A user manual for Neil

I’m having a crack at creating a ‘User Manual For Me’ inspired by this excellent post by Cassie Robinson. Credit also to @jukesie for sharing his version which reminded me of what a great idea it was and nudged me into action to write this post.

Conditions I Like To Work In

  • For deep work and problem solving, I mostly like to work alone. Some background hubub is okay (coffee shop) but lots of noise, cross chat and interruption tends to hammer my productivity.
  • I need time to process input — so if we’re in a meeting, it doesn’t mean I don’t have anything to say.. I just don’t have anything to say right now. But I probably will have lots to contribute later! 🙂
  • I quite like working in different places to inspire different mindsets. As long as it’s comfortable (I can’t deal with heat) and relatively interruption free, I’ll work anywhere that I can plonk my laptop down.
  • I don’t like working from home but I’ll do it as a last resort.

The Times/Hours I Like To Work

  • For things which require laser focus, I tend work best between 7am — 11am and then (oddly) 7pm-11pm.
  • To avoid multitasking, I might not be accessible all the time, particularly during the early part of the day where my focus is ‘getting sh*t done’.

The Best Ways To Communicate With Me

  • From fastest response to slowest… Twitter, Text Message, phone, email, Yammer, LinkedIn.
  • Sometimes I need things written down to digest them properly. Sometimes I need to write things down to order my own thoughts.
  • I might need to have a discussion to really grasp what you want/need. I may also need to ask seemingly stupid questions to understand the ‘why’.

The Ways I Like To Receive Feedback

  • I like feedback! I frame most things as a learning opportunity so appreciate pointers on both good and bad.
  • Indifference and apathy drives me nuts… because I can’t learn from it.
  • I prefer feedback in person.

Things I Need

  • Space and time to think.
  • A clear mission or overarching purpose.
  • Progress, no matter how small.
  • Regular contact with positive people who are up for doing stuff to make things better.

Things I struggle With

  • If I don’t understand or agree with the need/purpose of it, I’ll really struggle with enthusiasm to work on it.
  • The routine and the mundane.
  • The creation of OR participation in.. negativity, bullshit, politics & Red-Tape.

Things I Love

  • Using technology for good.
  • Working openly.
  • Listening to and learning from others.
  • Connecting the dots.
  • People who strive to be open, honest and curious.
  • Organisations that embody all of the above.

Other Things To Know About Me

  • I’m generally curious about things and I like to ask questions.
  • As a bit of a thinker, I can sometimes accidentally slide right into the procrastination zone. This year I’ve been working on less chin stroking and more doing.
  • I’m an introvert at heart. I love meeting people and having a chat, but I need to retreat to solitude almost immediately after to recharge.
  • I’m stubborn and will persist with banging my head against things past the point that it’s productive! If you catch me doing this, please ask if I need help. 🙂

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