How I Work (with apologies to Lifehacker!)

I love the ‘How I Work’ series on Lifehacker and recently they encouraged people to contribute their own – I saw Doug had done one and despite the fact I am about the least organised and productive person I know I thought it might be fun to take a stab at the questions 🙂

Location: Bristol, UK

Current gig: Head of Digital Content for the Office for National Statistics

Current mobile device: Nexus 4 (mine) & iPad 3 (works)

Current computer: 13″ Macbook Air (and an ancient Dell at the office)

One word that best describes how you work: Chaotically

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

iA Writer
Press (the Android feedreader)

Like everyone else I am also addicted to email but I am trying to move away from GMail and at work if I never saw Lotus Notes again it would be too soon!

What’s your workspace like?

A mess. A lot of paper, a lot of scribbled notes, a stress ball or two and post-it reminders.

The office has a clear desk policy that I am constantly in breach of but I’ve always had a messy desk – I am not comfortable otherwise.

I have ambitions to one day escape the 3 hours a day of commuting and work from home and at that point I’d like to switch to a standing desk as I am pretty sure it would suit me and help me with my growing back and neck problems.

What’s your best time-saving trick?

Delegate. I’m terrible at it but I find when I actually do it it makes a huge difference to my day. In previous roles I was a total control freak – even around booking travel. I think I am getting better.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

I’ve started using Evernote reminders but to be honest mainly it is a piece of A4, a Sharpie and a bit of Bluetak so it is stuck somewhere never really out of my eyeline.

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

My Kindle and my headphones. I spend a large amount of time on public transport so the distractions offered by constantly having my library of ebooks on hand is vital as is the ability to block out the rest of the passengers!

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

Finding comic book stores anywhere in the world. I have some kind of weird natural GPS that just seeks them out with no help needed from mapping software.

What are you currently reading?

I’m working my way through Elmore Leonard’s back catalogue again since he passed away recently. He is my all time favourite writer and I have recently found myself thinking about trying to write fiction inspired by his famous writing rules.

What do you listen to while you work?

I have recently been converted to sticking to instrumental music while working to avoid distraction – given I primarily listen to rap this hasn’t been an easy transition! Writing this I am listening to some J Dilla stuff.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Depends on how my I have had to drink. I am English after all.

What’s your sleep routine like?

Terrible – can’t remember the last time I slept through the night properly.

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

The COO of an early-ish job once told me I was too much of a ‘boyo’ to ever succeed – basically he felt I was good at my job but wasn’t serious enough and didn’t bring enough gravitas to the role. It was good advice that I have always remembered and always ignored.


3 responses to “How I Work (with apologies to Lifehacker!)”

  1. Very much love your description. It’s so good to know how other people work. It makes it easier to remind myself “I am normal!” in the end; And yes! A standing desk seems to be a great idea!

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