Thanks to Fueled Collective for underwriting our How I Work series!
Minnesota tech founder Jakub Jez is the CEO of Centriam, a growing data-driven customer experience software startup from Minneapolis.
What one word best describes how you work?
What is your current device/hardware/office setup?
A very unorganized and cluttered desk, laptop, two monitors, ipad, iphone. I don’t have an office. Centriam is all open space with meeting rooms (which we need more of).
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
G-suite products, Asana for to-do lists and prioritization, Evernote for note taking. Slack is good but can also be really disruptive at times so you have to learn when to turn it off.
What is your sleep schedule like in terms of hours/wake-up and the morning routine?
I get anywhere between 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night, have light breakfast, and get to the office around 8:30 most days.
Is there a method to how you schedule your days?
I usually don’t schedule any meetings before 10am so I can plan the day a little, send/answer emails, and complete some of the more basic and mundane tasks on my list. I also try to schedule meetings in clusters so when I end up in a lot of meetings they all happen within a specific time period, and I have at least some free time in the remaining part of the day to get other stuff done. And finally, I try to have at least one day a week with no meetings at all (easier said than done) so I can really focus on the important stuff on those days.
How much time do you spend in vs. out of the office?
Mostly in the office unless I travel. I am not a huge work from home person, and pretty much only do it when I need to work on something that requires a lot of focus and no interruptions. I really enjoy being in the office with the team and I feed off the energy.
Where is the office?
Downtown Minneapolis, Lumber Exchange building.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
Ruthless prioritization. And sticking to it. Very hard to do and I am still trying to master it.
What is that one thing you have to do, no matter what, every day?
I drink a can of diet mountain dew every morning when I get to the office. I don’t drink coffee so this is the replacement.
What is your preferred form of communication and why?
I don’t think I have a preferred way of communicating. I would say talking to people is my most go-to method but email or chat work well in many situations. If anything feels important enough to document (next steps, who owns what, etc.), I send out an email to formalize it so everyone is on the same page and there is no confusion or surprise later.
On average, how many hours a day do you spend in meetings?
Probably 4 but many of those are often work sessions.
When, where and what do you typically eat for lunch?
I need a break in my day so I always leave the office for lunch for about 20 to 30 minutes. Usually grab something in the skyway.
How many hours a week do you work on average and do you work in the evenings and/or weekends?
I don’t really know. Probably around 60 on average, including nights and weekends. Should be more like 50 ideally.
What is the best advice you ever received, accepted, and applied?
Keep it simple and don’t overcomplicate things. The simplest solution is very often the optimal one, most practical, easiest to execute, communicate, and get everyone onboard with.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Ron Lancaster from Minnesota’s tech industry answer these same questions.