74. Do you find 7 hours of sleep enough? Have you tried different amounts and found that this was optimal for you?

  75. Beautiful video and even better lifestyle with a good work ethic, thank you for sharing. You have inspired me to build a better and more beautiful place at work, usually I focus on make the things work by I crave for some style and pleasant look.

  76. I Want to have that kind of routine. Very organized 👍

  77. s t i m u l a t i n g d i a l o g u e.

  78. Nice Bro… i loved it Hardworking and doing man! 👊🏼🧔🏻🏋️‍♂️

  79. Heei. Whats the e-mail client?

  80. What's tipe Dell monitor do you used ?

  81. Forgive me if you’ve already answered this somewhere (I just peeked at these recent comments first): can you provide insight on that button within your email app to choose saved email templates? Is that a feature of Spark Email? A third party plugin? I would LOVE a feature like this for my team. Thanks so much and appreciate you sharing your lens to the world!

  82. Matthew – great videos. Love your voice and the peaceful demeanor in which you talk about our hectic lives. Keep putting out the great content and keep up the good work.

  83. Yes, we like to know more about a productive life from your experience

  84. Very nice video, love the vibe!

  85. This is exactly my dream style of work! This is so impressive and motivating! Lovvvvve it so much!

  86. Sweet life there Matt. Nice story telling

  87. Can someone name that desk watch?

  88. Love how organized your description is for the video including how well laid out your time stamp and emojis are. 👍🏾

  89. Awesome video. Thanks for taking the time to make this. I'm going to give notion a try never heard of it.

  90. Det låter så som jag skulle vilja ha det och jobba på.

  91. hi matthew i found your youtube channel while watching reviews of apple products and clothing stuff; i was struck by your way of recording and editing videos since i am a graphic design student. keep it up, it gives me a lot of peace to look at your creative space, i hope you continue to put the subtitles option since it would make it easier for me to make your videos understandable so that it also reaches latin american people. greetings from mexico city you are cool 😎✌🏻

  92. Such a great idea of space and time management

  93. Please make video their you tell about good computer table , but it must be not rich

  94. I'd love to see a Notion set up video, love these videos man! Keep it going!

  95. This is so cool post more content weekly perhaps plus can you maybe do a video on how u got to, where u are now and what steps you took?

    Ps. I want to have some kind of career in the future that involves designing , manufacturing or interior design

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