JESSIE ARTIGUE // STYLE & PEPPER
What does a typical day look like for you?
Always SO different! If I’m working from home the whole day it usually goes like this: I try my best to wake up not too long after my husband so that we can watch the news, drink our coffee and eat breakfast together. After he leaves, I typically try to tackle any important can’t-wait-emails and then hop right into client work/business development for the rest of the morning. I take the dog for a quick walk and go workout around lunch-time, and then come back and watch/listen to business videos/podcasts while I eat. This is also the only time I let myself look at all my flash sale/fun type emails — new thing for me, and VERY effective. Quick check of email after lunch (only answering urgent ones or those that can be completed in less than 30 seconds per piece) and then I usually work on blog posts for the week and set up/schedule the post for the following day. I really make a huge effort to close my computer when my husband gets home at night, but try to not to be too hard on myself when it doesn’t work out that way.
Alternatively, I would say that I head into the city from Hoboken about 3-10 times a week for meetings/events, and I can usually schedule them back-to-back in order to save travel time, but this can make for some really long days on the go!
What parts of your job do you love?
My favorite parts of my job are: producing video/on-air content, the ability to help others by consulting on creative projects, the flexibility of creating my own schedule & blogging about life and the things I love.
What parts of your job do you dislike?
Having to say no to projects that I can’t take on, responding to random emails/press releases/requests for coverage (I get a lot of emails and respond to every. single. one.), and also: self-promotion… it can be a cut-throat industry and if you don’t put yourself out there, you’re less likely to get the jobs that you want!
What type of calendar do you keep?
I’m meticulous about Google Calendar separated by categories. I use different colors for Style & Pepper, my personal life, exercise, blog editorial calendar, our weekly menu, and my husband’s schedule.
How do you organize your to-do list?
I’m a huge fan of Scott Belsky’s book and system for “Making Ideas Happen” (Thanks to you, Meg!) and use his system of Action Steps and Backburner Ideas, along with his printed collateral for note-taking and my beloved TeuxDeux account. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who considers them self to have “a creative mindset” but who are looking for a strategic approach to working towards the book’s very title.
How do tackle your to-do list?
The Pomodoro Technique is a big help to me, but I also make sure to motivate myself with little treats when I finish projects throughout the day: painting my nails, taking the dog to the park, popsicles, coffee with friends, and online shopping.
What is your process and/or work strategy? Anything that you have found that works for you?
Keeping my email inbox and social media websites closed while I’m working on client projects (unless it’s relevant/neccessary) is key for me. Breaking up bigger projects into manageable action steps and prioritizing things is also very important.
When you are stuck on a project, how do you get out of the rut?
Usually changing my actual location really helps me re-set my brain, and moving to our neighborhood coffee shop or even the couch or the lounger in our bay window seems to give me a fresh perspective on things. Another great option (if I have time) is a nice run along the river to help clear my mind and get me feeling inspired. My husband teases that when we run together, I end up talking business/brainstorming the whole time, and he just lets my spit everything out because I usually end up talking through important issues and figuring out my own challenges while we go (with little to no need for responses from him).
I’m also very blessed to have a valuable core group of friends who are fellow small business owners/bloggers that I know I can turn to for support/advice/inspiration — emailing/texting/skyping with these ladies is crucial and always a huge help. My Dad is also incredibly inspiring and wise when it comes to business development, strategy & just life in general, and even though I talk to my parents almost everyday, I call them especially when I need an added extra push.
How do you GSD at home?
Thankfully, I have a husband who splits the home management tasks with me quite equally, but we’re both happy to do a little extra around the house when the other is slammed at work. We try and get things generally picked up before we go to bed each night, and that way I don’t have to look at or worry about it while I’m home working during the day. When the house needs a good thorough cleaning, we just invite some friends over to host and that usually motivates us to get things sparkling and to finish up any random home projects we’ve been meaning to do. To my husband’s credit (and don’t hate me, but…), he does the LARGE majority of the actual heavy cleaning, and I haven’t vacuumed or cleaned the bathroom once since we’ve been married (almost six years)!
Google Cal — Keeping track of schedule, duh!
TeuxDeux — Has totally revolutionized my to-do list system; I keep my action steps in the daily sections, and my back-burner ideas under “someday”.
Google Maps/NYC Mate — Definitely wouldn’t be able to find my way around the city without these two.
Feedly — This is the reader I use to keep tabs on my favorite sites, and I love that I have the app on my phone. Great for when I’m on the bus, waiting in line, grabbing quick meals by myself, etc.
Evernote — I use Evernote for nearly everything: organizing blog series/post ideas, client consulting projects, voice memos, clipping web pages… list is endless.
Instagram (follow me at @styleandpepper!) — Let’s be honest, this is less about getting shit done and more about taking little break here and there. 🙂
MapMyRUN — I love to workout and this is what I use to track my pace/mileage/routes (check out my other running essentials here)
The Weather Channel App — I’m a weather nerd and check the forecast at least a few times a day.
Pomodoro (There are several options, but I have found that the free one works just fine!) — A kitchen-timer-like app that helps me jam through projects and reminds me to stay on task.
Yelp — Finding food… VERY important. I keep all of my bookmarked “places to try” within their app on my phone and it’s very handy when I need to suggest a spot in a pinch.
Poshmark — Selling unwanted goodies from my ever-expanding closet that I’m always trying to pare down. Love that I can photograph/list straight from my phone!
Adobe Creative Suite — Editing photos, making collages & graphic layouts for the blog/etc.
Final Cut Express/QuickTime — These are what I use to make the videos for S&P TV
Skype/FaceTime/Google Hangouts — Many of my consulting sessions are held online, and these are the 3 main programs I use to connect with clients for our meetings.
MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Coffee Maker (Ha!)
Photos courtesy of Jessie Artigue
GSD (get shit done): A weekly column featuring busy business owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and CEOs and how they get shit done.