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Every Step Counts: 13 Things We’re Working on Improving This Week

Jul 10, 2014 5 min readWorkplace of the future
Photo of Courtney Seiter
Courtney Seiter

Former Director of People @ Buffer

We talk about “steps” a lot at Buffer-how many we’re aiming for every day, how many we’re getting and how we’re making changes to get more.

That’s because each member of the Buffer team gets a free Jawbone UP (among other neat perks) when they join us full time.

Why? Not only is general self-improvement part of Buffer’s core culture, exercise pops up quite often as a specific form of self-improvement for many of us. Here’s how Buffer founder Joel puts it:

In the last three years, I’ve gone from dabbling with exercise to it becoming something I do every weekday without fail. At first I had no idea what to do at the gym, so I asked my brother, who’s a personal trainer. I then went a few times with a good friend and soon I was hooked.

Over time, I developed this into a daily ritual so strong that I feel a pull towards it, and by doing it consistently I feel fantastic and can more easily take on other challenges. I recently discovered that exercise is a keystone habit which paves the way for growth in all other areas. I’ve also found that it helps me to get high quality sleep each night.

We’ve written before about the power of exercise to make you happier and it can also help you sleep better and reduce stress. Once you make something like this a habit, it’s easier than you think to get moving every day.

Here’s what each Buffer team member is working on this week!

We love hearing your improvement goals, too—tell us about them in the comments so we can cheer you on and learn from your goals!

(Psst: We love chatting about each other’s improvements, too. See all of our comments here.)

Buffer team’s weekly improvements

Dave – Working on my daily routine this week with some fun plans too, it’s going to be a busy week! Going to take opportunities to catch up on sleep, spend time with family and keep on top of my steps and activity goals :) My main improvements will be reaching my Jawbone sleep and steps goals :)

Brian – for the past two weeks I’ve slowed down on reading and just general “brain growth.” This week I’m aiming to read or listen to an insightful podcast each night during cooking or other downtime. When I first moved to SF I had this flow down for the first couple weeks, just setting aside 30 mins to 1 hour per night to disconnect and focus on some other mental stimulus. This week feels like a great time to pick that back up!

Steven – It looks like I’ve finally picked up my exercise routine again. That feels good. However I feel I have been a bit slow on reading in the past week due to more social events brought by World Cup. My main improvement is to shoot for getting back in track on this for this week.

Rodolphe – Alright, so meditation has been up there for quite some time, it’s starting to be an easier habit to entertain: 4 times a week feels like the right amount. Sleep is important too, trying to aim for higher quality sleep (invest in better pillow, no screen-time before bed, fiction reading…). Also, setting a couple of hours apart for a special project in November: exploring a possible art fundraising event in Paris.

Mary – Enjoying my last week here on Maui. Focusing on disconnecting in the evening to be especially present with the people I’m spending time with. I’m also focusing on reading every night before bed. Working out has been a little challenging for me here as I’ve been starting my days earlier, then it gets quite toasty in the afternoon. Focusing on making this a number 1 priority this week to make sure I get three runs in. Lots of water!

Tom – I’m hoping to be able to release the Android update to 100% of users. We ran into some issues with older devices last week that I’ll be working through in order to support them. I’m in San Francisco this week so while I’ll be going to the gym I’m hoping to hit my 10,000 for each day I’m here! I’d like to walk around a little and check out the city :) Also looking forward to getting some more reading done in lieu of Netflix!


This week my productivity method du jour is working in 90-minute blocks (about 4 a day). This is a recommendation from our own Leo. One day in and it feels great; definitely packs a lot of focus into a short amount of time. I also want to lock down a domain for all my productivity experiment blog posts this week so I can get all my notes transferred there. My other focus goal is spending time with my family this week–I’m visiting my parents in Memphis and want to make a lot of time to hang with them and enjoy being together.

Leo – Super excited to have my family in town for the week! My one key goal is to keep my gym routine with 3 sessions this week going as much as I can, while I also want to spend as much time with my family as possible. Short and sweet this week! :)

Nicole – Still working on cutting out all but the essentials in life and it’s been a wonderful journey. Hoping to blog a bit about it soon. :) This week I’d like to work on getting up by 6 am to get in some writing and blogging in before the day starts (rather than trying to squeeze this in at night, which is proving to be difficult) — too many chicken & garden chores in the evening that battle with my writing time. :)

Kevan – I’ve enjoyed the productivity boost from making a Tomorrow List, and I’m hopeful that it’s almost to the point of habit now. :) I’ve also been thinking of ways to better transition from work time to play time (there’s my dad-with-kid vocab) and vice versa. I’m thinking a neat way might be 2-3 minutes of quiet reflection in between each activity. I’d like to try that out this week. Plus, I’m aiming to get back into a good rhythm with consistent workouts. 5-out-of-7 this week would be great!

Dan – Raised my step goal back to 10k from 8k after my streak. To up the ante, I’m going to go to this morning workout group this 3 times this week in SF with a friend and try to start a new workout habit. I’ve had so much fun hiking and walking a ton in the last couple weeks that I want to keep this up and try to get outside for a hike at least once a month, if not more. Keeping up with the random action this week, trying to say yes to more things (ex. the morning workouts my friend invited me to).

Carolyn – I’m aiming to keep my weekly average steps above 11K, helped greatly by a big step weekend. I have built up quite the Kindle library, so aiming to use gym (elliptical) time as Kindle time also for at least 3 hours /week. Continuing my 30 day challenge of intermittent fasting, so I eat breakfast 14 hours after my last food in the evening. (Sometimes that’s 8am, sometimes noon, but I love this flexibility in the evenings.) Lastly, in the spirit of reflection, I want to start doing the “Kindle daily review” that amazon offers ( and share some quotes to Buffer once a week.

Michael – The big improvement I want to make this week is to start cooking again. This is partly to help out my wife a bit at home, but mostly because I enjoy cooking and find it to be quite relaxing. Right now I’m shooting to make a healthy, home-cooked dinner for the family for the rest of the week. I’ve also signed up for another MOOC this month on statistical inference. This is going to be a tough one, so would like to get as much of an head start on it this week!

Want to share your own improvement goals? We’d love to hear about them in the comments!

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