Who are you:
I’m Ales, a digital product designer from Prague, Czech Republic.
Your current job:
I’m co-leading a design team at STRV. We’re a mobile design & development agency working for startups and well-established brands in SF, LA and New York.
In which city are you located?
I spend most of my time in Prague, Czech Republic working remotely, but I also fly over to California from time to time.
A word to define what kind of worker you are:
One world? “Reliable”. There is nothing like a missed deadline, messy source files or unfinished task in my workday.
What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)
I can’t live without Instagram or Twitter. These are the essentials to say connected with an online world (both work and fun). If we talk tools for work I do most of my creative work in Sketch app, but I also use a physical sketchbook a lot. I don’t have any special apps I could highlight, I usually stick with the default ones, but I know how to be fast and effective with them.
What does your office space look like?
I’m trying to stay mobile all the time and I mostly work on my laptop. Both home and company offices have just an external monitor and a bunch of design tools on my table. I don’t want to get myself “addicted” with too many fancy items. It’s only a distraction for me.
What kind of music do you listen when you are working?
There are two modes I’m switching between, but electronic music is a core for both of them. I love really loud and aggressive styles full of energy like dubstep or trap when I need to get shit done. But sometimes it’s about focus and patience so that’s where slow deep house or ambient sounds come in.
Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?
Not really, because I don’t want to fall into stereotype. I want to make each day a little bit different, so I can enjoy it. Other-wise it would feel like I “figured it out” and there is nothing to improve.
What tips would you give to improve productivity?
Grouping similar tasks and have a dedicated “focus” time for them is one of my keys to success. The next tip could be to turn off all notifications across your devices. I prefer to stay focused on work instead of checking social media every few minutes and waste my time there.
You're better than your colleagues to:
I would say I have a great ability to focus on a specific task and just work for it until it’s done. The is no space for distraction in my creative process. This approach helps me to finish more projects than the others as well as stay concentrated towards my long term goals.
What is the best advice anyone has given you?
Hm, it’s hard to pick one, but I’d go for “Stay yourself”. When my career started to grow a lot of my colleagues and mentors told me no matter what other people say I should always do my thing if I believe in it.
What is your best tip for saving time?
It all starts with automating repetitive tasks. I hate doing something all over again. Also, I hate meetings, so every time I need to discuss something it should be straight to the point. Having an unproductive meeting with a lot of people is a nightmare.
What is your routine start and end of the day?
My days usually starts with social media. Both in consuming what happened over night and also getting my own content ready for the upcoming day (I’m really active on social media myself). The end of the day is more shaped towards learning or relaxing with a book, documentary or a video presentation.
Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?
Probably my camera. I’m not a hardcore photographer yet but I’m trying to practice a lot and shooting some new content for my Instagram (mostly product shots).