By Matt Heinz, President of Heinz Marketing
“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 Heather Kahler, VP of Customer Experience for PFL. Heather started at PFL ten years ago as a technical sales representative and has worked her way up to lead the customer success team. Heather previously was an executive chef at two Montana restaurants.
Here, in her own words, is how she gets stuff done.
Location: I live in beautiful Bozeman Montana, and work in the nearby rural town of Livingston. We are about an hour north of Yellowstone National Park.
Number of unread emails right now? Zero. I hit zero by the end of every day.
First app checked in the morning? FitBit. I like to see how I slept during the night.
First thing you do when you come into work? Look at results from the previous day and compile information for all the conversations I need to have throughout the day.
What is your email management strategy? Use SaneBox to handle the easy categorization. Aggressive use of Outlook rules to shuttle emails to folders so I can read the whole days’ worth of emails about a specific customer or topic at once. This saves me from jumping into group conversations too early. I use the task flag to mark lengthy emails to read at the end of the day and move them to a “Later” folder to keep my in box clean. Clip things to Evernote that will take me some time to review or resolve (projects).
Most essential app when traveling? Maps and Yelp. I love knowing right where I am, and where I should go for my next meal.
How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? Morning meditation starts the day off right. During the day, if I really need to focus I’ll put the headphones on and put on some music. It’s either Classical or Disco, depending on the level of focus needed.
What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? There’s no such thing as balance. Sometimes I need to focus more on work to get things done for a deadline. Sometimes I need to focus more on family and supporting my aging parents. Sometimes I need to focus on training for a powerlifting meet. For me, it’s about focusing on the right thing at the right time, and having all my systems support me wherever I am so I can be fully present.
Are there any work rituals critical to your success? At the end of every day, I ensure I have the next day mapped out. At the end of every Sunday, I spend a couple of hours ensuring I’m ready for the week ahead: Meetings are confirmed, agendas in place, lists of side conversations I need to have, etc. I’m a GTD acolyte, and every work ritual I have ties into that framework.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? FitBit and Evernote. Evernote stores all projects and reference material. It’s my external brain.
What’s your workspace like? Right now, way messier than I’d like. I’ve had some changes and I haven’t settled the new space. Once I settle in, it will be well organized and clean, with everything in it’s place in Kaizen Foam so I don’t waste valuable time searching for things.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? Find and use meal preparation services you like! It keeps me eating the way I like, instead of going out for dinner when things get busy.
What are you currently reading? For development: Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. He finds and interviews such interesting people, and much is directly applicable to my own life. For fun: the Game of Thrones books
Last thing you do before leaving work? Kiss my puppy on the forehead.
Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? There have been many friends and family members in my life who have mentored and supported me. I also work with two coaches, one who focuses on business and professional development and one who focuses on life prioritization. I couldn’t do what I do without my team of supporters! I’m also an avid reader of all things Seth Godin, David Allen, Peter Diamandis, and Tim Ferriss
Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? My sister, my partner Mike, and my close friends help me keep my priorities straight.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? Take care of yourself first so you have energy to take care of others.
Name a guilty pleasure TV show: Defiance. It’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi set on Earth in the year 2046.