Saturday: A Week into a Behavior Analyst's Hustle and Grind

This is part of a 7-piece series that highlights the dedication and experiences that go into just one week of my life as a behavior analyst at the present time. Read the other posts here.

Author: Ryan O'Donnell, MS, BCBA

Author: Ryan O'Donnell, MS, BCBA


7:30 AM - Late night to bed, means a late start to the morning. First in order is the gym and catching up on some planning and communication between sets and while on the cardio machines. 

10:00 AM - Home to knock out some quick tasks at the computer before a few phones calls. 

Side note: Good ol' phone calls are so efficient - not sure how much I noticed this until the last few months when I began reaching out to more and more people. It's easy to keep in touch via a text here and there, but a 5-15 minute phone call can go so far!  

11:00 AM - Phone call with Nick Green of BehaviorFit. We recently connected through Instagram, which led to a nice hour long discussion around the strengths and needs of the field of behavior analysis as a field, and various ideas on how to promote and disseminate the science. Check out what he's up to by clicking the image.

11:45 AM - Wrap up a phone call and immediately roll into another with a current student at a graduate school program. We talk about our shared experiences of graduate programs, where we'd like to make a difference in the world, and how we think we can go about that independently, as well as where our paths may cross and lead to some collaborative work. 

1:00 PM - Wrap up 2 hours of phone calls and feeling pumped to knock out some more tasks for the day! On the list is fixing up some components of the website and links that we use to track what content is leading to the most engagement. Big email blasts coming up mean that all of this needs to be working perfectly. 

5:00 PM - Break to relax and refuel. 

6:00 PM - One last content creation sessions where I work on two blog post drafts. Don't quite wrap either of them up, but two drafts at 60% is better than nothing. 

9:00 PM - Call it an early night and spend some time relaxing at home. Fall asleep sometime around 11 PM. 


  1. Connected with two behavior analysts that I can see leading to some cool collaborations in the future - we just have to figure out where to begin and where our goals overlap. 
  2. Completed a solid ~16 hour day
  3. 9 hours and 7 minutes on my phone - unlike most days where it's ~80% communication, social media, and reading, I binge about 4 hours of content on YouTube and Netflix. 
  4. Completed ~8-ish hours of work related to behavior analysis and dissemination of our beautiful science
  5. Squashed a bunch of little bugs on the website to make it a little easier to find relevant content. 


  1. Absolutely nothing. Perfect day. 

Final Thoughts:

When I first began getting to know who was who in the field, heading to conferences, and just searching online I'd find different people that I really wanted to meet and get to know more. I wasn't sure how to do that and I used to learn as much as I could about someone and then figure out who could introduce me at the next conference that I saw them at. I've since shifted that process into just reaching out myself, and doing the best I can to show that I'm interested and that I have something of value for them. A good case example is in BehaviorFit, I honestly have no clue what we will end up doing together if anything, but reaching out on Instagram led to a really fun 45-minute phone call that I'm not sure either of us was expecting to last that long.

It's cool when passions align a bit, it's just figuring out how to harness them and make sure everyone's goals are accomplished.