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I am Sarah Mequio, and This is How I Work.

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: Kalamazoo office, one of the standing desks

Current Gig: Project Manager

Current mobile device(s): iPhone5 (black), still hanging onto my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7

Current computer: Macbook Air. The best way to travel.

One word that best describes how you work: Fast/Efficient

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

Google Apps: Gmail, Maps, Drive, Calendar, Chrome. They’re all open all the time…except for Maps, though that is almost always a constant also. I can’t seem to sit still.

What's your workspace like?

Organized chaos. I am incredibly organized, but my desk won’t quite look like it. Notepads are scattered, post-its are strewn about, and computer accessories (e.g. wireless mouse and keyboard) are just neatly placed in the corner. Why would I need those? I’m always streamlined right into my laptop and my monitor. If you look into my inbox or documents on my computer, though, I’ve got subfolders upon subfolders upon subfolders. Each piece of information perfectly in its place.

What's your best time-saving trick?

“Eat the frogs first.” I think it was originally a quote from Mark Twain that has evolved into a productivity model. The basic idea is to do the things that you don’t want to do but need to be done, first. That way, the “worst” is over and you can be happier and more productive throughout the rest of the day (lifehack.org, simpleproductivityblog.com). I also quickly evaluate how long each task will take me. If it’s under 2 minutes I do it right away. Those are the perfect things to do in between meetings when you don’t have nearly enough time to get heavily involved in something else.

What's your favorite to-do list manager?

Pen and paper. I love the gratification of physically crossing something off. I also find that writing something (vs. typing) helps me commit it to memory.

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

My Vitamix. I love cooking and will use it in some manner every single day.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

Waking up. I am that horribly annoying person that is ready to jump out of bed right as my eyes open. No joke, I usually start right out in sing-song as if I were in a Disney movie very first thing in the morning.

What do you listen to while you work?

The voices of those around me. You’ll hardly ever see me with headphones in, no matter what the environment. I love to be fully present everywhere and in everything I’m a part of. My only exception is running. Then I need some motivational sounds to keep me going and blissfully unaware of the fact that I’m tromping down the street.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I’ll tell you I’m an introvert. Others will likely tell you I’m an extrovert. I enjoy being very social, but often need someone to help bring it out of me.

What's your sleep routine like?

Early to bed, early to rise. I try to get into bed by about 10:30 and wake up around 5:30 or 6 in order to exercise before I get ready for work.

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

My college professors. I think of many of them--their teachings and their advice -- often so I’d really love to see what they’d have to share.

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

This is a really hard one to pick. I try to keep a humanitarian spirit and a quote someone once shared with me that has always stuck on me is, “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”

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