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, MI – the southwest part of the mitten!
Current Gig: Ambassador, Maestro
Current mobile device: iPhone 5, iPad 2 (white), iPad
Current computer: MacBook Air
One word that best describes how you work: Happily
What apps/software/tools can't you live without? I am an avid list maker and note taker. However, there is a slight problem with writing things down – I have a tendency to misplace the very paper I wrote it on! When something new comes up that I need to jot down I end up just grabbing another piece of paper. By the end of the day six separate pieces of scrap paper inscribed with important information are scattered throughout my workspace – phewww it can get complicated!! Thankfully, since starting at Maestro Evernote and Wunderlist have kept me synced up and organized. Both applications are available on all three of my screens and sync when I make changes throughout the day to ensure my notes are not only with me, but also up to date at all times.
Another tool that I can’t live without: Our coffee maker and I suppose the coffee mug too… I believe that is self-explanatory.
What's your workspace like? I work at one of the stand-up desks at the office because I just cannot seem to sit still all day. I have had many people tell me it looks like I am dancing throughout because I continuously bend and unbend my knees as if I am doing a little jig… umm who wouldn’t want to dance all day at work?
My workspace is relatively clean. You see, I inherited the “Piles Gene” from my mother. I realize that this might sound like a terrible disease or the plague and let me tell you, it is. I make piles to trick myself into believing I have a super organized desk, but one pile becomes two and two piles become three, next thing you know the whole desk is full of piles that have little to no meaning. So, I say my workspace is relatively clean because I am constantly battling my happy clean workspace with my piles gene. I am happy to report that my desk as we speak is clean, take THAT, Piles Gene!!
Also, water. I ALWAYS have water with me.
What's your best time-saving trick? I do not check my email every time I hear the email chime! When I arrive at the office the first thing I do is respond to all of my emails, then I check it periodically (perhaps at scheduled times) throughout the day. Of course how often you check your email will depend on your job, but just think of all of the time wasted going back and forth between what you are working on and your email. I read and respond to a group of them in one swoop instead of one at a time.
What's your favorite to-do list manager? As I mentioned, I love Evernote and Wunderlist for notes and project to-do lists, but I when I am at the office at my workspace mapping out my day I use good old fashion Post-it notes. I have three columns of items: “This Week,” “Today,” and “Tonight.” The “Today” column is my list of non-negotiables – it has to be done today. The “This Week” column is full of things that I attack if I get through the “Today” list. The “Tonight” column is full of personal items that I think of while working that I need to table for later.
There is something about crossing things off of a to-do list that is so satisfying. Some days I even write down meetings that I have scheduled and lunchtime just so I can cross it off – those small wins are great for my positive energy!
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without? In hopes of not eerily matching everything in Carrie Heath’s "How I Work" post, I am not going to talk about my Nike+ SportWatch GPS.
I recently purchased a FitBit Flex and I am obsessed. It tracks how active I am throughout the day and allows me to set daily goals for myself. The athlete in me loves to compete, even if it is with myself.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Getting in some N.E.A.T (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)! Movin’ and groovin’ all day long.
What do you listen to while you work? If I have music on my default playlist is a Pandora station I created with Matt Nathanson, Ben Rector, One Republic, Luke Bryan, Mumford & Sons, David Gray, The Lumineers, and Zac Brown Band. I absolutely love this kind of music – it helps me get in the zone! If I listened to straight Country or 90s music I would probably end up singing aloud and no one wants that…trust me.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? I am an ambivert. I know, that wasn’t an option, but for me that question is like asking are you a Sydney or a Hill? I am both! I am Sydney Hill. You can’t have one without the other! An ambivert is someone that has qualities of both introversion and extroversion. At times I do gain energy from being alone and doing my own thing, but on the other hand I am itching to be around people – laugh, smile, and tell stories.
What's your sleep routine like? I am the most productive in the morning, especially if I have already put in a good workout. So, I usually get up to workout around 5:30am and then head into the office to get an early start; which puts me back in bed around 10:00pm. Even though I love my mobile devices I don’t have any in my room – I do a crossword puzzle or read a book while falling asleep. It works like a charm; I’m asleep in 10 minutes!
Fill in the blank: I'd love to see _______ answer these same questions. Sheryl Sandberg. COO of Facebook, successful working mom, female leadership rockstar.
What's the best advice you've ever received? “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad it’s experience.”