How I work

How I work

Location: Fort Lauderdale/Miami, Florida

Current gig: Praxis Participant, Nanny, and TEFOL English Teacher

Current mobile device: iPhone 6s (but ready to switch to a Galaxy)

Current computer: Dell XPS 13

One word that best describes how you work: Tunnel Vision.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Google Calendar, a notepad, Adobe CC, Reddit, Natural Cycles, and my Kindle Paperwhite

What’s your workspace like? I either work off of my home desk or out of one of my local libraries. My desk has a stack of notebooks and notepads for me to write all my random ideas and thoughts. I also keep my neverending stack books I want to read through in the order of what I plan to read next.

I work in the library when I need to channel some serious concentration on a task or just need a change of environment. I’ll typically put in my headphones and disappear into my work for 2-3 hours without even realizing how the times passes.

What’s your best time-saving trick? Do the most difficult/dreaded task first. After that, everything else will be easy and fly by.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
For daily to-do’s, both work and personal, I typically make a list in my Notes app on my iPhone. After I complete an item, I add a strike-through line. For more important, plan-ahead type items, I usually add a reminder in my Google Calendar which I can also apply the strike-through effect once I complete it. Love the strike-throughs, so satisfying!

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
A pretty lined notebook and a pen. I still struggle with moving away from the satisfaction of handwriting everything. There is something really profound and soothing about putting a pen to paper. I find myself being more creative and having a better memory for things if I write first rather than type or text.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
1) I can whip up a healthy, delicious meal out of anything. My friends always ask how I’m able to take whatever leftover, random items are left in the fridge or pantry and come up with something on the spot. I went to Culinary school for two years, so that definitely helps 😉 but even before then I did a pretty good job at creating meals. I attribute it to a lot of practice in the kitchen, familiarity with many different cuisines over the years, and not being afraid to experiment with new flavors/ideas.
2) Taking a complicated subject, project, or task and breaking it into consumable bite-sized pieces that anyone can understand/handle.

What are you currently reading?
The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman.  It’s a really fascinating read about what makes a great design, whether its a TV remote, building, or a painting. This book is more focused on the general user experience and interaction area of design. I’m less than halfway through the book right now but I can already note a big shift in my perspective and perception of designed products in my everyday life.  This book is part of a series of self-assigned of books about visual design and its various umbrella of components (design theory, UX/UI design, the industry, web design etc.) that I’m working through. 

What do you listen to while you work?
When I’m doing something that is more “serious” or requires more careful thought/concentration, I like to listen to classical music or meditation songs. Particularly anything with a Tibetan singing bowl.

When I’m doing more creative work, I listen to music in other languages. My favorites are Italian opera and Mexican folk music. My all-time favorite playlist is the soundtrack from the movie, “Frida”. It has an indescribable power to it that makes it impossible not to create.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I’ve always considered myself introverted. I prefer a night in than a night out and I get worn out from being around large groups of people. Events and social situations often make me feel like I have to be turned on rather than just relaxed and myself. I love making people laugh and typically really enjoy more intimate conversations/friendships. These days I’d say I’m a borderline ambivert. I’m not completely against group settings, and can often enjoy them, but I really do need that time alone to recharge, or one-on-one to truly feel like I’m connecting with someone.

What’s your sleep routine like?
Irregular! I have a really sporadic and varied work schedule so there are often late nights for me where I have no choice but to get to bed after midnight. I also teach English to children in China so that requires me to often be up before 6 AM. My ideal schedule has me getting in bed between 10 and 11 PM and waking up between 5:30 and 6:30 AM. More realistically, I would really love to just get a solid 8 hours of sleep each night!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
All stress is good for is causing ulcers. Unless you can do something about that situation now, put it to the side and don’t waste any more energy on it.”  – My dad

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
If I can keep seeing everything as a lesson, even the bad stuff, then I might just make some sense and happiness out of this grand scheme of events I’m living through.


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