In this edition of Workflow, we have Brendan Marsh, Agile & Org Coach at Product Space, talking abut how working from home has been negatively affecting his creative process.
Describe what you do: I’m a consultant, working for an Australian consulting agency called Product Space. I help companies build better tech products and create more liberated, motivating and empowered organisations.
I do this using a mix of training, teaching, coaching and consulting in areas like Agile software development, organisational design & improvement, leadership, product discovery and product management. I’ve held both Agile Coach & Product Manager roles at Spotify and utilise a lot of my inspiration and learnings from my time there in my consulting work now.
I’m a big believer in the importance of focusing on people, rather than process/bureacracy. Or as Peter Drucker once said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
I occasionally blog about what I do on my website: www.brendanmarsh.com.
How do you like your coffee: Bonsoy Mocha made by my Jura A9 coffee machine!
Device(s) you use: Macbook Pro 16″ (16GB RAM, 2.6GHz 6 core i7), iPhone 11 Pro. I also am a bit of a gamer so I have a PC Gaming Rig that I have connected to the same monitors as my Laptop, so I can have one device for work (MacBook) and one device for gaming. That way I’m making a mindful decision to switch from work to play.
Describe your working style in one sentence: Mindful, people-focused and systems-thinking. Work smart, not hard. “Busy is a bug, not a feature.”
What does your workspace look like: Minimal, usually a bit messy. I have a window that looks out onto trees in my building’s carport which I like, it reminds me to spend time in nature.
How does your workspace affect your creative process: At the moment, I’d say that my workspace (working from home) has a negative effect on my creative process, mostly because I thrive on human interaction.
I like to read a room, read body language and see the emotion in what people do. This is extremely hard and draining in this remote working world we now live in and despite my best efforts, it certainly feels like my strengths are nullified by the remote nature of my work right now.
It’s like my arms have been chopped off. People, meditation and going for a walk positively affect my creative process the most.
Do you have a favourite playlist for work: I have three favourite playlists for work, each with their own flavour. I can’t really focus if I’m listening to music with vocals, so here are my top 3 non-vocal playlists.
- Electronic Focus – A Spotify created playlist with non-vocal, electronic music for a more upbeat focused work session.
- Lofi hip hop music (ChilledCow) – I stumbled across this music in a Hotel lobby and loved it. It’s great when I want to focus on work but also be relaxed at the same time.
- Final Fantasy Piano – When I first stumbled across TPR (artist) I was hooked. He creates soft, mostly piano based versions of music from the orginal soundtracks to video games, mostly RPG games. I played a LOT of Final Fantasy growing up, so this playlist is super relaxing, unintrusive but with a HUGE dose of nostalgia. I love it.
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