“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 really excited to feature Scott Smith, general manager of Market Leader for Zillow Group. I’ve known Scott for more than 12 years, going back to when we first worked together at Microsoft. I had the pleasure of working with him again at HouseValues (then a start-up that become Market Leader and is now owned by Zillow). Scott has always been a highly productive guy, cool under pressure, with lots of pots on the fire.
He’s also a father of three and one of the best I know at balancing work and home. Scott, suffice it to say, gets stuff done. Here, in his own words, is how he gets things done.
Location: Seattle and Bellevue
Current computers: Macbook Pro
Current mobile devices: iPhone 6
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Outlook, Excel, Things, Powerpoint, Evernote, and Hipchat
What’s your workspace like? Open floor plan, 6 x 6 desks for everyone, lots of natural light, and my desk specifically is very organized and minimalistic. No papers sitting around. Laptop, second monitor, printer, a few charging cords like iPhone and Fitbit, and a desk phone that never gets used (I use my cell phone for all things work and personal).
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack? Try to not have to look at an email twice. I am trying to get to Inbox zero but haven’t fully gotten there yet. I can sometimes get it down to 5 or less emails. And when it gets to be more than one screen, I have to stop and take time to respond, file, or delete.
What everyday thing are you better at than anybody else? Keeping things simplified and structured. I like to group things into manageable buckets of 3 things. Why? Because 2 is not enough and 4 is one too many. In all seriousness, with any group of people of any size and any project, complexity is a part of what we all create by bringing great ideas and solutions to the table. I think I’m pretty good at breaking it down into areas of focus and providing direction and clarity (and I almost always put it into 3 buckets).
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? “Things”. I’ve probably tried every to do list manager for Mac and iPhone and have settled on Things for the last 6 months. Basic input for simple entries plus supports Projects and Tags. Probably spend 10 to 15 minutes a day managing my ToDo’s.
What do you listen to while at work? During the day I like the buzz of our sales and service teams. Great energy. When I need to tune out completely I’ll turn to a Classic Rock station.
What are you currently reading? Just finished two books: “Unbroken” and “Scars of Sweet Paradise: the Life and Times of Janis Joplin” and will be starting Stalin’s Silver (Generally people’s life stories are most interesting to me).
What’s your sleep routine like? 10 pm to 5 am (with a usual middle of the night wake up because something is going through my brain).
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Two pieces of advice: “You can never cross a bridge before you get to it” and “Bad news never gets better with age”.