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.
This week I’m excited to feature Deidre Moore, director of demand generation for TimeTrade. Diedre is a demand gen veteran of many years at several well-known national B2B brands, and apparently has the best of both worlds as well – she’s a foodie married to a chef!
Here in her own words is how she gets stuff done.
Location: my home office in Newburyport, MA (north of Boston on the water)
Number of unread emails right now? A little over 80 at the moment, though that’s likely a bit deceiving as I often leave something as unread if I need to come back to it or there is a specific action item for me, even if I’ve technically read it one time through.
First app checked in the morning? Email, followed closely by Yahoo Weather (In fact, it’s probably a tie.)
First thing you do when you come into work? Re-check my calendar in case something has changed on my commute to work (which is about 50 minutes on a good day)
What is your email management strategy? It’s likely a stretch to call it a strategy, but I do try to file the important stuff in Inbox folders. It gets it out of my immediate view, but makes it easier to find the critical ones later.
Most essential app when traveling? Google Maps (especially subway and walking directions when I’m in NYC—genius!) Some favorite podcasts also made a summer of traveling to visit colleges with my son a little lighter, and started some great conversations as well.
How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? For me, calm and focused are really 2 different states as when I’m really focused, I tend to have a lot of energy. When I want to calm down, I usually look for the nearest dog. (I have 3 and one of them sticks to me like Velcro when I’m home so that’s pretty easy.) When I need to focus, I really need someplace quiet and without distractions. No people, no music, just the work. Multi-tasking is over-rated anyway.
What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? My natural tendencies definitely lean towards “control freak,” so this has always been a struggle for me. I think honest communication helps. If something is important to me in either realm of my life, and is going to be especially demanding of my time for a period, I try to be open about that and let the people around me know. (Forewarned is forearmed!) But generally speaking, over the years I’ve come to see it as a long game. Some weeks work wins, some weeks the rest of my life wins, but it all balances out in the end.
Are there any work rituals critical to your success? Ever since I can remember I’ve always carved out an hour or so each Sunday to go through my notes from the previous week, rebuild my to-do list for the new week, and prioritize tasks for both work and family. It makes facing Monday SO much easier.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Waze. And on the subject of my commute, podcasts have become pretty indispensable to me. I have a diverse library of favorites and like to switch it up from something work-related to something really just for fun. I recently finished a podcast called “Last Seen,” produced by WBUR, our local and wonderful NPR affiliate, and the Boston Globe. It’s about the still unsolved art theft from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum nearly 30 years ago. As a former art history student I really loved it, though it unfolded more like a great crime thriller. And the new season of Serial is out now, so looking forward to that as well.
What’s your workspace like? Messy. (Sigh.) Lots of stacks. I still like to read a lot of things on paper versus online, and I’m a huge list maker so I always have a notebook or 2 going. I also never met a sticky note I didn’t like.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? Doing the big, important (even if painful) stuff first thing in the morning when I’m fresh and caffeinated. That and always writing stuff down when I think of them. My days of being able to remember all the little stuff are long gone. (See answer above re: sticky notes.)
What are you currently reading? The pile on my bedside table is embarrassingly large right now! I’m always reading several things at once, including my perennial quest to catch-up on weekly issues of The New Yorker, but currently its “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stephenson, a really compelling non-fiction account of a career in our criminal justice system, and “Imagine it Forward” by Beth Comstock. I highly recommend both!
Last thing you do before leaving work? Ha! I’m usually the last one in the family to leave the house in the am, so it’s always telling my dogs I love them, and that “I’ll be right back.” Thank goodness they don’t hold it against me!
Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? My former colleague and boss Betsy Zikakis taught me so much about marketing, and was a tremendous role model of what a woman in tech could achieve early in my career.
Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? My husband is definitely at the top of this list. Our life only works because we are truly partners – even in laundry.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “It’s not about the effort. It’s about the results.” And this is not advice that was given to me per se, but Scarlett O’Hara was right: Tomorrow is another day. Thankfully we all get another chance to do better.
Name a guilty pleasure TV show Game of Thrones for sure, but sadly we have to fill the multi-year gaps between seasons, right? Many years ago my British mother-in-law got me addicted to Masterpiece Theater and her favorite BBC shows. Those are still the ones I gleefully watch today, esp. Poldark, Victoria, and Call the Midwife.
Anything else you want to add? This was fun—thanks for the opportunity!
Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. I’d love to see my friend and former marketing partner in crime Krista Thomas answer these questions.