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, we highlight a B2B sales, marketing or business leader answering what have become OUR 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 Laura Patterson, president of VisionEdge Marketing.  When not helping her clients grow their businesses, Laura is active in the Austin marketing community and author of several award-winning books.  Here in her own words is how she gets everything done.

Location: Austin TX

Number of unread emails right now?  271 unread – yikes. I feel the weight of the inbox, I have over 12000 emails in my inbox.  Is there an email filing fairy?

First app checked in the morning? Clicky for website traffic

First thing you do when you come into work? Scheduling hoots

What is your email management strategy? Strategy is not the same as execution. I have a strategy that says I’ll only look at email at these times and in this priority order, customers, team, and projects in progress emails, prospect and supplier and people in my ecosystem emails (like you), people I know not in these categories, people I don’t know from businesses I know, everyone else. I really appreciate good subject lines! The execution sometimes isn’t right.

Most essential app when traveling? Outlook

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? Run and yoga.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? What?? Can you repeat that question?

Are there any work rituals critical to your success? I don’t know about rituals but I guidelines – Be responsive, kind, and give my best each and every time.

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

What’s your workspace like? – things I’m working on right at hand, the rest I try to keep organized in files.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack? –  Avoid procrastination. Whatever it is, it’s not easier if you put it off.  Just do it.

What are you currently reading? – Quiet by Susan Cain. I am in love with this book.

Last thing you do before leaving work? – Check the calendar for the next day one last time.

Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge? Oh gosh, this is a long list, let’s see,  my father, several first bosses – Dwight Prade, Mike Pollack, Gary Daniels; several important influencers – Sonia St. James, Gene Lowenthal

Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best? My husband! The people on my team – Christine Lowry, Mitch Gooze, Jerry Rackley, Elizabeth Danon-Leva, and the rest; key suppliers and partners such as Jackie Sinex from our website company,

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? When we started VEM, Sonia St. James one of our advisors said Do only what only you can do and stay focused on what you do well.

Name a guilty pleasure TV show – I’m into who done its – any who done it – such as Elementary and action drama – such as Criminal Minds

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions. – Michael Brenner, Marcel Schwantes, Maura Nevel Thomas, Sarah Canaday, Ted Rubin for starters

Nominate someone here