If you’re at all interested in the science and psychology of motivation, chances are you’ve read Daniel Pink’s bestseller Drive. In it, he argues that three simple things propel us: autonomy (wanting to direct our own lives), mastery (wanting to be good at something) and purpose (wanting to make a difference).
Now, Daniel is tackling the art of persuasion in his newest book, To Sell Is Human. We caught up with the author (and Al Gore’s former chief speechwriter!) to find out his favourite apps, time savers and inspirations.
Location: Washington DC
Current Gig: writer, author of To Sell Is Human and four other books
Current mobile device: iPhone 4S
Current computer: MacBook Pro and iMac
One word that best describes how you work: slowly
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
What’s your workspace like?
I work out of a rehabbed garage that sits behind my house and serves as world headquarters of Pink.
Pictured above: Part of Daniel’s workspace.
What’s your best time-saving trick?
Following the sage advice of David Allen, I do any task that can be done in fewer than two minutes immediately.
What’s your favourite to-do list manager?
Not only am I analogue on this front, I use paper and pencil. And not even a mechanical pencil — the kind that needs a sharpener.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
My Field Notes notebook.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Preparing dinner from an apparently empty refrigerator.
What do you listen to while you work?
Nothing except my own internal anguish. In fact, I often wear ear plugs — not just on aeroplanes and in noisy spaces, but sometimes in my own office.
Pictured above: Daniel’s “lucky” mugs. One is a tribute to Marcel Duchamp, the other to Osamu Tezuka.
Are you more of an introvert or extrovert?
I’m an ambivert — more introverted than extroverted but with some extraordinarily well-developed faking skills.
What’s your sleep routine like?
It’s pretty boring. I generally go to sleep a little after 11 PM and wake up a little after 7am. I also monitor my sleep using my Jawbone Up.
Fill in the blank. I’d love to see ______ answer these same questions.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now.“ — Viktor Frankl
We’ve asked a handful of heroes, experts and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces and routines. Every week we’ll feature a new guest and the gadgets, apps, tips and tricks that keep them going. Want to suggest someone we should feature or questions we should ask? Let us know.