How We Work 2016: Heather Yamada-Hosley’s Equipment and Performance Tips

We usually hand over the proverbial microphone to well-known leaders and creators, but this time of year we take it for ourselves . I’m Heather and this is how I work.

Location: San Francisco, California. Current position: Freelance Writer, Content Strategist at NerdWallet. One word that best describes how you work: always Current mobile device: iPhone 4S (yes, yes, it’s “old”) Current computer: 2012 MacBook 15

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

Apps that I use, not much has changed compared with the previous year . My favorite apps:

  • Sunrise to see my work, personal and shared (with my boyfriend) calendars in one beautiful app.
  • Breathe to track how I feel emotionally and physically, and to meditate.
  • SF Climates to see what the weather is like in San Francisco’s microclimate. They really exist! I only used it a few days ago and the difference between Outer Richmond and Mission was 20 degrees (about 7 miles apart).
  • WhatsApp to send messages to my close friends who live abroad.
  • Mint to track my spending and see when I’m approaching the monthly budget I’ve set for myself.

In addition, I use Google Docs, Drive, spreadsheets, slides, forms, calendar, and Gmail on a daily basis for both work and personal tasks.

How is your workplace arranged?

To be honest, I usually work sitting on my bed. It’s convenient, plus I have a great view of my area and the beginning of Presidio Park .

What’s your best time-saving shortcut or life hack?

I cook almost every night, so cleaning while cooking is probably the only thing that saves me the most time on a daily basis. My mom taught me this when I was learning to cook as a teenager. When I wait for something to be cooked, I start washing the dishes. I keep my cooking area fairly clean by throwing food scraps directly into the compost bin and stacking used utensils to keep the counter clean. It’s pretty simple, but making it a habit has had a huge impact on how much time I spend preparing dinner.

Also, if you really love fresh pasta (high-five), buy a pasta machine with a ravioli attachment. After the dough and filling are done, you can pump out about 25 ravioli in a few minutes. A major manual upgrade and a lot cheaper than buying it from the store. This is the one I am using.

What’s your favorite to-do list manager?

I use a trio to get everything done. Any.Do is for short-term and quick-to-do things, the default Notes app for long-term to-do’s (in list view) and blocks short-term to-do’s that take an hour or more from my calendar (so I actually sit down and do them).

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

I have a lot of kitchen gadgets that I use often, but I can do without them. I can’t do without a sharp, quality chef’s knife. Once you use a good knife, you simply cannot go back. I’m not sure which brand I have as it got second hand from my mom (thanks mom!).

What are some of the things you do best in everyday life?

Unless I’ve seriously underestimated people’s reactions over the years, I’m pretty good at giving gifts that are actually used. I think a lot about the gifts I get from people because I never want to give something that is actually useless. I remember our conversations, the things they like and the things that could make their life easier, and this helps me come up with potential gifts. For example, a friend of mine took a new job just before Christmas, and it can take up to an hour or longer to get to work due to traffic jams. So, I gifted her with an Audible subscription to make it more fun for her to ride (she doesn’t actually listen to podcasts).

What do you listen to while you work?

I usually don’t listen to anything while I’m working, but when I’m having a busy day, I listen to music on my commute to gain strength for whatever I need to do. If I’m doing something that requires less attention (like cleaning), I listen to podcasts. My favorites are Awkward Human Survival Guide , Supercharged , Freakonomics Radio , Lore and Stuff, which you missed in your history lesson .

What are you reading now?

I just started getting $ 2 a day for Catherine Edin and Luke Schaefer. I have half read Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance . A few of my favorite readings over the past year are Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking , Player One at the Ready, and Confidential Kitchen: An Adventure in Culinary Exile .

How do you replenish?

I have several ways to recharge, depending on how I feel. If I need to chill out at the end of the day, I’ll hang out with people. Cooking is also the main way to relax, as I focus on what I’m doing and don’t think about anything that might annoy me.

For me, going outside is a really easy way to feel better quickly. Something in nature makes me instantly happy. Even though I live in a big city, I am less than a mile from several large parks. I started meditating and doing yoga last year and it has become my favorite activity when I feel depressed or anxious.

What is your sleep pattern?

I’m not very good at getting up too early or going to bed very late, but getting up early is the easier of the two. In the past few months I have started using the Philips Wake-Up Light and am surprised that it helps me a lot. I no longer wake up from the light, but I feel much less sleepy when the alarm goes off. However, I find that the alarm beep (it gets louder for about 10 seconds) is incredibly annoying and not the function I want.

If I have trouble falling asleep, I either meditate with the Breathe app or listen to the white noise app ( Rain Rain ).

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

I granted my last year’s wish for Elton Brown , still waiting for Rashida Jones and Amy Poehler.

At the same time, I would like some “ordinary” people to answer these questions, perhaps on the topic of different professions or industries. Lifehacker’s Career Spotlight series is great, but the questions aren’t related to some of the same tips or tricks. You don’t have to be famous to say something worthwhile.

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

To give a different answer than last time, I’ll offer a variation on my favorite economic concept: opportunity cost . The way I think about it, the resources (emotional energy, physical energy, time, money) that you invest in something important, and if you are not sure about it, you are wasting your personal resources. Of course, in some situations, there are other factors that you should consider, but if you really want to be effective, at least thinking this way can help you decide whether or not you should or should not work for this company, date this person. buying that thing and so on.

Is there anything else you would like to add that might be of interest to the readers?

I have a few things, and they are more a philosophy of life than life hacks, but here’s what:

  • Ask for what you deserve (and you probably deserve more than you think).
  • If you are not satisfied with something, try to find a solution / make a plan or learn how to make one. Either way, don’t let inaction swallow you with unhappiness.
  • Learn to say no .
  • Have high expectations of those around you in your life.
  • Stay awake on weekends. Do something.


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