Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Here&Now: GSD

I lurve Mini + Meg's new-ish series, highlighting how successful bloggers/business women get sh*t done (GSD). I constantly struggle with the balance of my day job (biomedical research Ph.D. student) and my passion of blogging... so any and all tips are appreciated!

I figured I would “interview” myself in the same spirit, and then we can all chat about how we maximize our waking hours… and GSD
What does a typical day look like for you?
I am no morning person, but I typically get out of bed around 8 (after hitting snooze more times than I would like to admit), walk the dog, enjoy a cup of coffee, check the post I have scheduled to go live at 9am (Central time) and am at work by 9. I usually get home by 6:30, cook dinner and make sure the pug is happy. When at home my evenings are spent responding to blog comments, preparing posts for the next day, and catching up on my blog roll all while enjoying couch time with the boy and the pug. As the boyfriend and I enjoy catching live concerts and eating out with friends, 2-3 nights a week I am not able to work on blog stuff after work, so the nights that I can have to be super productive. Bedtime is around 12:30-1 and I have always been a nightly showerer… can’t imagine going to bed dirty!

What parts of your day job do you love/dislike? 
Science has always been a love of mine and it is wonderful to be able to pursue the course to the highest level (Ph.D.). Research is creative in its own right – no day is the same as before, and I have the freedom do design and carry out my own experiments. However, being interested in “frivolous” things such as shopping and fashion are frowned upon in my (often male dominated) field 
(i.e. why I started my blog 9 months ago)

What type of calendar do you keep? 
I use iCal – extensively!  I have 10+ calendar categories that I keep organized by color… this systems syncs to all my systems and helps to ease my stress!
Thank you iCal for reminding me about vacation! 
How do you plan out your calendar?
I do not currently have an editorial calendar for my blog or any reoccurring post series, although this is something that I would like to develop in the future. Typically, definite post ideas are drafted about a week into the future, with some back-up drafts always in the hopper. Anything can be inspiration for a blog post – so I am constantly adding partial drafts to be developed later.
I obsess about backing up my computer/pictures ; my typical work station... although there are usually a lot more post-it notes ; coffee always helps ; never can have too many pens & sharpies!

How do you organize your to-do list? 
I am pretty sure that I am singlehandedly putting Post-it notes into business… while at work I right down every “action item” that I have to do (blog, school, around the house) and cross them off as I go. Before leaving for the day, I enter any remaining to-do items into Evernote, an application that syncs my to-do list (as well as online bookmarks/clippings) to my desktop, laptop and iPhone… I give Evernote all the credit… as my short-term memory is the worst!

Evernote helps me keep it all together!
How do tackle your to-do list?
The truth: all at once. I get distracted easily and usually hop between multiple tasks at once (and have about 20+ tabs open in my Safari browser at. all. times.)
I would like to work towards more streamlined efficiency, but this is what works(ish) for me now. 
Oh, and coffee helps too!

How do you tackle your never-ending email? Do you have a certain strategy you use?
Answer them immediately, and then delete/file the email away. If my inbox has more than 50 emails, I get stressed. I also am obsessive about deleting read/answered emails off of all my devices (something that gmail/Mac Mail doesn’t do well currently), and save this task for the last thing I do before going to sleep.

When you are stuck on a project, how do you get out of the rut?
Clean, organize, play with the dog… basically get offline and distract myself. 
(yes, I think cleaning/organizing is fun…)

How do you GSD at home?
Keeping a clean/organized house is the best way for me to be productive at home. If the coffee table is cluttered my mind is focused on getting up to clear the junk instead of pouring myself into the task at hand.

Nuggets of advice you've been given that have stuck?

Apps you use frequently/can't live without:
I am connected to my iPhone at all times… so get ready for an extensive list!
Photos: Instagram // Diptic // Picfx  // Phonto
Productivity: Evernote // Flipboard // Dropbox
Games: Words With Friends (le duh!)

Websites you constantly use:

Programs & technology you use:
Adobe Photoshop (I still have so much to learn!)
my scanner (for oldschool pins)

Your gadgets/tech items:
Mac Book Pro
Canon T3i Rebel DSLR

What tips work for you? 
When are you most productive?
Any technological advancements that have changed the way to GSD?


  1. I keep lots of to do lists and love checking things off!!  I also have a big tin of sharpies. : )

  2. I loved reading this because it's a constant struggle for me to keep up with blogging and all that I have to get done in my personal life. And I only work part time!

    I am old school and use a paper planner to organize my life. I tried using an electronic version and I just couldn't get used to it. There's something satisfying about checking things off with a pen :)

    The Tiny Heart

  3. Crossing things off my list is so satisfying... So I definitely hear you there! xx

  4. LOVE THIS... I always love little behind the scenes peeks at peoples (bloggers!) lives.  I need to check out Hootsuite and Evernote... I seriously need to organize my time online! I keep like 50 million notes on my desk and sometimes it would be nice to have those lists be portable.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. I love this series on Mimi & Meg, and I loved reading your own GSD interview! I'm most productive in the morning, that's when I have the most energy. I'm still trying to find the best organizing/planning strategies that work for me. I use a combination of Google Calendar and a paper planner. I've thought about going "all online", but I just can't give up my paper planner! 

  6. I got overwhelmed just reading all of this! Phew ;)  Makes me take a closer look at my day and how I manage my time. This will be very helpful for getting back into the swing of work and school again!

  7. This is a great post. I actually don't have a "typical day" other than meetings, Skype etc. It varies since I travelling most of the time. I forgot about Flipboard, omg!  :) xo

  8. This is super interesting to read! I'll have to have a think about my own answers :)

    Life etc

  9. Aileen @ 300 ThreadsAugust 14, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    If you're a scientist, go work in a biotech or pharma company - you'll generally find fashion to be welcomed, if only because there's a lot more women around!

  10. love this post - i always love seeing how my fave people stay organized

  11. Thank you for the tip, it is definitely welcomed. I am currently on a very academic focused track, but am interested in looking into some less traditional career paths... Especially ones that understand a little sartorial flair! xx


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