How I Work

This morning I read the two posts from Tracy Parish and David Kelly on how they work and thought it was a brilliant idea!

The idea came from Life Hacker and if you want to see more stories, check them out here.

So here’s mine…

photo 12A

I should have combed my hair before I took this photo…

Location:

Melbourne, Australia.

Current Gig:

Virtual Learning Consultant for one of the big 4 banks in Australia

Current Mobile Device:

iPhone 4 (don’t laugh – it does the job)

Current Computer:

  • PC at work (IE6.0 – CRINGE!)
  • PC desk top at home Windows 7 (my work horse) 
  • Acer Ultrabook with Windows 7 (my thin mobile work horse)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1 (my toy I drag from room to room or take with me in my handbag)

One Word That Describes How You Work:

Organised

What Apps/Software/Tools Can’t You Live Without?

Daily Use:  Feedly Reader, Twitter, Evernote, Camera on iPhone, LinkedIn, Yammer, Hootsuite, RunTracker, MyFitnessPal, TimeSlider, Google+, Weather, Google Drive

Fun Stuff: Andrew Johnson Meditation Series (Relax, Stress Free & Energy Boost), Dramatic (when you want to break the ice with some dramatic music in a serious meeting and get a laugh), Pandora (love the ‘make your own radio station’ concept and what I listen to when I go walking), Etsy (lust after crafty goodies), Apps Gone Free (daily hit of what’s going for free on Apple).

My colleagues have a chuckle when they see me carry my work lap top from meeting to meeting.  It would be easier to use my tablet but frankly, it’s just easier to be connected to the work server and have everything updated instantly to my share drive or share spaces on my work PC as all documents related to work are within the secure environment.

For personal documents, I use Evernote and Google Drive to have my files with me.  I do have Drop Box but I’m finding now that I’m using more and more of the Google functions. Using the tablet frustrates me as I prefer tapping away on a keyboard.  I have downloaded Swift typing software so now I just instantly swipe the keyboard and find it’s just as fast as typing although it does feel that you’re conducting an orchestra sometimes as you wave your finger back and forth on the screen.

What’s Your Workspace Like?

I work in a funky office in an environmentally friendly building made of glass, metal and wood.  Everything is open plan, open space.  I’m in one of the very few teams in our building who do NOT flexi-desk so I have my own desk which is stark and empty anyway. Feels wrong to personalise an office desk when everyone around you lugs their gear in backpacks like lost souls wandering from desk to desk every morning.

I work from home on average once a week although we are encouraged to work from home more often.  I love my home office.  I have everything set up the way I like it – and love to look out the window and see different scenes that I usually don’t see at work 9-5.  I am amused that I can watch the coming and goings of my neighbours and like a busy body, if they look younger than 65 and they’re out and about in their gardens, I invariably think something along the lines of, “Why aren’t they at work?”  “Is this what they look like?” Sometimes I get freaked out when the gas meter guy comes into our property and all the hairs of my arms shoot up in alarm – “What? Who’s that? What’s he doing in our property?  Oh he’s reading our meter. Okay, phew, go back to work now….”

Ooh, look there’s the postman!

photo (7)

My home study/office. The telephone directories have only ever been used to prop up my PC monitor. The window on the right looks out onto front garden…

Life at home during the week day is really interesting….

What’s Your Best Time Saving Trick?

Any time that my husband is watching the footy or golf on TV – or when he’s off playing golf.  That’s about 4-5 hours of undisturbed time to do what I need to do around the house.   I strongly encourage my husband to play more golf or take business trips interstate.  Failing that, I’m a great multi-tasker. I can have a few things on the go.

My best time saving trick is…get up early.

What is Your Favourite List To Do Manager:

Believe it or not I still love paper note books – the ones with the nice designs and always carry one in my bag.  I love to write my To Do item and with a big black texta marker pen, cross out the item once it’s done.  No matter what you say, I simply don’t get the same satisfaction by swiping or pressing a delete button.

IMG_1631

A good day when all tasks were completed.

Besides your phone or computer, what gadget can you not live without?

My Kindle.

My FitBit.

Are knitting needles considered gadgets? If so, them (preferably with yarn attached)

photo (8)

The Fit Bit – after my walk this morning…I’ve done 5834 steps so far. I aim for       10 000 every day

What Every Day Thing Are You Better Than Everyone Else?

Tinkering on the computer, uploading, downloading, connecting cables, fiddling about with it.

(But don’t ask me to record a show on the television as I can’t work my way around the remote controls as they seem to have multiplied over the years and I have a morbid fear of all these buttons).

Is knitting an every day thing?  If so, that.

What Do You Listen to While You Work?

Zip. I like silence.

Being in an open plan office really grates on me.  There is so much chatter, people walking in and around your desk – it does my head in.  I’ve bought a pair of noise reducing headphones that I put on – but don’t listen to any music – the fact that I’m wearing these big black headphones is a key message to others not to disturb me.   However, many times for any work where I have to design, develop learning materials or need to reflect and think, I just work from home.  The office is far too distracting.

Are You More of an Introvert than an Extrovert?

Introvert but my work puts me into situations where I have to be extrovert and this gives me anxious feelings and moments of self doubt.  Many years ago, I did a Myers Briggs Test and I was smack bang in the middle of Introvert and Extrovert.   If pushed however, what gives me energy is solitude, introspection and reflection – therefore that makes me an introvert.

What’s Your Sleep Routine Like?

As an early riser, I get to sleep early.  I’m in bed usually by 10:30pm, read or surf the internet for half hour and then promptly fall asleep.  I get up at 6am – weekends and weekdays. Sometimes earlier.

Fill In the Blank.  I’d Love to See _________ Answer These Same Questions:

Our CEO

What’s the Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

“Learn how to cook, save your money, don’t gamble, don’t let the bank own you, keep healthy, live a moral and ethical life.”  (Thanks Mum).

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About Activate Learning Solutions

Helen Blunden is the founder of Activate Learning Solutions and Third Place. She has over 20 years of experience within learning and development across private, public and not-for-profit organisations. With a specialty in performance consulting and networked learning, Helen believes that workplace learning is integral to business success. She has a passion for enabling people to learn beyond the classroom and believes in the power of networks and communities to drive collaboration and meaning within the organisation. From facilitator-led instruction, online and blended, Helen deploys social and informal learning such as enterprise social networking, collaboration tools and emerging technologies that have been proven successful and embedded workplace change.
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6 Responses to How I Work

  1. Coffee! Of course, I missed that….me too!!!

  2. great post witty and informative I’m gonna have to do 1 myself next week 😉 how do I work? Mainly on coffee!

  3. Interesting comment as I had been thinking if I should do this .Good idea might just give this a go!

  4. Love this Helen – thanks for sharing. Why don’t you start this at work and get people to post how they work on Yammer! Maybe even your CEO! It’s something I am thinking of doing starting with our National Managing Partner.

  5. Thanks David, I thought this was a brilliant and fun way to take a sneak peek into how everyone works. Let’s see how many others take on the challenge!

  6. Thanks for sharing Helen. You’ve given me a few apps to check out, and I LOVE the advice your Mum gave you.

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