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How I work

June 4, 2013

Saw this post from Clark Quinn, based on a Lifehacker series, and felt compelled to join in.

One word that best describes how you work: focused!

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

  1. Electronic calendar reminders
  2. Desktop sharing software
  3. Google
  4. Email
  5. SharePoint for work
  6. Skype and iPhoto for life
  7. Zebra Sarasa gel pens, post-it notes and paper

What’s your favourite to-do-list manager?

At work, I rely 100% on Outlook reminders.  I put everything in the Calendar so that I can make time for it and I don’t use Tasks at all.  At home, I rely on my electronic calendar to remember upcoming events and I use pen and paper: one for groceries, one for all the other running around.

What’s your workspace like?

At work: fairly tidy, 99% electronic.  At home: about 50% electronic/50% paper and the paper side will often become cluttered if I don’t stay on top of it.  I hate all those little bits of paper that need to be filed or shredded.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

  1. Schedule time in my Outlook Calendar for preparation before and after meetings.
  2. Stay on top of email, always, always, always.
  3. If you can do it in less than a minute, do it now.
  4. If it’s not worth $0.50/minute to do something, ask yourself if it’s really worth doing (e.g., returning a very inexpensive item to a store will take more time, gas and effort than simply giving the item to someone else or throwing it out).  I thank a family member for this wisdom.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?

My digital camera.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

Synthesizing notes during live virtual meetings.  I can type almost as fast as I think so letting others see my notes through desktop sharing helps us all to stay focused on the discussion.  My virtual meetings show no mercy for people being distracted by email, crackberries, etc.

What do you listen to while you work?

Other people nannering on the phone, which makes me wish I could work full time from home.   Like Clark, I can’t listen to music while working because it’s too distracting for me.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Way more introverted than extraverted.

What’s your sleep routine like?

A bit of reading and then lights out around 10:45.  Up around 6:30, much to my dislike.  I’m very jealous of Phil Libin’s abilities in this domain.

Fill in the blank. I’d love to see _______ answer these same questions.

My co-workers.  I’d much rather talk about how we work than what we work on.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

  1. The most powerful word in the English language: choose. (From the film “Dangerous Minds”)
  2. Own the advice, not the decision.
  3. Treat job applications like a sport and apply for ones you don’t care about just so that you can get used to the process.

From → Smarter worker

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