How I Work (2013 Edition)

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My desk at home

I’ve always been a huge fan of TheVerge’s “What’s in your bag” and Lifehacker’s “How I Work” series. After recently discovering the usesthis.com site and seeing how different folks work, it was only a matter of time before I churned out this article.

I’m going to shamelessly ripoff the format that Lifehacker uses, because it’s awesome. Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Current Gig: I’m running operations in my family business, which includes a legal firm and a debt collection agency.
Current mobile device: Nexus 4 and a 3rd generation iPad.
Current computer: I go around with a 2010 MacBook Pro 13, which will be given a new lease of life via an upgrade to an SSD later this month when OSX Mavericks is released. At the office I use a standard Dell computer. At home I’ve got an old PC that’s usually a hand-me-down from someone who bought a new PC.
One word that best describes how you work: Distracted.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Evernote and Simplenote for notes and lists. Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Naver Line for messaging. Pocket for a never-ending supply of articles to read during lunch. Google Chrome, which is my window to the magical land of the Internet. My LG WCP-300 wireless charger deserves a special mention. I’m always moving around in the office, so I hate plugging and unplugging my phone every time I get up, so I usually don’t keep it plugged in, and end up going home with a phone that’s running out of juice. Thanks to the wireless charger, I always leave the office with my phone with at least 80% of juice.

What’s your best time-saving trick?
Nike got it right when they said “Just do it”. Too often I find myself analysing, making lists and planning things, which eventually makes the task seem impossible. Usually once I start doing it, it’s less complicated than I originally thought.

My desk at the office
My desk at the office

What’s your workspace like?
Back during my college days, my good friend introduced me to the Ikea Jerker table. It’s hilariously named, has a strange website that worships it, and is nice and large. Every few months the junk on the table becomes significant enough that I have trouble moving my mouse, after which I take half a day and clear everything off, and the cycle restarts. I’m a scanning junkie, so I’d love to have a fancy Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner on my desk, but until then, I’ll make do with an old Canon LiDE 100 that I swiped from the office.

What do you listen to while you work?
Nothing when I’m doing serious work. While everybody around me seems to be able to work with music, I find myself mentally singing along to the lyrics instead of doing my work, and no, music without lyrics doesn’t work either.

My actual to do list from yesterday
My actual to do list from yesterday

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
A recycled piece of A4 paper. Nails it every time

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without?
Pen and paper. I’m a stationery junkie. I spend way too much time and money in stationery shops.

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I’m pretty awesome at judging a bowl of well-cooked rice.

What’s your sleep routine like?
I tell myself that I should sleep around 12, but by the time I’ve finished fiddling with Facebook, news sites, and YouTube, it’s usually 3am. I’m up between 8-9am (reluctantly).

Fill in the blank. I’d kill to see ________ answer these same questions.
Jeff Bezos

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
When you’re dealing with someone at or above your level, always be humble. When you’re dealing with someone below your level, be even more humble.

 

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