How I Work, 2017

It’s been two years so, time for an update.

Inspired by Lifehacker’s ongoing series called “How I Work”. And so, with a hat tip to Lifehacker, this is how I work…

Location: Washington, DC
Current Gig: Director, Program Technologies at SOI, college student
One word that best describes how you work: Dedicated
Current mobile device: iPhone 6s+, 9.7″ iPad Pro, Surface Pro 4
Current computer: 13” Macbook Pro Retina, 14” Dell  Latitude E7470

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? My most used apps are Evernote, Instapaper, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. I like using Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Dropbox. I prefer using Safari and Firefox over Chrome and others. For photo organizing and editing I use Apple’s Photos software which seems to meet my needs just fine. It also forces to me to concentrate more on making a better picture to begin with (that requires lest post editing).

IMG_1351

What is your workspace setup like? I have a sit/stand desk in the office, with dual monitors and a docking station (pic above). I actually prefer a Windows environment at work (macOS and iOS at home/school). I also travel about once a month.

 

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? I find myself using a basic writing method as my overall approach to work. I’ll work from a brainstorm>outline>rough draft>x number drafts>final. I find ways to apply this to anything (not just writing). It’s the first step, the brainstorm, that I really enjoy. Just getting the initial idea written/sketched/drawn/typed is quite the accomplishment for me. Once that happens, the rest comes easy.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? I keep my to-do list with Evernote. Each week I start a new note, each for home, work, and school. Then one row for each day of the week. In each cell I add the checkboxes with tasks for each day. This works for me for many reasons but mainly because 1) it’s easy to move tasks between days during the week, if needed and, 2) I like planning a week at a time. I also rely on the Reminders and Notes apps (iOS).

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? I can never limit this to just one gadget. My Kindle Paperwhite is very important. I also rely heavily on my Mophie Powerstation Plus and Jackery Giant+ while traveling. I currently photograph with a Fujifilm X100T and a XT1.

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret? I’m still working to figure this out. I pride myself in being a very quick learner. I really enjoy learning from others but, my impatience has a tendency to get in the way of that. Something I continually work on.

What do you listen to while you work? Podcasts. A lot of them. A lot. So many that I’m always behind. If I’m not in the mood for podcasts, I’ll listen to a pop, alternative, or classic rock internet radio station. If I really need to focus, I find that I work best in complete silence. On occasion I’ll keep a k-pop playlist going in the background, just for fun.

What are you currently reading? I’m one of those who has a lot of books going at once, which is why I love my Kindle. Instead of having physical books scattered around the house I now have them all on one place. And, it’s much easier for me to jump between books. I always have at least one fiction and one non-fiction book going at all times. I have a long list of “to read” books that I will never, ever get through (which is good). There are so many great books out there! I’m also reading a few technical manuals and white papers (work) and my textbook (school). I read in spurts so, depending on what’s going on in my life, I can finish books in just a few days or take as long as a few months.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert to the core. I’m a living, breathing introvert cliché.

What is your sleep routine like? While home, I average between 6-7 hours. While traveling, it’s more like 4-6 hours. I’ve actually been paying more attention to sleeping well, lately. The hardest part is not reading on a bright screen right before I go to sleep. I would also love to begin incorporating naps into my day but, yeah… not going to happen.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _____ answer these same questions. Elon Musk, Haruki Murakami, any creative/artist, any teacher (at any level). And anyone reading this blog!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To keep things in constant perspective. I’ve always loved Joe Rogan’s quote, “If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.”

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans? Only recently, I’ve realized that I’ve become a much happier person by simply being and accepting myself for who and what I am. It’s brought me to a level of inner peace that I never expected. Be yourself, live free. No filter.

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