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Article originally appeared on weworkremotely.com and is re-published (and canonicalized) here with their permission.
Day in the Life of a Remote Worker: Scott Mathson
Justine Shu, WeWorkRemotely / September 5, 2019
This spotlight illustrates how each remote worker finds freedom and productivity in their everyday life, in their unique way. Get inspired and see how you can improve your workspace, workflow, and work/life balance.
Name: Scott Mathson
Current Job: Senior Web Strategy & SEO Manager at Auth0
Current Location: Missoula, Montana, USA
Current Computer: 15” MacBook Pro
Current mobile devices: iPhone 6
What does your typical workday look like?
7-8:00a - Enjoy the morning with my wife and our pets. Feed the animals (and sometimes ourselves, though I’m not much of a breakfast person), go outside and enjoy morning coffee, taking in the surrounding mountain views. I wake slowly and take my time in the mornings, do a bit of journaling, check-in on phone notifications, and go over the day’s calendar events.
8-9:00a - Go into home office and check-in on more notifications, catching-up on Slack messages, planning for the day and accepting/scheduling following days’ meetings. Go through email inbox, briefly responding to, cleaning, deleting, and reading through a variety of emails, including a handful of newsletters that I enjoy following. Occasionally I’ll work mornings from my local coworking space or coffee shops, too.
9-11:00a - Morning time is usually my most productive time period. Mornings are my head’s down, hands-on contribution time, often spent reviewing pull requests for new content/webpages/features/bug fixes and editing and writing (copy, code, and content).
1-1:00p - Mid-morning into early afternoon is typically when I’ll go into meetings, whether group Zoom calls, recurring meetings, 1-on-1’s, or otherwise. During this time, I check back in on my inboxes and notifications, updating folks and receiving updates from folks on statuses of latest initiatives, campaigns, and a variety of web projects.
1-3:00p - I create afternoon, recurring/ongoing calendar time-slots to be dedicated to checking in on reports for current projects, tests and experiments running, latest campaigns, and more. I’ll go over automated reports, build-out manual reports, review web property analytics, and other numbers. I take time for lunch sometime within this afternoon block.
I set ongoing blocks of time within afternoons to align how current OKRs/KPIs are tracking and thinking through the strategy - planning and creating actionable tasks. Documentation is key, especially for remote teams, so I spend afternoons starting, contributing to, and editing many documents, task/project stories, and more. At Auth0 we primarily work within G-Suite (Docs, Sheets, etc.), GitHub (Issues, Pull Requests, etc.), and Atlassian (Confluence, JIRA, Trello, etc.).
3-6:00p - This block of time is also prime for 1-on-1 meetings, video syncs, and other meetings. If not in calls/meetings, or discussing things via Slack, I’ll revisit pull requests, issues, and initiatives I’m overseeing, contributing to, or having discussions in, and focus on reviewing, suggesting, and making code changes in a variety of repositories. Every day is unique and different, yet this is a good general overview of my schedule.
6:00p+ - Time with my wife enjoying things like cooking together, house projects, watching movies/shows, going to concerts, art shows, walking our puppy, and more. As well, I’m often attending meetups, doing agency/studio contract work (Mathson Design Co.), side project work, and some late meetings and chatting/planning.
Describe your workspace setup:
Switching to a standing desk (Autonomous.ai referral link to save on a desk) has been amazing, ergonomically. I aim to stand more than 50% of the time throughout a day. I work on a 15” MacBook Pro, which sits on a sticker-covered laptop stand, and hooks into a 23.5” HP external monitor. Atom text editor, Terminal, GitHub Desktop, and other coding-related software usually stays on the left external monitor, and I keep browser with Documents, Gmail, Analytics, Slack, Spotify, and more open on the MacBook.
[Second image of Scott at Missoula’s C3 Coworking Space did not originally appear on weworkremotely.com]
What do you listen to while you work?
Bon Iver and other laid-back music. Spotify’s Discover playlist algorithms really know me. As well, I am a big podcast fan (and podcaster, myself) and listen to a lot of podcasts. I give episodes a lot of focus, so listening to podcasts lends itself to certain tasks - I consume podcasts while doing dishes, on breaks, when driving, and other similar times.
Aside from your phone and computer, name a gadget you can’t live without in your workspace:
Wireless keyboard and mouse. As I shared above, I position my laptop on a stand, so without this wireless hardware, I’d be typing/scrolling at a pretty non-ergonomic ~45-degree angle. Pieces of hardware like external keyboards deserve attention. Though I’ve used mechanical keys in the past, I’m currently enjoying using Apple’s Magic keyboard and mouse.
Thanks again to Justine Shu and the rest of the crew at WeWorkRemotely. They have an awesome Slack community of remote workers from around the globe - be sure to check it out. If you enjoyed this interview, let me know on Twitter.