Every week, we share the shortcuts, workspaces, and productivity tips of our favorite experts. Today it’s my turn. I’m Kristin, and here’s how I get stuff done.
Location: Los Angeles
Current Gig: I write things for the internet, mostly here at Two Cents.
One word that best describes how you work: Cats. My two cats are incredibly needy and have to be around me ALL THE TIME. I thought cats were supposed to be independent. They’re not doing it right.
Current mobile device: iPhone 6
Current computer: MacBook Air, iMac
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without? Why?
I use Google Drive for writing and organizing files, Evernote for archiving stuff, and Feedly for keeping up with all my blog reading. I still love Mint for budgeting and Personal Capital for keeping track of my investments. Still a big fan of Invisible Hand and Honey for finding online deals, too.
What’s your workspace setup like?
I have a nice, tidy work area in my apartment that I never use. Instead, I work on my laptop at the kitchen counter. I have no idea why; that’s where I gravitate. Probably because it’s closer to the food.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?
I’m a big worrier, so I waste a lot of time dwelling on things out of my control. A friend suggested I write down a list of my worries throughout the day to get them out of my head. It’s a surprisingly helpful trick. Putting those worries on paper gives them a sense of tangibility, and then I can set them aside to focus on other things.
Another tip that’s saved me time is writing my first draft like no one will read it. It’s intimidating to start a post knowing that lots of eyeballs will be on it, and I freeze up if I think about that too much. So I write the first draft in a very simple, almost stream of consciousness format, with the comfort of knowing I’ll edit it later, and the first draft is just to get words on the page.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
I’ve started jotting down my daily tasks by hand. Again, something about the tangibility and act of crossing things off a list is very satisfying.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
Chromecast because TV.
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret?
I don’t want to brag, but I’m really good at peeling eggs. I don’t really have a secret. I just boil them, crack the ends, and peel. Eggs!
What do you listen to while you work?
I actually prefer silence, but my neighbor seems to enjoy The Wall, so I’ve been listening to that a lot lately.
What are you currently reading?
I just started Salman Rushdie’s new book, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights. Hopefully that’s not how long it takes me to read it.
How do you recharge?
Impromptu road trips. And Sour Patch Kids.
What’s your sleep routine like?
I am both a night owl and a morning person. So I try to get to bed early, but I prefer to stay up late, but then I also don’t like sleeping in. Basically, I don’t like the idea of sleeping. Unless it’s a nap. Naps are great.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.
Still have to go with Larry David on this one.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’ll share the best advice since last year. A good friend of mine (who also happens to be an awesome career counselor) said to me, “self-care is not a reward.” I actually wrote about it here. It might be obvious advice for some, but I often put off basic needs, like eating lunch or even using the restroom, so I can finish writing “one last section.” For a long time, I would regularly burn myself out doing stuff like this, so I try to remember her advice daily.
The How I Work series asks heroes, experts, and flat-out productive people to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email Andy.