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.

Each and every Thursday, for the last few years, we have been featuring B2B sales, marketing or business leaders 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 incredibly excited to feature my amazing wife, Beth Heinz.  She is a public school teacher and is frequently on her own managing our three children while I’m traveling.  Those of you who know her also know that I married up, way up.  She is amazing, funny, humble but also incredibly well organized, creative and industrious.

A couple weeks ago after the kids went to bed I thought it would be fun to ask her the usual “How I Work” questions.  This is a transcription of her answers.  Enjoy!

Location:  Kirkland Washington

Number of unread emails right now?  Zero

First app checked in the morning? Dark Sky

First thing you do when you come into work? One of two things.  Either a meeting right away, I listen to what’s happened on the days I’ve been out (I teach part time), or I catch up with my dear friends who teach second grade.

What is your email management strategy?  Answer it and delete it.  I keep things I need to remember in my inbox.  I don’t get that many.

Most essential app when traveling?  Where is my husband?  They don’t make that one but they should.  Probably my Kindle.

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused?  Focus is out of the question.  I have three small children, I teach small children, plus I have ADHD.  So I create a lot of lists, I use a lot of visual cues and do a lot of self-talk about what is the real job and what do I need to get done.  How do I stay calm?  I breath deeply, spend time in my garden, go for a run when nobody can ask me for stuff.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance?  The most important things in my life are my family and my home, but I have a lot of pride in doing a good job and being the best teacher I can be.  Even the days I don’t work I still check email and am thinking about it.  But it just can’t consume you.

Are there any work rituals critical to your success?  No email in the morning.  I would prefer that my husband did that as well.  Get my lunch made, get the kids ready and out the door with a minimal amount of crying and yelling (from me and other people), then I can be more focused and ready to roll when I get to work.

What apps/software/tools can¹t you live without?  Making lists, Google Keep, that might be it.  I don’t live in a complex work world.

What’s your workspace like?  On my gosh, well, it’s a large room with a lot of short people, a couple tall people, and a lot of books.  Lots of short tables and small chairs and a lot of whiteboards and anchor charts (an anchor chart has essential learnings you’re trying to get across that the kids can refer to and apply on their own).

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?  Making the children work for me.  Also, getting prepared the night before.  Especially when Matt is out of town, I get everything done the night before so that mornings are much smoother to get out the door.  A good weekly meal plan is also essential.  Oh and reliable babysitters.

What are you currently reading?  Cooking Light magazines, Sunset magazine, Archaeology Today magazine, Conferring With Readers by Jennifer Cerevalo, Strategies That Work (New Edition) and The Mystery of the Pale Horse.

Last thing you do before leaving work?  I try to tidy up my workspace and small group table so that it looks clean and is ready to go in the morning.

Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge?  Miss Diane Nichols, my third grade teacher, she gave me the space to be a student who could be diagnosed with a learning disability and ADHD but set no boundaries on my achievement.  Leanne Rafter, former colleague at Briarcrest Elementary School, I am half her age but we complimented each other and spent a lot of time laughing together.

Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best?  Matt Heinz, you may know him, who encourages me to chase dreams and listens to me when I’m frustrated and he’s been out of town and I need to unload.  Also Rachel Trudell my job-share partner, she splits my job but also helps me to grow and become ever more sophisticated and better at my craft.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?  From Monica Kim, one of Clara’s friend’s moms: it’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have a choice.  And this is mine, try to reduce as many things that make you crazy as possible.

Name a guilty pleasure TV show  Scandal because it was stupid and dumb but not it’s over.  I loved The Brave but NBC cancelled it, dummies.  I watch a lot of nature shows and vet shows.

Anything else you want to add?  Thank a teacher, they are trying their best.

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions.  Josh Gates, host of Discovery Channel’s Destination Unknown

 Nominate someone for this series here!