For ALX Community member Lisa Kiefer, a “light” day at work involves six to seven meetings. Heavy days run upwards of ten. As a vice president at Morning Consult, a billion dollar global intelligence company, Lisa oversees a 30-member team that provides research and decision intelligence for companies headquartered in the Southeast U.S. Her meeting-heavy days are bookended with full-on mom mode—mornings sprinkled with six-year-old negotiations and evenings helping with kindergarten homework.
Lisa’s also an OG member of ALX Community, having joined our first location, Founders Hall, as a Flex member in 2019. As she’s risen the ranks in her career, she’s shifted to a private office at the Waterfront, where you can find her on the patio in warm temps, grabbing a snack at the Honor Bar, or with a microphone in hand—she’s also a talented singer who performed at the Waterfront’s opening bash in 2020. Here’s what a day in her life looks like.
7:00am: Wake up.
7:07am: Actually get out of bed. In the mornings, I’m primarily in mom mode while trying to weave in getting myself ready for the day. I’ll typically get myself dressed and ready quickly and then shift into focusing on my daughter, spending some time with her and getting her ready for school. This portion of the day could also be called “attorney mode” since it involves quite a bit of negotiation to get her dressed, eat breakfast, tolerate me doing her hair, make sure homework is done, and aim to get out the door without attempts to bring every toy and book along to school.
I have never been a big breakfast eater. But if coffee counts, coffee is always for breakfast.
8:30am: School drop-off and morning commute. Going to ALX, I will either walk or drive, depending on the weather. When I go into my company’s office, I drive. Music is my passion and I sing in a local acoustic duo, so typically, I’m using that driving time as practice time—listening to our set list and fine-tuning pitch, tone, and rhythm, or learning lyrics to any new additions.
I’m a sucker for an iced latte year-round, so more often than not, I’m stopping to grab one on the way into work. Mobile order-ahead has been a game changer to make a coffee stop take no more than a minute. I’m usually “on” (checking email and ensuring there are no fires for the day) pretty early, and then fully “at work” by about 8:45am. In terms of when I physically get to the office, it is completely dependent on the day and cadence of meetings. If I don’t have early meetings, I’m probably answering emails, getting some initial messages out to my team, handling any pressing needs, and getting into the office around 10:00am or so. On other days when meetings start right away, I’ll get in around 9:00am.
My days are meeting-heavy, and they run the gamut in terms of topics. In any given day, I’m usually bouncing between the administrative and financial strategy side of the region; internal meetings with the team to discuss work on current and prospective accounts; external meetings with client partners or companies wanting to work with us; team and individual growth and coaching conversations; cross-functional communication and strategy meetings; learning and development; and a variety of other topics that come up week-to-week.
12:00pm: Lunchtime. For lunch on days at ALX, I love a South Block toast or smoothie. Otherwise, I’m probably grabbing a snack from the Honor Bar and making that my lunch.
1:00pm: Fuel cut-off. I gave up soda in my mid-twenties and have been exclusively fueled by coffee ever since. I try to keep my intake to one (large!) latte a day but those suckers pack a punch with three to four shots of espresso. I should drink more tea…
6:00pm: Work day pause. Most days, I try to end meetings and at least pause working by 6:00pm so I can spend dedicated time with my daughter in the evenings. Then, I’ll usually hop back on after her bedtime to close out any final work for the day.
6:30pm: Post-work activities. Each day is different. Some days, it’s straight from work to pick my daughter up and take her to ballet or tennis. Others, it’s straight home. Grocery runs are usually reserved for weekends. We do a lot of takeout during the week but are trying to dial that back! Occasionally, I will try to squeeze a weekday music practice if we have shows coming up, or a happy hour with friends or colleagues.
6:45pm: Home. This usually mirrors the mornings and is fully mom mode time. Our weekdays are primarily spent at work and school, so I try to give my daughter focused engagement in the evenings. The very first thing I’m doing is probably looking through art or schoolwork that she did during the day and is excited to show me. We’ll go through those together, and it’s a great way to see what she’s learning and give her time to be proud and show it off.
8:00pm: Daughter’s bedtime. Playing games with my daughter pre-bedtime. I love cooking when I have the time. after my daughter’s bedtime, I’m probably fluctuating between reading news, getting caught up on work or some of the organizations I’m involved in outside of work, or watching a sporting event or favorite show (just wrapped up Ozark and Succession; getting into this docuseries Generation Hustle that I got hooked on after looking for the real Anna Delvey story).
10:00pm: Workday wrap-up (sometimes). If I’m logging back on after my daughter’s bedtime, I could be done anywhere between 10:00pm and 2:00am, depending on how in-the-zone I am and/or how much I want or need to get done.
11:30pm: Bedtime routine. I have a fairly consistent bedtime routine: brush my teeth, wash my face, skin care regimen; scroll Instagram in bed for a bit, laugh at memes and try not to wake my sleeping husband; set alarms and type out a to-do list for the next day so it doesn’t keep me awake; then off to bed.
12:00am: Bedtime. I have always been a night owl, which is probably why I’m not as early a riser as others. I’m usually falling asleep around midnight or 12:30am but I have plenty of later stints. (It’s currently 1:40am. What was I saying about drinking more tea again?)
A Few of Lisa’s Favorite ALX Community Things
Favorite part about being an ALX member: First and foremost, the people. I love how the ALX owners, staff, and members embody the “Community” component. Not just through connecting people, but also in the commitment to the local community. From speakers brought in, to talent hired for events, fundraising efforts, and even the artwork, there is a clear, consistent effort to elevate the people, businesses, economy, and heart of Alexandria.
Favorite conference room: I don’t use the conference rooms often, but I do have an affinity for the Lee Fendall room, strictly because I taught most of my evening classes for American University from that room. It was a nice, quaint, quiet space. We bonded over those three hours each week.
Favorite programming: I love the member happy hours. Everyone is usually in the zone during the day so those offer a great opportunity to come together over a beer and learn more about each other.
Best ALX memory: The Waterfront grand opening party was such a great memory. My acoustic duo played a set that was such a fun way to share our music with the ALX Community, and we were able to wrap up in time to enjoy the excitement and celebration of the new space.
Favorite ALX dog: Piper is a gem of a pup, and my daughter loves her, so even more bonus points.
Want to meet Piper? Click here to tour our locations, either virtually or in-person.
Favorite spot to sit at the Waterfront: The patio in nice weather. Otherwise, I love the leather spinning chairs by the windows (wherever I can see the water, essentially).
Music you’d like to hear in the Town Hall: Indie pop
Best spot to take calls: My private office or the phone booths by the Sweetgreen delivery station.