“How I Work” is one of my favorite recurring features in Inc Magazine as well as via Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series, and recently several sales experts (including Anthony Iannarino, Dave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.
Periodically moving forward we will feature a new B2B sales, marketing or business leader here answering what have become the standard “How I Work” questions. You can catch up on everyone we’ve featured thus far in the “How I Work” series here.
This week I’m excited to feature David Spark, who was recommended/mandated to participate in this series by Jason Miller (who was featured a few weeks ago). David founded Spark Media Solutions, a company that’s at the forefront of innovating new content marketing strategies for companies worldwide.
David gets stuff done. Here, in his own words, is how he works:
Location: San Francisco
Current computers: Lenovo notebook, old Dell desktop as a backup machine. Just ordered a Dell XPS 15
Current mobile devices: Samsung S3, iPad, iPad Nano, four Flip Mino HDs, Fitbit
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Lot of obvious ones such as Google Maps, Yelp, Microsoft Word, Adobe Creative Suite, Quicken, Dropbox, OneNote, WordPress
What’s your workspace like? I finally have a workstation I love. I hired California Closets to build out a custom office and it’s great. Big desk, dual monitors, bunch of drawers, a charging station, a second desk with a computer to run processes not to eat up my main computer, and only one filing drawer that’s barely half full because I’ve gone paperless.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?
1: Turn off all your non-personal message alerts on your mobile phone. You won’t believe how much time you save not being distracted by nonsense.
2: Use a password management program such as Roboform, Password1, or LastPass not just for security reasons, but also to save tons of time by not trying to remember what username and password you’re supposed to enter.
3: Go paperless and stop buying books on paper. Every physical object you own, whether a piece of paper or a book, becomes a responsibility that requires you to physically manage. We don’t think about it, but all that moving and resorting eats up time. If you eliminate paper, the need to manage physical objects evaporate as well.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? Maintaining a copious database of the 4,000+ people I’ve met over the past eight years. I have notes on when and how we met and what we talked about. That information is invaluable and people are always impressed when I have an answer to “You probably don’t remember me.”
For a non-everyday thing: I’m really good at coaxing people to answer inappropriate questions on camera. For example, at the Dreamforce conference I asked attendees, “When is the best time to start swearing at your customers?”
What’s your favorite to-do list manager?
To keep track of what to do next I use a combination of Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects. I also like the app Our Groceries to synchronize shopping lists with one’s spouse.
What do you listen to while at work? Silence, or I’ll log in to Beats Music and listen to a playlist of classic jazz, classic rock, alt rock, or funk/soul. If I’m doing anything that doesn’t require concentration I’m listening to podcasts.
What are you currently reading? Wired magazine, long articles I’ve saved to Pocket, and articles on MATTER. I’m a huge fan of reading on my iPad.
What’s your sleep routine like? My sleep routine is fine. It’s my wife’s sleep routine that sucks. Since the birth of our second child I don’t think she’s slept more than four hours continuously.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Always do an assignment right away. Don’t wait and do it at the last minute. That way you’ll be available when the next project comes up.
Anything else you want to add?
The most important project I ever started is shooting a video a day of both of my sons. It’s why I own four Flip Mino HD cameras. I have this unbelievable organized archive of their entire lives captured on video. It sounds like a tantamount project, but it’s not. I encourage all new parents to do the same. To get started, check out the two-part article I wrote that explains exactly how to do it.
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions.
Andy Ihnatko. He’s a former junior high school classmate who now speaks and writes about all things Mac.