Aparna Nancharla: A day in the life of a comedian

Aparna Nancherla is a stand up comedian and writer based in New York City.

What am I working on: I spend my time juggling between any number of things – performing standup at night most days a week either in town or on the road (clubs, colleges, festivals, conferences, special live events), working on freelance projects such as doing punchup for TV shows or films, writing materials and scripts for future projects, shoots for TV or web projects, and keeping up on the business side of what I do.

Today I woke up at 6 am but I had to go to the airport.

The first thing I did was check my phone. First, I shut off my alarm, then onto social media and email. I need to kick this habit.

My morning ritual starts with looking at what I have to do that day, then depending on how much time I have, either scrambling out the door or making a game plan for the day. I wish I'd said meditation on a stairmaster.

I started working at 9 am today because I was on a plane, but feeling motivated. 

My biggest challenge is managing and prioritizing my time, and saying no to things.

What I love most about my work is having creative freedom and control over my work, connecting with people through my words, getting to see new places, and work with people who inspire me.

My favorite part of the day was getting to catch up with a friend over drinks after a fun show that night.

Least favorite... I have started to dread having to answer emails.

I wish I had the ability to only work at night.

Something that surprised me was how not working in an office can be much more challenging to structure than working in an office.

I want to recognize my friends and family for being on constant text-call as to my whims throughout the day.

For lunch, I eat usually at a coffee shop or I pick something up if I'm on the road and retire back to my hotel room.

A personal activity I do just for myself is run. Though I've also recently gotten back into coloring. It's unclear why I ever stopped, I'm a natural.

How much did you sleep? I love to sleep. Depending on my schedule for a given week, I get anywhere from 5 to 9 hours a night. Guess which one I prefer?

I most enjoy spending time with my friends, but also myself. I like walking around town with no particular destination, which NYC is a great thing for.

For dinner – I eat out a lot. I try to stay healthy. I am vegetarian so quinoa has become a popular go-to, but sometimes around my schedule, I grab a soup or a wrap. Usually a beer or a wine will get thrown in there if I am performing.

Today I felt tired but happy to be back home.

My favorite technology that I used today is my iPhone. I do everything on my phone. I am that person. Though my favorite old-school technology is a day planner. I also write my schedule out by hand because it helps me feel more grounded and I like rabbit cartoons, judging by the looks of it.

I am inspired by strong women who aren't intimidated by other women.

Did you meditate? Did you exercise? I meditated on the plane a little but then I fell asleep. I did not exercise today because it was a full travel day, but I consider exercise a great mind vacation.

One strategy I use to make my time more effective is to get better about saying no to things. I am horrible about saying no to things. I could have started by saying no to this question!

I am passionate about women having as much of a voice for their own experiences as any other artist without being labeled as "female performers."

Something I wanted to get done but didn’t get to do was writing a screenplay (yes, in one day.)

A dream I am currently focused on fulfilling is getting to do a voice on an animated show!

I can’t live without my phone, friends and family, lattés, reaction GIFs, music.

Aparna Nancherla has written for Late Night With Seth Meyers on NBC, and she wrote for (and sometimes appeared on) Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX. Other comedy credits include Conan on TBS, Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, @midnight, and Adam Devine’s House Party on Comedy Central, Live at the Barrel House on Seeso, and NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Her Twitter feed was recently nominated for a Shorty Award and was also one of Time Magazine's Top 140 Tweeters of 2014.

Connect with her online at:

Website: http://www.aparnacomedy.com

Twitter: @aparnapkin /Instagram: @aparnapkin

Facebook Page: Aparna Nancherla

*Photo by Robyn Von Swank