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.

Every week (on Thursday) we feature a 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 Dave Derington, Director of User Enablement at Azuqua in Seattle.  Dave brings a background in education and chemistry to his role, combining engaging content with a scientific approach.  He’s also served as a mentor to entrepreneurs.  Here in his own words is how he gets stuff done.

Location:  Seattle, Washington

Number of unread emails right now?  One (1)

First app checked in the morning?  LinkedIn

First thing you do when you come into work?  Typically get coffee or a caffeinated beverage and review messages via email / Slack.

What is your email management strategy?  I strive for Inbox Zero by using Gmail’s Multiple Inboxes.  I read and archive (or delete) anything that doesn’t require my attention and prioritize other things as needed.  With Slack, this has certainly become easier (I get less email internally).

Most essential app when traveling?  Slack – to keep up with everyone!

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused?  For me, having a very clear plan of action on a daily and weekly basis is key.  I use Trello (and now a tool called 7Geese for OKRs) to manage tasks and priorities and typically spend a little bit of time on Sunday evening before I go to bed to make sure I’m ready for the week.  Knowing my priorities and seeing work get completed has a calming affect (for me) and makes it easier to say “no” to other things. Also, I find that blocking my calendar for focused work periods absolutely helps.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance?  Having a flexible work environment is key.  My employer (Azuqua) is particularly flexible which helps those of us with families to be able to make appointments.   Often this means that I might be working in the evening for a little bit to keep on top of things.  

I lean towards being a workaholic, so knowing that I focus on topic #7 – having a plan.  I also track my time, even though I don’t have to report it to anyone.  For me, it keeps me honest – both in making sure I’m not overworking or missing something important.

Are there any work rituals critical to your success?  I’d say a weekly work-from-home day helps keep me sane and productive.  Great way to hide and focus intensely on content once a week (more if needed).

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

  • Slack
  • Shift (which allows you to have MULTIPLE Google accounts IN THE SAME WINDOW)
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Audacity
  • Camtasia
  • Evernote
  • Trello
  • Toggl

What’s your workspace like?  We have an open office area with a great view of Elliott Bay.  It’s soothing to see the mountains outside or watch the boats in the bay.  We also have Kombucha on tap, a selection of beer, and free lunch on Friday

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?  Using Azuqua FLOs to automate creation of reports to my manager.  Hours –> seconds.  Amazing!

What are you currently reading?  Michael Allen’s Guide to E-Learning

Last thing you do before leaving work? Typically check OneBusAway (I usually ride the bus to work)!

Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge?  Most recently, I give props to Bill Cushard (from ServiceRocket) for helping guide me to be a successful (almost) podcaster.  It’s amazing to have someone guide you and answer questions, even if they have a busy schedule.

Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? 

  • Dan Kogan, who has supported my vision and given the resources to do great things
  • Ewa Jóźwiak for all her support in a lot of ways – particularly getting my back on running podcasts and setting up our studio
  • Chris Reagan for helping with editing audio and video (so tedious and he makes great content)
  • Cameron Wilson for often jumping in to help out with social content

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?  “Perfect is the enemy of done”.  Should be the recovering perfectionist’s oath.

Name a guilty pleasure TV show  Watching “Charmed” with my wife.

Anything else you want to add?  If you want to learn more about Azuqua, follow us on Twitch:  https://www.twitch.tv/azuqua_academy We do weekly product demos, live training, and more no this innovate platform.  Great stuff and you’ll always get reminders if you follow us when we’re live!

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see Adam Sinnett answer these questions