This is how I work....

Location: Oswestry, Shropshire, England

Current gig: I work as the Deputy Head (Academic) at Oswestry School, a non-selective co-educational 3-18 establishment.

Current mobile device: HTC One M8

Current computer: HP Chromebook - I am completely enveloped in the Google ecosystem - for most of my work that is all I need.

One word that best describes how you work: Digital

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Any.Do, Mailbox, Evernote and the Chrome clip extension, a Pomodoro timer, Audible (for running), Kindle for Android, Google drive, calendar, sites and mail, Goog.l url shortener (Chrome extension).... For keeping up-to-date Blogtrottr feeds the news direct to my inbox. I use Nuzzel to curate my Twitter timeline for me. RealtimeBoard now hosts all my teaching notes. Twitter is where I connect with my professional PLN and Facebook I keep for personal use.

What's your best time-saving trick?
I'm fully institutionalized. I've lived on an educational campus of some sort since the age of 7, some people can think of nothing worse but it's served me well. Whenever I can I eat in school - no cooking, no washing up = loads more time.
What's your workspace like?

What's your favorite to-do list manager?
I've tried loads (Remember the Milk, GTasks, Asana...) At one stage fiddling around with to-do lists was a major obstacle in itself to productivity. I've settled in the end for Any.Do which has kept getting better and better. The Chrome extension is superb, and in Android it is beautifully designed and easy to use.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?
My Kindle - an older version now, but all the better for it. Being boring and black and white my kids don't nick it. If I'd plumped for an Ipad I don't think I'd ever see it...
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
Fitting things in.
What do you listen to while you work?
Nothing, I can't work to music. The only time and can listen to something is when I'm doing the washing up. I usually catch up on BBC podcasts if there's a big pile to be done - Friday Night Comedy is a particular favourite.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
I'm quite happy in my own company and don't like people who talk for the sake of talking (especially when I'm trying to get something done) but surrounded by my friends I can be as gregarious as anyone. So I'm going to sit on the fence with this one.
What's your sleep routine like?
I like to get 6-8 hours a night. If I've got a lot of work on (particularly if, like my EdD, it's not related to my paid employment) I get up at 0530 every Saturday and Sunday and catch up. It's not pretty, but it works a treat. I live in school and there happens to be a brunch laid on at 11 am. I can turn up for this having knocked out 5 hours of solid (blissfully uninterrupted) work and feel on top of the world....!
Fill in the blank. I'd kill to see _______ answer these same questions.
Boris Johnson
What's the best advice you've ever received?
"Never take yourself too seriously."
Anything else you want to add for your readers?
Marissa Meyer, beautiful, and somewhat of a productivity goddess, has some extremely sensible things to say about hard work, burnout, balance and perspective:
"I don't really believe in burnout. A lot of people work really hard for decades and decades, like Winston Churchill and Einstein. Burnout is about resentment, it's about knowing what matters to you so much that if you don't get it that you're resentful."
So to avoid burnout the key thing is to ring fence time for doing those activities which replenish you and not be apologetic about it. You can't work if you're not in good mental and physical shape. For me a run or a session on an Ergo recharges the batteries. If I can do that every day, I'm happy.



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