Ryan Carson only works four days a week. In fact, all of Treehouse only works four days a week, doesn’t have any managers, and yet it’s still a fast-growing online coding school that brings technology education to the masses. Under Ryan’s guidance as co-founder and CEO, Treehouse is a blossoming venue to learn how to build a website or code an app. How does he get anything done with only a four-day work week? We asked Ryan to share his tips and to find out how he works.
Location: Portland, OR
Current Gig: CEO and Co-Founder, Treehouse
One word that best describes how you work: Standing.
Current mobile device: Nexus 5
Current computer: Chromebook Pixel
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why?
- Lift – Great at helping me create good habits like stretching, flossing my teeth and not eating candy.
- Mint – I was terrible at managing my personal money until I found this.
- Strong Lifts 5×5 (Android and iOS) – I love lifting weights so I use this app for my workout regime. Currently using a Rogue S-2 Squat Stand in my basement.
- FitBit– I’ve gotta get my 10,000 steps in every day!
- Rdio – My chosen music platform. Works great with our Sonos setup at home too.
What’s your workspace setup like?
We have 70 employees at Treehouse and we’re spread around the World. I work from our Portland office because it’s a really fun place to be. Standing desk, table tennis, and beer on tap. What’s not to love? 🙂 When I really need to get work done, I put my headphones on and ignore everybody.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
I reduced my daily email load from 100+ down to 10 with one simple thing: Convoy. It’s an internal app we built that’s a lot like Reddit. We don’t have managers at Treehouse so all communication has to be searchable and public. Now instead of people copying you on a stack of email (whether you actually need to be involved or not) you can simply go to Convoy and pull your information instead of have it forcibly pushed on you through email. It’s astonishing how much more productive I am now.
What’s your favourite to-do list manager?
I’m a fan of Asana. Simple, powerful and available on any device.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
My FitBit Flex. I love the game of trying to hit 10,000 to 20,000 steps daily. We also have a Treehouse FitBit club that gets pretty competitive 🙂
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?
I love asking folks questions about their life and sitting back and listening. I learned pretty early on in life that no one wants to hear you drone on about what’s important to you. Since almost everyone would rather talk about themselves, it’s fun and informative to simply invite them to talk and sit back and learn.
What do you listen to while you work?
I’m a big Calvin Harris fan. Perfect work music!
What are you currently reading?
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
This surprises everyone that knows me but I’m an introvert. I often go see movies by myself.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I love waking up early (4:54am to be exact) so I try to be asleep by 10pm to get in seven hours of sleep. I have a 3-year old and a 5-year old so that doesn’t always go as planned.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Treat other people like you want to be treated. I’m going to encourage my kids to read How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans?
I take every Friday off (along with the entire Treehouse company) and we still have a multi-million dollar business that’s growing insanely fast. I’ve learned it’s possible for me to spend a significant amount of time with my family and still run a hard-charging, venture-backed tech company.
Thanks for taking time to read this!
We’ve asked a handful of heroes, experts and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces and routines. Every week we’ll feature a new guest and the gadgets, apps, tips and tricks that keep them going. Want to suggest someone we should feature or questions we should ask? [contact text=”Let us know.”]