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 IannarinoDave Brock and Trish Bertuzzi) participated as well.

Every 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 Michele Aymold, VP of Marketing at Parker Dewey.  Michelle is a wicked-smart B2B marketer who has cut her teeth at companies such as LearnCore, G2 Crowd and SilkRoad.  She’s also a digital marketing instructor for General Assembly in Chicago.  Here, in her own words, is how she gets stuff done.

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Number of unread emails right now? 194…I’m on a LOT of lists so I can 95% guarantee that the unreads are all things I might want to read later…or not.

First app checked in the morning? Instagram – gotta start my day off with a look at all my dog friends.

First thing you do when you come into work? Brew a cup of herbal tea and check my calendar.

What is your email management strategy? I have filters set up and also rely on some automated messages to ensure all the important messages get a response. I’m quick to archive something once I read it, and slow to delete when it’s something I probably won’t ever read. About once a quarter I’ll give up and archive everything to achieve InboxZero.

Most essential app when traveling? Facebook – I’m lucky to have friends all over so a quick post for suggestions helps me find things to do, places to eat, and coordinate meet-ups.

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? I swear by a Spotify playlist called “Brain Food” that helps me zone in and crank out whatever needs doing.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? I tell my teams that “there is no such thing as a marketing emergency” and I really believe that is true given my industry and responsibilities. I’ve learned the hard way through burn-out and bad workplace fit that taking time for yourself is essential to be your best at work – and how important it is to speak up when you’re on the edge. Having a supportive team who understands, has also been there, and encourages you to take care of yourself is so key.

Are there any work rituals critical to your success? While I’ve sadly been slacking as of late, I know that they best thing I can do when I have to grind for a deadline is to workout before getting started. For me, a physically exhausted body makes it easier to let me brain do the heavy lifting.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? I love Canva for making a quick graphic on my own and use ahrefs alerts to stay up to date on the topics important to our business.

What’s your workspace like? I have a mix of photos, thank you cards, and inspirational quotes. My favorite has followed me to a few offices now – a quote from Alicia Bognanno (Bully) to remind myself and anyone who stops by my desk that I’m capable, competent, and my ability shouldn’t be questioned.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? The Millennial in me is ALL about “outsourcing” the things I don’t enjoy doing – from Peapod delivered groceries, to a wonderful housekeeper I found via – I am happy to be able to use tech to get help on-demand and save my time and energy on things I enjoy.

What are you currently reading? I just received a copy of The Migraine Miracle after trying a ton of different medications and dietary changes to help subside my chronic migraine over the past year.

Last thing you do before leaving work? Check my calendar for tomorrow!

Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? I want to shout out Katie Helgesen who gave me my first marketing gig and encouraged me to ask questions and learn while doing, Will Wiegler who handed me the keys to Marketo which got me interested in MarTech, Nicole Mertineit who was a great supporter and sounding board at my first remote position, Adrienne Weissman who trusted me to get shit done and build a marketing team.

Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best?  My team at Parker Dewey – specifically Jeffrey, Jordan, and all the talented Career Launchers I work with on Micro-Internships! They help me focus on growing a brand and partnerships as we change the way entry-level hiring happens.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? “Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.” I actually went and got an oxygen mask tattooed on my arm to remind myself that while I live to help, I’m useless unless I take care of myself first and foremost. Proof here.

Name a guilty pleasure TV show Murder She Wrote – Jessica Fletcher is sassy, smart, and never backs down!

Anything else you want to add? One time I made a whole blog devoted to canned soup – Campbell’s get @ me!

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. Lisa Kaplan at MHolland!


Nominate someone here