I wish I had a dollar for every time I got asked”: “I wish I knew how you manage to do it all.” The real answer used to be just pure stubbornness, I worked until I got it done. But then I grew up and company grew and I just have a kickass team that just grew the company 6% while I’ve been on vacation for a month. Fundamentally, it’s all about the setup. Here is mine:
This is my home office. Don’t let the looks fool you, the box in the upper right hand corner cost more than everything else you see. I have an Aeron chair that is about as comfortable as my bed. In front of it, I have 4 22” screens and a 21” TV for late night brain killing sessions. Cisco VoIP phone, landline when (if) the Internet connection goes down.
This is pretty much where all my creative work gets done. Notice that it’s relatively clean – no real “work” happens here. I have a small whiteboard to the left primarily for objective doodling.
My real office at OWN HQ is quite different. I have a huge table with a dual display 28” monitors tied to my work PC and and another monitor tied to a Mac for social media stuff. I have a Polycom VoIP phone that I rarely use and a 42” HDTV with satellite service.
Another Aeron and a nice leather recliner. I have some other IKEA crap sprinkled throughout the office. It’s where real work gets done – phone calls, meetings, helping staff, management stuff.
My mobile office is where unfortunately most of my stuff gets done. My primary system is a 15” Macbook Pro and 11” Macbook Air as a failover. I also carry an iPad with the Verizon chip onboard and a Verizon MiFi.
I pretty much live on my iPhone and I also have an Android (Nexus One) phone for Google Voice and corporate callbacks.
Everything that can runs Windows 7. The iPads and iPhone naturally run iOS but neither is unlocked.
None of the desktops have time wasters enabled. No games. No social media. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Dealnews, no Techmeme and all of my typical sites are off. This keeps me from goofing off at work and keeps me focused.
My laptops have social media stuff and blogging software. They also have all the chat, video and entertainment stuff.
No Paper – Absolutely none. No postit notes, no sketch paper, my printer at home rarely has paper in it. When I need paper I go to Stephanie’s office and steal some from her. I cannot even express how important it is not to have any doodling opportunities – I save so much time by never having to track down where I wrote down something important. Everything is either on the PC or my LV notebook (as in leather bound notes)
I don’t really have a “magic” answer to how to get stuff done, it’s quite personal. One thing I can tell you is that it’s all about optimization: Find out where you waste your time the most and eliminate it. I used to spend a lot of time on Facebook and social media so I nuked that. Before that, I spent a lot of time on the newsgroups and forums so I nuked those. Before that I frequented a lot of web sites and news / blog sites, now those are banned from my productivity areas.
As for the schedule, that’s a different story and something I’m just learning how to figure out. But as I pointed out yesterday, it’s a matter of personal recognition and adjustment: Find out when you’re the most alert and attentive and do your most mentally intensive tasks. Find out when you’re the most productive and pack it with your daily tasks. Find out what distracts you and bump it to when it’s least likely to impact your day. The way to start is simply by tracking your entire day – from what you do when you first wake up, when you first get to work, before lunch, after lunch, before you go home and after everyone is asleep.
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