In this article, you’ll find out:
1. How do you schedule your day?
“I’m the type who leaps out of bed and gets straight to work. I start my day by checking email for any urgent situations; then I take care of my daily tasks; and then I move on to either writing or working on long-term projects. I tend to save meetings or collaborative work for later in the day – both because it energizes me at the time when I might otherwise be “slumping” and because it helps accommodate the different time zones of our international remote team members.”
2. How do you use different communication tools in different situations?
“I use email to confirm things I need in writing or want to reference later – like deadlines, schedules, or informal agreements. But, if I have just a quick question for another team member, I hop on chat to ask. And I love video hangouts for meetings, brainstorming, project kick-offs, or new team member orientation. It makes it so much easier to interpret the tone of a meeting and the priority of the project.”
3. What does "working remotely" actually look like for you?
“I used to think that I would LOVE being able to spend my days working from coffee shops. But after working remotely for several months, I realized that working from home makes me way more effective. At a coffee shop (or other public place), you don’t always have control over “break time.” Maybe someone takes your outlet, the WIFI goes out, or people keep starting conversations with you. At home, things come up, but it’s a lot easier to get in the zone and STAY in the zone. Now I head to coffee shops when I can sense a case of cabin fever coming on.
As for schedule, I find that working in 2 or 3 long shifts is the best for me. I’ll work for 3-4 hours in the morning, then take a 2-3 hour break, then put in another block of hours. I don’t mind working past dinner time, and I’m much more productive in the afternoon if I take a break to get some sunshine in the midday.”
4. What do you need in your physical workspace to be successful in your job?
“I like to change it up when it comes to my working environment. At my home office, I have both a sitting and a standing option so I can switch depending on the situation. I don’t need music to work, but some ambience is OK. And sometimes I even invite other devs to come over and cowork.”
5. How do you process information?
“If you can be an information hoarder, I am one. I do my best work when I understand the goals behind a project, its scope, and the whole big picture. I get the most ideas when I can picture how my work fits into the grand scheme. I know it can be a weakness, especially if I’m not the team leader on a certain project, so I try to ask key questions that will get me in the zone – questions like, What problem are we solving with this project? and What is our marker of success?”
6. How do you handle your calendar and schedule?
“The key for me has always been to have one calendar and then organize the heck out of it. For the last few years, I’ve used a handful of calendars inside of iCal. I have color-coded ones for errands, my day job, freelance work, as well as fun stuff, bills, etc. I like it mainly because of how fast and seamless the sync is between my laptop and phone.
I understand why people keep their work and personal calendars separate but that’s just never worked for me. I need everything in one place—synced across my devices and preferably color coded. I’m all about the color coding!”
7. How do you organize files, links, and tabs on your computer?
“I keep everything in a local version of Dropbox… and I do mean everything. I love it because my backups are otherwise pretty irregular and this way I never have to worry about having the right version of a file. And I can access anything from my phone or a friends computer! I have a general “Projects” folder in there with subfolders for everything I’m currently working on as well as an Archive folder. When I finish a project, I just move its folder into the Archive. Then I always know exactly where something is when an old client comes calling.
I use the bookmark bar in Chrome to quickly access all the websites I use on the regular. But obviously we use a lot of Google Docs and that bookmark bar is only so wide. So one of those links is to a “Table of Contents” that has links to all of my frequently used documents and spreadsheets."
8. How do you prioritize tasks?
“I prioritize tasks based on the business need / benefit. Tasks, projects and bug fixes that facilitate getting and converting new leads and those that have a direct and positive impact on students’ experience while on our site always take precedence.”
9. How do you prepare for meetings and facilitate meetings? What do you make sure to do during a meeting?
“My top tips for remote meetings are:
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