Inspired by Lifehacker’s How I Work series, Maestro is helping to provide a glimpse into the work styles of our team, as well as a few of our friends and partners. Would you like to answer these questions or is there someone you would like to see featured here? Let us know!
Location: I’m physically located in Fishers, Indiana, but thanks to modern technology, my brain spends the workday in Maestro’s office in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Current gig: Marketing Director, Maestro Current mobile device: iPhone 4S and iPad 2 Current computer: MacBook Air
One word that best describes how you work: Efficiently
What apps/software/tools can't you live without? I work remotely – 219 miles from Maestro’s office – so I rely on Skype to keep me connected with the team. Since I manage Maestro’s social media efforts, I pop in and out of HubSpot, HootSuite and Facebook pretty much around the clock all throughout the week. What’s wonderful is that I can access all of these tools both from my computer and on the go with my iPhone or iPad, since they all have really great apps.
What's your workspace like? I work from home, which is definitely convenient, but it’s certainly not as cool as Maestro’s office!
Nonetheless, I’ve got a desk where I can plug my MacBook Air into a larger monitor and keyboard – you know, the standard setup.
I must admit, though, I’m pregnant with twins. So lately, I usually find myself working on the couch with my feet up. Thank goodness for the portability of laptops!
What's your best time-saving trick? Prioritize and execute. At the beginning of the day, I try to go through my to-do list and ensure I carve out time for the most important items. Then, I just start chipping away at them. I find that having a clear, practical, prioritized list of things I need to do each day helps me ensure I get the most important things done – fast.
What's your favorite to-do list manager? Honestly, I’m pretty analog here. I wish I could say I use some really cool app that you’ve never even heard of before, but that’s just not the case. I can’t seem to break away from handwriting my to-do list in my Levenger Circa notebook.
I don’t know why I can’t make the leap to something more 21st century, but I just love writing out my lists, making notes in the margins and crossing things off as they are completed. It gives me such a satisfying sense of accomplishment.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without? I would have a hard time living without the Bluetooth setup in my car (OK, so it’s a minivan). I’ve enjoyed this technology for a few years now and it has totally changed the way I drive. Not only is it far safer than trying to hold a phone to my ear while I drive, it’s also so much more convenient.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Nagging. You may think it would be negative, but it’s true and I think I am able to use it in a good way. What can I say? It’s part of who I am! I can’t help it.
Now, I’m not talking the annoying, stereotypical motherly “when are you going to get a haircut?” or “take out the trash, already!” nagging. I do believe I’ve found a way to decrease the annoyance factor while maximizing the final output. I layout a plan, get buy-in and then stay on every person involved (including myself) until that plan is carried out in completion.
It’s part of what makes me good at my job, too. Although it also may be why my colleagues sometimes avoid me when I’m in the office… Just kidding. Kind of… It helps me make sure that important things get done and nothing falls off the priority list. I hope my team knows they can rely on me to help ensure we all stay on track.
What do you listen to while you work? Sometimes I need the TV on just for white noise. If that’s the case, I typically need to put on sports or something so I won’t be distracted. Nope, definitely not distracted by sports. Otherwise, I just enjoy the silence of an empty house while I work.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Although I’m a very social person, I’m definitely an introvert. I do my best work, find my energy and find that I’m most focused when I’m all-alone at my computer. But I do love being around and collaborating with other people – especially when they’re as fabulous and talented as my fellow Maestronauts!
What's your sleep routine like? Early to bed and early to rise. That’s always been my thing – whether I like it or not. I’m a morning person. My brain typically stops working by 10 p.m. and I’m almost always awake by 6 a.m., even when I have the rare opportunity to sleep in. If I’ve got a lot to do, I would MUCH rather go to bed and wake up early to get it done instead of staying up late to push through.
Fill in the blank: I'd love to see _______ answer these same questions. My husband. We often talk about how strange it is that we know each other so well in all aspects of life except for our work. Think about it – while we may share stories about each other’s workdays, most of us have never worked in a professional environment with our significant other. Wouldn’t it be cool – and maybe even kind of weird – to learn more about what they’re like in a professional setting? I think so.
What's the best advice you've ever received? Life’s too short to be unhappy, so make the very best of every moment you’re blessed with. Don’t waste time and energy on stuff that doesn’t matter in the long run. Focus instead on the positive difference you can make everyday – both for yourself and for those around you. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.