The Way We Work 2016: Thorin Klosovski’s Tips on Equipment and Productivity

We are usually busy looking outside to see how creative , smart, and often famous people work. But once a year we turn this lens inward. Today is my turn.

I like to pretend not much has changed over the years , but while a lot of things remain the same, a lot of things are different ( in my case, it seems to mostly be a place ). So, while my apps and stuff have remained mostly static, my outlook on life and work has definitely changed over the years.

Location : Los Angeles. Current job : Writer. One word that best describes how you work : Chartreuse. Current mobile device : iPhone 6s. Current computer : 2009 27-inch iMac 2013 MacBook Air.

What apps, software or tools can’t you live without?

As I mentioned earlier, while I play with all kinds of applications, I always go back to plain text for writing and problems . So, really, a notepad is all I need. My distraction / social network is Instagram , I’m a big Ulysses fan for longer writing, and Pocket combined with Longform will handle all of my reading needs on the go. Otherwise, my Kindle Paperwhite will be with me everywhere .

To be honest, I really don’t use a bunch of apps and try to make my phone as unattractive as possible.

How is your workplace arranged?

I have a weird little nook that I’m pretty sure used to host a sink bar back in the 60s and is now used as my little office. The table is hand- made , but after I moved from Seattle to Los Angeles, it is a little shabby. That is, it is now largely held together with wood glue. It’s okay as long as no one tries to move it.

On the table are a pair of Audyssey Lower East Side Media speakers , Audio Technica noise canceling headphones , a Blue Yeti USB microphone, and a 3DS. Behind the iMac is the TwelveSouth backpack with my MacBook. Inside the table are various notepads, notepads and cutting boards. Armchair from Herman Miller Aeron .

Although I spend a lot of time at my desk, this is not my only workplace. I also have a small garage where I can tinker with bicycles, build odd little things, and do a lot of other projects. Feedback Sports bike repair stand and it was great. I’m also a fan of disposable gloves so I don’t get my dainty computer hands dirty.

What’s your best time-saver or life hack?

I know when and when not to look for quick cuts or tricks . Often it seemed to me that a life hack or shortcut was really nothing more than “doing something by half” or “over-devising a solution to simple life problems.” In fact, about 80% of the time, you are probably doing well. The hardest part is deciding which of that 20% is actually worth improving.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

I use Simplenote for all my tasks . Calls and whistles, notifications and reminders and everything else never helped me.

What device, besides a phone and a computer, can you not live without and why?

I mentioned it last year, but my coffee Bonavita post- still helps me every morning without fail be included in the work . Plus, it’s the only coffee maker I’ve ever owned, and guests keep asking me what it’s called after I make them a cup of coffee. As much as it sounds, I’m not a Bonavita salesperson, I just really love this coffee maker. Since I’m in Los Angeles now, I usually drink coffee from Intelligencia or Blue Bottle .

Besides, probably my bike. After years of riding different quality used bikes, I finally took a bite, followed Lifehacker’s advice and bought myself a new fancy bike from Alchemy Bikes in Denver, Colorado . It made driving through the pothole-shattered, poorly maintained streets of Los Angeles a lot more fun.

What are some of your best everyday activities?

I am not easily distracted. Which is strange when you consider that this is supposedly the trademark of my generation, devoid of technology, ADHD-without-social etiquette. Unfortunately, I don’t really know why I am not easily distracted. I would venture to suggest that this is because there is little distraction for me, and I do not use notifications for anything other than extremely important things. I don’t know if it’s actually “better” not to be distracted, but sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t reach for the phone all the time.

What do you listen to while you work?

I’ve listened to and added the same massive, mostly instrumental playlist for several years (randomly, of course). Currently, there are 2031 songs with a total duration of about 159 hours. If I don’t write, I listen to podcasts. Current favorites include: Idle Thumbs Up , Home: Stories from Los Angeles , Hidden Brain , Freakonomics , Allusionist and Laura .

What are you reading now?

I read almost all the time, so it changes quite quickly, but it is at this point that I read Eki Kurniavan’s Beauty Is A Wound , which is very similar to the Indonesian version of One Hundred Years of Solitude (in a good way). I also love casual graphic novels. Last weekend, I studied Murder and Death by Adrian Tomin and The Two Brothers by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon.

How do you replenish?

Biking. I hop between morning and afternoon bike rides, usually through Griffith Park for a week. On weekends, I prefer to be as far away from my computer as possible in the Angeles National Forest . There are many mountains here, it is often very painful, and it is a lot of fun.

Plus, after years of struggling with this, I’ve finally come to really enjoy cooking. I look forward to those 20-60 minutes at the end of the day when I don’t have a screen in front of me and I can quietly listen to podcasts while working on the stove.

What is your sleep pattern?

I’m an early bird, but my home in Los Angeles has huge windows that wake me up at sunrise, no matter how hard I try to bury my head in the pillow. So, I stay awake from 6 am to 7 am, which means that I usually pass out from 10 to 12 pm. I almost always read before bed.

Fill in the blank: I would like _________ to answer these same questions.

I think I mention Haruki Murakami almost every year. I will also add Hidetaka Miyazaki to the mix because Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne are all such incredible experiences that I would love to know more about the underlying brain behind them.

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

I once had a professor who told me, “Always strive to expand your influence.” At the time, I didn’t really think about it, but over the years it became a real blow for me. I see many friends who associate themselves with work or even a hobby. They consume everything in the media or the media and don’t look elsewhere. There are many great things in the world and they are easier to find than ever. Do / read / watch / play / listen to things that you usually don’t, and when you get out of that comfort zone, you will always go a little happier.


Leave a Reply