Thanks to Minnesota Tech Startup Supporter Fueled Collective for underwriting our entrepreneur-focused How I Work series.
What one word best describes how you work?
What is your current device/hardware/office setup?
HP laptop and an iPhone. As for my office, believe it or not, I office in our conference room. When we moved into our current space about 6 years ago, instead of heading to my office in the back, I setup shop in the conference room. I feel too removed in a private office, I like to be near the action.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I’m still an Outlook guy.
What’s your sleep schedule like in terms of hours/wake-up and the morning routine?
Ha! I have three kids all under the age of five, so you can pretty much imagine what my sleep schedule looks like. My day starts when they wake me up, typically between 5 and 6AM. While the kiddos watch morning cartoons, I head for the coffee machine and check email.
Is there a method to how you schedule your days?
I work off simple bullet pointed lists that consist of projects and clients I’m working on. I don’t typically “plan my day” and try to remain fairly flexible with my schedule. I don’t do very well with a rigid schedule, oscillating from task to task is how I work best.
How much time do you spend in vs. out of the office?
I probably spend about 80% of my time in the office, otherwise I’m out meeting with clients.
Where is the office?
Minnetonka, just off 394.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?
Avoid meetings right before lunch, especially important meetings. Some people are able to maintain their focus on an empty stomach, I am not one of those people. I’ve learned that I’m simply not effective when I’m hungry…did somebody say Snickers?
What is that one thing you have to do, no matter what, every day?
Play with my kids.
What is your preferred form of communication and why?
My first instinct is to pick up the phone. Too many people email and text questions that unnecessarily prolong a process that often times can get done in a minute.
On average, how many hours a day do you spend in meetings?
I don’t have too many formal meetings, but I’d say I’d average two hours per day on the phone talking to clients.
When, where and what do you typically eat for lunch?
There’s a Byerly’s a block away from our office. Not only is it quick and convenient, but you can’t beat the variety.
How many hours a week do you work on average and do you work in the evenings and/or weekends?
On average I probably work 50 hours. If I’m hyper focused on a large project, I definitely work nights and weekends, although it doesn’t feel like “work” when I’m totally into something. On the other hand, if I’m burned out, I try to unplug on nights and weekends.
What is the best advice you ever received, accepted, and applied?
Check your ego at the door. Always having to be right, not being open to other ideas and wanting all the credit are examples of how an ego can be harmful to company culture. One way I keep my ego in check is to regularly ask myself, ‘do I want to be right or successful?’
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see Dennis Dimka from Minnesota’s tech industry answer these same questions.