How I Work

4 Oct , 2019 Culture,Life Hack,Lifestyle,Technology

How I Work

Alien intelligence is going to be more advanced. That means efficiency functioning on multiple levels and in multiple dimensions.

Hadden, Contact

This post is inspired by and modeled after the Lifehacker Series by the same name. I thought to create a similar post after a flurry of mentoring meetings with Colleagues and Graduate & Undergraduate Students. Many of the questions asking about my working approach reminding me of the Lifehacker posts. So, through the sincerest flattery, I will summarize here, my approach to productivity and work. TLDR.

Location: Atlanta, GA
Current Gig: Solution Architect at Zuora
Current Computer: MacBook Pro
Mobile Device: iPhone X
One word that best describes how you work: Efficiently

Role & Happiness

Solution Architect for a SaaS / PaaS company called Zuora. I help guide our customers along the technological transformation path; leveraging best practices, comprehensive design, and questioning. I mostly enjoy the iterative ideation process that is driven by overall picture of the customer journey.

Career Path

I started out as an English & Philosophy major preparing to pursue a career in Law. I always had an affinity to technology and took some CS classes in school and worked in a year long internship that involved web enabling banking data housed on mainframe systems. This type of technology is still used today. Though I finished with a Humanities degree, I knew that technology was my path to opportunity and challenge.

Emerging Trends

I am keeping a close watch on Data Science and Machine Learning. I am also interested in how services are replacing whole systems (platform, integration, etc). Lastly, I brushing up on server-less computing and single page applications and how they can affect my architectural designs.

Career Reflections

Geo-arbitrage. It is important to be open to leveraging relocation to access opportunities and tweak cost of living. The best career move I ever made was accepting a job in and moving to California.

Focus on Solutions not tools. The technology and tools will keep changing over time. So don’t get tied to one thing, but instead always focus on the end-to-end solution.

Don’t worry about Imposter Syndrome. Why am I here, do I belong, can I do it… You’re already here, make something of the moment. As part of that, be authentic to yourself. Be the same person at home and at work. You may have to refine that over time but that is part of growing up and people will appreciate that.

Recommended Reading

Deep Work
A More Beautiful Question
Presto Sketching

Work / Design Philosophy

– Focus on the The Aggregation of Marginal Gains, Continual Process Improvement.
Justify the complexity, by demonstrating where it fits in the big picture and helps accomplish the larger vision. 
– Always Pursue the Startup Within. Ideate, Iterate, and always question Why

Productivity Hacks

Time Management: Task Blocking (working in chunks of time on a specific task). Delegate, SAY NO but include options on what you are SAYING YES to. Pursue a ZERO Email Inbox; use it as a to do list and unsubscribe from anything that doesn’t move the needle.

High Energy: Be Resourceful, Stay Organized, Act Right Away. Motion Creates Emotion so get up and move around. Drink lots of Coffee.

Show Up: 80% of life is showing up, so be present as much as possible. Ask Questions & Connect Authentically

Frequently Asked Questions

Below is the TLDR of this post.

Current Gig: Solution Architect at Zuora
Location: Atlanta, GA
Current Computer: MacBook Pro
Current Mobile Device: iPhone X
One word that best describes how you work: Efficient
Commute: 30-45 minutes by car or train
Apps, Gadgets, Tools: Apple (Notes, Mail, Numbers, Reminders), Slack, Wordpress, Sketching
Workspace Setup: Home: Converted shed into outdoor office with standard setup (monitor, printer, etc).
Office: un-decorated open work space desk.
Favorite shortcut or hack: Outsource routine tasks like dry cleaning, landscaping, etc.
To Do Tracking: Email Inbox as a To-Do List, Apple Notes, Calendar, and Reminders Apps
Who Helps You: Global Services teammates, family, mentors.
Recharge / Breaks: Yoga, naps, walks
Side Project(s): Coffeecast
Currently Reading: Presto Sketching
Music Playlist:Wanderlust on Apple Music
Best Advice Received: "Find someone doing what you want to do, and copy them at first. Add originality after you’ve hit a groove.”
Problem Still Solving: Finding consistent time to pursue side projects.

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