A Day in the Life: Annie Durling, Project Manager

Hi! Nice to meet you – I am Annie Durling, the Account Director here at LimeRed Studio. As the advocate for communication and our internal and client relationships, I spend my days making sure people have what they need to make good decisions and get amazing work done. Because of that, every day is a little bit different, which is so exciting. Here is an idea of what my days are like:

6:30 am — This is when I wake up and start my day! I love to start with a cup of coffee and check in on the news and do a little morning reading. I will sometimes meditate to get myself in the right head space. I love to take this time out on my patio if the weather is cooperating. Fun fact: I would almost 100% of the time choose to be outside versus indoors. Yes, even in Chicago winters!

7:00 am — By this time in the morning, I am starting my workout. I am absolutely obsessed with spinning and recently bought a Peloton so there is no excuse to not get up and ride each morning. I love the challenge that working out in the morning brings. It is definitely NOT easy for me to do – so I like forcing myself outside of that comfort zone. I find it helps get my brain going and sets me up to make better decisions throughout the day (or just gives me an excuse to snack in the afternoon – lets be real). Then I shower, get ready, and I am off to the office!

9:00 am — I arrive at the office and start with my second cup of coffee. Off the bat, I usually try to gather the LimeRed team for a quick stand up. We talk about what is happening in our projects, touch on deadlines and weekly goals and address any blocks we are facing in getting the work done. This allows each team member to review what they are accountable for that day and ensures we have consistent and clear communication.

9:30 am — I use this time to clear my inbox. I am an obsessive email checker and like to keep my inbox at zero! Crazy – I know. I address any new emails and identify priorities for the day. I will take care of any emergencies at that time and then begin working through remaining emails beginning with the oldest so I ensure that nothing is lingering too long.

I am also an obsessive list maker – so this is also a great time to go through my to-do list and add any additional tasks and then the best part, crossing off anything I have completed.

11 am — By this time, I usually begin following up on client work. I make my way diligently through each client task list and follow up on outstanding items, or scheduling meetings to help move projects along. This can get quite time consuming given how many projects we run at a given time, but it helps to ensure we all are moving in the same direction, towards the same goal efficiently and successfully.

12:30 — Lunch time with the team! We are creatures of habit in this regard – so its usually off to Marianos in Ravenswood to visit the hot bar!

1:00 pm — Back at it! Each day, I will usually have a meeting or two with clients. These can be regular check ins, the presentation of work, or to address specific questions that we might have that are blocking our way to getting things done. I try to keep about 50-60% of my day focused solely on client work. The rest falls to helping the internal team accomplish projects and business development. I might take a sales call, work on putting together a proposal, or work with Emily to refine our processes and offerings.

4:30 pm — Time to wrap the day! I always check back in with my to-do list and priorities. Did I accomplish everything I set out to do? Are there any urgent tasks that need immediate attention before I close out for the day? I like to end each day with some down time to wrap so there are as few loose ends as possible and if there are loose ends, I have a plan for how to attack them the next day (this is usually when the LimeRed team breaks out the snacks too — so much for those good healthy decisions!)

5:30 pm — Now, it is time to enjoy a glass of wine, make dinner and be with my family! I value this time so, so much. I make it a real priority to turn off and be fully present in these evening hours. As much as I truly love LimeRed and our clients, these are the really important moments. Whether it is meeting good friends for a bite, strolling through our neighborhood of Lincoln Square, or just binge watching Mad Men on the couch (I know Im late on this one), I try and really cherish these evenings.

10:30ish pm — Time for bed! Although I get in bed at this time, I usually stay up far later than I should reading a good book. I am a voracious reader and I am still that girl that pushes her bedtime to stay up and finish just one last chapter!

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