How You Work: Brain Tricks, Office Noise, and Productive Naps

How You Work: Brain Tricks, Office Noise, and Productive Naps

Every week we showcase the productivity tips and tricks of our favorite experts and productivity heroes in our How I Work series. Now, we're peppering our daily dose of tips with some showcases from you, our favorite readers. This week: Lauren Licata of Base.

As always, if you want to show us how you work and maybe see it featured on Lifehacker, check out this post for more info.

How You Work (Yes, You!)

Over the past year, we've chatted with lots of productivity heroes about their habits, workspaces, inspirations, and more in our How I Work… Read…

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I'm Lauren Licata, and This Is How I Work

I'm Lauren Licata, and This Is How I WorkS

Location: Chicago, IL
Current gig: Content Marketing Manager, Base
Current mobile device: iPhone 5, iOS 7
Current computer: MacBook Air
One word that best describes how you work: Smart

What apps/software/tools can't you live without?

I'm Lauren Licata, and This Is How I Work

*Don't mind my 46,191 unread emails please :)

Live is a strong word. I'd like to think I could live without these apps, but life would be stupid and dumb and hardly worth it. Daily, I use Hubspot to manage all of our social media profiles, email, and content campaigns. On my morning commute, I peruse Flipboard to track news about my industry and bookmark content I want to read later. Base, the CRM and sales tracking software company I work for, is clutch for managing my relationships with customers and freelancers. Since our team is distributed, Confluence is my lifeline for documenting processes and collaborating virtually with my team.

What's your workspace like?

I'm Lauren Licata, and This Is How I WorkS

My office is an old River North loft building that used to be home to The Onion. Our marketing team sits in a big open room so that we can collaborate freely. My desk is a bit of organized chaos. I use two monitors so that I can have a “social media command center” on one screen and whatever project I’m working on that day on the other. You’ll also notice I have a plethora of devices scattered across my desk – from Android to iPad. I need to make sure our content looks good on all of these devices. I can’t just assume everyone is viewing the content on the Macbook Air or iPhone 5 like I am.

What's your best time-saving trick?

I try to automate where I can. I manage 3 blogs and the company’s social media accounts and we’re posting daily to all of them. Scheduling posts in WordPress and Hubspot in advance allows me to stay focused on the project I'm working on instead of being interrupted to post a new blog or send a new tweet. If I can avoid frequent interruptions (namely texts from my 9 year old brother) I’m able to get more done.

What's your favorite to-do list manager?

I’ve tried a few, but right now I’m sticking with Evernote. I like to think it syncs my brain with my computer and iPhone, and it helps me stick to my priority lists. Research by John Bargh reveals that our brain prefers to become robotic. That’s why we feel productive when we are doing busy work even though we aren’t producing any measurable results. I’m constantly reminding myself to focus on activities that will produce results and Evernote helps me do this.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can't you live without?

If I told you I still had my Tamagatchi, would you believe me?

What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?

Napping. I challenge anyone to beat me at taking naps. Studies of napping have shown improvement in cognitive function, creative thinking and memory performance. I like to think that napping on the weekends and when I can, is why I’m awesome at my job. I defy you all to take at least one nap this weekend. Unless you have kids. In which case, I'm sorry.

What are you currently reading?

I’m edging my way throughThe New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business” by Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman (and former chief executive) of Google, and Jared Cohen, a foreign-relations expert and director of Google Ideas. The book explores the ways in which technology and diplomacy will intersect in the future. I think we’re at an interesting time in history with the rise of the social web. No one really fully understands how these tools will shape the lives of students, the workforce and nations in the future, but I think the impact will be huge. Stay tuned...

What do you listen to while you work?

Base provides every new employee with a brand new pair of Bose headphones as a symbol of focus. After all, we run a sales productivity blog, so we sure as hell better be experts at focusing and getting stuff done. Everyone uses the headphones differently, and everyone appreciates the symbolism, but for me, I actually prefer to just listen to the office noise. I can glean insights from the conversations our sales reps and managers are having to include on our blog later. And, I can't stand the thought of missing a good conversation about Breaking Bad. When I do throw the headphones on, it's usually to listen to a podcast.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

I’m the definition of ENTJ - especially at work. I like to talk through ideas and I’m happiest during a brainstorm session. I love meeting new people and figuring out ways we can join forces to help both of our businesses. At home though, I appreciate the solitude. I like to turn off when I can and zone out to trashy reality television. Like naps, "going off the grid" restarts my brain.

What's your sleep routine like?

I’m one of those people who needs 8 hours of sleep. During the week, I to try to go to bed by 11, up by 7. Of course, life and work can interfere with that, but I try to stick to it as best I can. I really want to be the kind of person who goes to the gym at 5 am before work, I really do. But I think I just need to accept that that lifestyle is not in the cards for me.

Fill in the blank: I'd love to see ______ answer these same questions.

Marissa Mayer. How does she do it all? I admire women who can juggle successful careers with happy home lives. More chicks like that!

What's the best advice you've ever received?

Paulo Coelho said, “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” I think at the end of my life I’ll regret more things that I didn’t do, than things I did, so I try to be mindful of that in my daily life. At work, I like to experiment with many different content ideas. I'm not afraid to fail. I've had some flops, but we've had some that have stuck too.

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