FastCompany Productivity Questionnaire (as modified by RG)

Now you try it!

Time you wake up: 7 a.m.

First thing you do in the morning: Make my bed, because once it’s made, I can’t get back in.

What you do while commuting: Think about the sequence of the upcoming day. Talk to myself. Sing.

Email strategy: The first thing I do is select all of the messages that have nothing to do with me — or which do not require any action by me — and delete them. Then I respond to emails from my client and chain of command. I have assigned the color red to those individuals, so their emails are easy to spot in a crowded mailbox. Every 30 days, I sort my inbox by sender and dump all but the most recent messages.

Mantra: Save the drama for yo’ mama.

How you handle stress: I do what I can to avoid stressful and/or toxic individuals by limiting their ability to control my time. For repeat offenders, that means blocking them on instant messaging and phone. This forces them to gather their thoughts before reaching out to me via email, versus contacting me first and then burning my time while they figure out what they want. I also have learned (the hard way) only to take employment that interests me, and that I can get behind morally. Once you do that, you never hate going to work, and you’re constantly thinking of ways to improve because you’re excited about what you do.

Productivity tool: I use Google Calendar to schedule work tasks rather than adding them to a To-Do list. Unfortunately, I have been less successful at scheduling personal tasks.

Productivity philosophy: Think first (even if it presses you against your deadline), then act. I’m a writer, and I find that writing something all at once after lengthy periods of thought produces more coherent work. But you have to know how to put a sentence together.

Lunch routine: I usually work at my desk. When I work from home, I try to go outside for a little while.

Most productive space: I can work anywhere, as long as I’m in the zone.

Best habit: Trusting my judgment and saying “no” when necessary.

Worst habit: Wanting things to happen too quickly.

What you let slide: I try to identify things that aren’t worth doing, and then not do them.

Nightly routine: I listen to music late into the night. Lately, I’ve been working on my blog.

Time you go to bed: It varies. Sometime between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.