How We Work 2016: Rae Johnston’s 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: Gizmodo journalist Rae Johnston.

Location: Sydney, The Internet Current Gig: Journalist, Gizmodo Australia Your favourite word: Problematic Current mobile device: Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 Current computer: Dell Inspirion for the office, custom gaming PC at home

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

Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Feedly, Wordpress, Chartbeat and Photoshop are my basic daily necessities.

What's your workspace setup like?

I have so much stuff on my desk – it’s basically an extension of myself. In terms of tech I have : a second monitor setup with my laptop, Tron Razer keyboard (it makes Tron noises and lights up when I start my computer up of a morning, I love it dearly), Razer Taipan mouse, an Incipio wireless charging base for my phone and Bose QC25 noise cancelling headphones.

Aesthetics-wise, I have a bunch of Wonder Woman, Bioshock and Aboriginal artwork on the walls of my cubicle, alongside Pop Vinyl’s, Marvel Disney Infinity figures and X-Files Lego figures that sit on top of a real life version of the Super Mario Bros flagpole stairs.

There are also a couple of comics, Magic the Gathering cards, a leather coaster I made to look like dragon scales and a giant World of Tanks mousepad. Basically it’s a nerd cave.

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

Wear headphones. No one wants to interrupt you when you’re wearing headphones, and you can really get stuff done.

What do you eat for breakfast?

I have an almond milk flat white at 6:30am, followed by scrambled eggs, bacon, roast tomato and a hash brown at 9am-ish. It keeps me going until 10:30am at least, when I’ll have a peppermint tea and a piece of fruit. I think about food most of the day. Sometimes I’ll just eat an entire tub of cottage cheese. I should probably stop that.

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

I’m faster. Getting news out, it’s a fine line between perfectionism and speed. I’ve learnt that everything I write doesn’t have to be the best thing I’ve written, particularly if it’s time sensitive. It’s a tough thing to get your head around!

What are you currently reading?

11/22/63 by Stephen King. I’ve read almost all of Stephen King’s work (I started with IT when I was 11. Way too young. Do not recommend) and this one has so many great references for fans. I haven’t started watching the TV series as yet – I’m waiting to finish the book.

What do you listen to while you work?

Okay – confession time. I listen to Beyoncé’s “Run The World (Girls)” at the start of every story. It gets me super motivated.

I used to be unable to write while there were lyrics in my ear, and could only listen to classical or soundtracks. But I seem to have gotten used to it. My playlist is essentially a mix of 90’s grunge and Aussie Hip-Hop. And Beyoncé, of course.

What's your favourite part of your job?

You seriously can’t expect me choose just one thing.

Look, I get to write about advances in Australian scientific research, space missions, the benefits of video games, my favourite movies, brilliant TV shows, weird and wonderful gadgets, cool ways cars are integrating tech, virtual reality and a million (well, not quite) other awesome things. I get to produce and host Static Podcast with Lifehacker and Kotaku. And I work with people who inspire me every day. We also have lunchtime Magic the Gathering sessions.

What’s not to love?

What's your sleep routine like?

I turn into a pumpkin at around 10pm, likely because I wake up at 5am every morning, whether I have an alarm set or not. Yes, even on weekends. At least I get to enjoy the sunrise?

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Does loving my son and fiancée count? I bake a mean batch of cookies. Also I love leatherworking – I wouldn’t say I’m better than anyone else at it, but I do enjoy it a lot.

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

My motto for my entire adult life has been “Never hope harder than you work” – it has worked out pretty well for me.

I’ve also taken on board a new one this year, which is “Do less things, better.” It keeps me from over-committing myself!


    Tron Razer keyboard Where can I acquire one of these? Did not know this existed lol.

      On ebay it's like $300 or more. No longer made so good luck.

    I recently finished 11/22/63. It's fabulous, enjoyed it immensely.

    where did you get the mat under the keyboard and mouse?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now