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.

It is my pleasure every Thursday to feature a B2B sales, marketing or business leader in our own series and our own version of “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 Fara Hain, VP of Corporate Marketing at Zerto.  Here in her own words is how she gets stuff done.

Location:  Boston, MA

Number of unread emails right now?  2481 in my “Focused” inbox – I’m in good shape today! I long ago gave up hope of an empty inbox.

First app checked in the morning?  WhatsApp, because my family overseas sends updates that way, then I skim through the New York Times headlines.

First thing you do when you come into work?  Make a coffee using the office Nespresso machine – with foamed milk. Only way to make it through my inbox.

What is your email management strategy?  Is there such a thing? I answer latest-in first, probably leaving about 10% unread by the end of the day. Those basically fall off my radar the next day when I have so many new ones in. It’s not something I pride myself on. My team knows that they can get me on Teams or WhatsApp, not email.

Most essential app when traveling?  Google maps. I’d be literally lost without it 😉 The airline apps are great as well, so that when / if a flight is cancelled, you get notifications and can instantly rebook.

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused?  I don’t use my email as my to-do list. I have my own priorities for each day and try to get through those as opposed to working on other people’s to do lists – i.e. the things other people tag me on via email. Also, I’m able to focus even when there’s lots of noise around me – people often need to snap in my face to break my concentration. Years of living in NYC helped with that.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance?  I do a digital fast on Saturday. Honestly! No phone, no laptop, nada. I will never answer an email, chat, or call on a Saturday. If we go out, I leave my phone at home. It saves me – I highly recommend disconnecting one day a week.

Are there any work rituals critical to your success?  Besides my foamed milk coffee ritual? No. Every day is different and I love that.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?  At work, – I’m in there looking at our team’s numbers and running reports a dozen times a day. Microsoft Teams is great as well – we can get a lot done quickly without the email back and forth.

What’s your workspace like?  Cluttered. Half-read whitepapers, mementos from tradeshows, pics of my kids and direct mail pieces that I thought were creative enough to keep all line the back of my desk.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or lifehack?  Live close to the office. Yes, I pay a ransom in mortgage to live just outside of Boston, but I commute 20 minutes door to door and my life is so much simpler than those with an hour-long commute. It affords me the flexibility to make it home for one of my kids’ soccer games and not have to leave the office at 3pm. It also means I can wake up at 7. Yes, I sleep until 7am and I’m still in the office before most people.

What are you currently reading?  At this moment, the New York Times. But I just finished Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee. I love novels and spend a good part of most Saturdays reading. Historical fiction is my jam.

Last thing you do before leaving work?  I don’t have an end-of-day ritual per say, but I usually leave only after I’ve finished something that was a big rock on my day’s to-do list.

Who are some mentors or influencers you wish to thank or acknowledge?  My amazing team of co-workers. I am inspired by them all the time. They’re brilliant, fun and we have a great time plotting world domination (or IT Resilience market domination – whichever comes first) together.

Name some supportive people who help make it possible to do what you do best?  My boss is great. He’s direct and honest, which I appreciate. My husband keeps me from getting a swelled head, and that’s always good. My parents are the most supportive people I can imagine, and are always coaching me from the sidelines, even today.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?  The most recent piece of good advice has become something of a mantra as I work with some of the younger members of my team. The idea is that if you want to get the next role on your career ladder – spend 18 months in your current role prepping for the new one. Ask questions, try to get access to relevant team members and learn as much as you can about the role you want to be in. When you put yourself up for that open req, you will be the obvious choice. I heard that gem from Lindsay Zwart, a General Manager at Microsoft.

Name a guilty pleasure TV show  Glow. It’s so 80’s – I love it.

Fill in the Blank: I’d love to see BLANK answer these questions.  I’d love to see Lilac Schoenbach answer these questions!


Nominate someone here