Every week, we share the shortcuts, workspaces and productivity tips of our favourite experts and internet personalities in our How I Work series. Throughout this week, we're giving readers a glimpse into how we work. Today, US writer Adam shares his workspace, podcasting setup and his weird way of getting things done.
The last time we did this series, I shared a lot more technology. Since then my setup and gear hasn't changed much aside from some minor upgrades and getting rid of a lot of stuff. If you want to see what things were liked in the past, however, go check it out.
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Current Gig: Senior Writer and Art Director at Lifehacker
One word that best describes how you work: Often
Current mobile device: Google/LG Nexus 4
Current computer: MacBook Air 11" and a Hack Pro
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
What's your workspace setup like?
My workspace consists of two IKEA desks and an IKEA dining table. They were all the cheapest options available so I do whatever I wanted to them and not feel like I was ruining quality, irreplaceable furniture. I have two monitors on my main desk, and a third TV-as-monitor on the table. The table also includes three microphones and that's where podcasts happen. I have a keyboard piano on one wall for music, a highly-organised closet full of cables and tools for various purposes, and a really nice chair that nobody ever uses.
What's your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
The delete key. Seriously, if I didn't use it regularly I would drown in tasks, emails, and a variety of other things that ultimately don't matter as much as I often think they do.
What's your favourite to-do list manager?
My brain. If it's important enough and I want it enough I'll remember to do it. I find that I do far less if it's in a to-do app, with one exception: I usually pick a day once a month where I just want to feel really accomplished and make an impossibly long list of tasks, then do all of them. I use a plain text file for that. If I did use task management software, however, it would be Wunderlist.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?
I've lived fine without it before, but life is much better with a nice camera. Currently, for me, that's a Sony NEX-6.
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?
I'm not better than everyone else at anything, and I'm OK with that. You don't learn when you're the best, or at least when you think you are.
What do you listen to while you work?
Nothing but the wind. If I could silence all notifications I would.
What's your sleep routine like?
I generally go to bed at midnight and get up at 7:30. Sometimes the timeframe is a bit narrowed. I take all my allergy medicine at night so it doesn't cause much drowsiness the next day. I wake up with the sun, but UNIQLO WAKE UP tells me when I need to start work.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I'm both. I test straight down the middle. When I'm awake I'm very extroverted. When I'm tired I exhibit more introverted qualities. I don't like being alone or with people for too long, so balance works best for me.
Is there anyone you'd kill to see answer these same questions?
No. There are better reasons to kill someone. :) But in all serious, still no. I just like good ideas, whether they come from someone remarkably successful or not, and I'd rather not know how the people I admire work. I'd rather just admire them.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
I have two. First: "Be nice. Be interesting. Be weird. If you can say you were all three every day, you'll always have something to smile about." Second: "You don't get shit you don't ask for."
Is there anything else you'd like to add that might be interesting to readers/fans? If you really want to know, you should ask Google. Just don't say I didn't warn you. Also, I like hearing from nice, cool people so say hi sometime. (Twitter's a good place.) Also, if you like a good adventure, I hide Easter eggs in my Lifehacker articles all the time. Here's a clue: dog lover.