How I Work – The People Equation Edition

by Jennifer Miller on June 10, 2013

in Personal Effectiveness

how i work

I work best with an open window & ambient music

Sharlyn Lauby of the HR Bartender blog has challenged her colleagues to complete the following list of questions related to how I organize my work day. You can see the origins of the How I Work series on Sharlyn’s blog.

This is an interesting exercise. Although I thought I’d breeze right through, it took me longer than expected. About a six months ago, I worked very intentionally to break some unhealthy habits related to my use of technology. This reflection exercise helped me realize that I’ve made substantial progress.  I also see that there may be opportunities to be more organized in certain aspects of my office life.

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Current Gig: I’m a leadership coach and career strategist who works with time-starved leaders to get their team members ready to take on more responsibility. I also do a bit of writing at a blog called The People Equation J

Current mobile device: ancient Android phone and Motorolla Xoom tablet

Current computer: It’s a Dell. You’d  have to ask my IT guy for the specs.

One word that describes how you work: Intently

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?  I truly can’t think of anything I couldn’t “live without” – unless you count high-speed internet connectivity, which isn’t really an app. I do find that Hootsuite for Twitter is useful, but I can certainly live without it. I also really like the Harvest app for tracking my time.

What’s your best time-saving trick? Learning to delegate. I work with a handful of virtual assistants with different specialties.

What’s your workspace like? It’s in my home, so it’s casual. Hey, I thought of something I can’t live without – a window that opens to provide fresh air.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager? After years of trying every tool, app and trick under the sun, I’ve dialed it back to pen-and-paper. It works for me.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Given that I spend the majority of my days coaching clients via phone and leading webinars, a good headset is a must.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else? Well, now, I have no idea how you’d validate this claim – but I’m getting really good at learning to say “no” to exciting “opportunities” and not feel like I’m missing out on something.

What do you listen to while you work? Pandora – ambient music. I’ve learned this about my work style – music with too strong a beat or invigorating lyrics is distracting, but background music helps my creative thoughts flow.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? On the MBTI scale, smack dab in the middle of the continuum. But, I think my extroversion is learned. I probably came out of the womb more introverted.

What’s your sleep routine like? I L.O.V.E. sleep; always have. And, as Arianna Huffington has found out, adequate sleep is crucial to a productive, healthy life. Mornings I’m up between 6:00 AM and 6:30 AM to meditate and do yoga. At night I’m typically in bed reading by 10:00 or 10:30 (tablet shut off by 9:30 – research shows the light from the screen interferes with sleep).

Fill in the blank. I’d like to see ____________ answer these same questions.  I’d love to see some of my fellow leadership bloggers take the challenge.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? On asking for something you want:  “What’s the worst that can happen? They’ll say no. You’ll never know if you don’t ask.” – My mother

What are you working on right now? Finishing up a program to help newly promoted leaders get ready for their first 100 days in their new role.

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