How We Work 2016: Mark Serrels’ Favourite Productivity Tips And Gear

Once more it’s time for our annual How We Work roundup, where Lifehacker staffers and contributors share their favourite tips and tools for better productivity. Today: Kotaku editor Mark Serrels.

Location: Sydney, Australia Current Gig: Editor, Kotaku Australia Your favourite word: Flaccid Current mobile device: A terrible Android phone. I literally don’t remember the brand but it’s terrible. Current computer</strong?: A Dell Laptop

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

Honestly? Nothing. I don’t depend on tools to do my job at all. Google Chrome, a laptop and an internet connection. That’s it. That’s all I need.

What's your workspace setup like?

I’m looking at it right now.

  • Oats
  • Green tea
  • Big bottle of water
  • Box of tissues
  • A post-it note with a list of stories I want to write

That’s pretty much it. I work really lean.

What's your best time-saving or efficiency shortcut?

I honestly believe a lot of that stuff is overrated. Just work. Just try to remove distractions and try and remain focused.

One thing I do use when writing is pomodoros – 20 minute periods where you just write without stopping, take a ten minute break, then repeat. It’s a good way to get a lot of writing done quickly. A good way to retain your focus. I use them if I’m trying to write a long-form feature because you can often overthink them.

What do you eat for breakfast?</h3? I literally eat porridge every day. Every single day.

What skill are you better at this year than last year?

Rock climbing!

What are you currently reading?

The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard. It’s a historically accurate look at the golden age of piracy. It’s a bit dry but I absolutely love the attention to detail. Sam Bellamy – best pirate ever.

What do you listen to while you work?

I can’t write and listen to music at the same time! If colleagues get too noisy I sometimes listen to white noise!

What's your favourite part of your job?

Hitting publish on a story you’ve worked hard on, a story you’re really proud of. It’s the best feeling in the world. I love getting to that point where it’s done and you’re ready to show the world!

What's your sleep routine like?

I typically go to bed early and wake up early. Sleep by 1030pm, up at 6am.

But I have to put my three year old to sleep, so sometimes I accidentally fall asleep next to him, wake up at midnight, stay awake for three hours and then sleep from 3am to 6am! Slowly transitioning to a bi-phasic sleep schedule!

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

I don’t know if I’m better than everyone else, but I’m really passionate about the rhythm of language and words and getting sentences to work properly. I think about that a lot. I’m sort of obsessed with it.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?

I like, “an honest man has nothing to fear”. I think it was from the movie Catch Me If You Can of all places!


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