A Day in the Life of Remote Worker: Anna Usova

Day in the Life of a Remote WorkerWorking Remotely

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: Anna Usova
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Current Job: Partnership & marketing manager @ Running Remote
Current Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Current Computer: Macbook Air
Current mobile devices: iPhone 7

What does your typical workday look like?

I’m working remotely one year and a half. Before the pandemic I spent several months in Tbilisi, Georgia and a winter in Bali. In the middle of March 2020 I got back to my hometown St. Petersburg, Russia, until things calm down.

I’m managing marketing and partnerships at Running Remote, the premier event for the founders of remote-first businesses. Running Remote is an annual conference that was supposed to be held this April in the United States. But due to the COVID-19, we had to cancel it and started hosting a series of virtual events instead. We run them every two months in average.

Typically I have a lot of video calls with our partners located worldwide so my work hours can be quite unpredictable. I can have a morning call at 8 AM one day and late night call at 9 PM the other. Usually I try to have several days per week when I work late hours and several days when I start working early so that this is convenient to chat with everyone involved in our event. The flexibility is what I love most about the remote work.

Here’s how my typical work day looks like:

8.00 AM - Waking up. - Some yoga exercise. - Breakfast.

9.00 AM - The beginning of my work day. Checking email, Slack, Skype, staying up-to-date on what happened during my night time.

I usually get around 60-70 partner emails so it may take up to two hours to reply everyone.

11.00 AM - Setting up the priorities for today and working on them.

13.00 PM - Break.

In the middle of my work day I usually feel that I start losing my productivity and focus. This is when I take a break for dinner, a walk and some errands to do.

Doing yoga with friends via Zoom

16.00 PM - 20.00 PM - Second part of my work day.

During the second part of my work day I usually do tasks that require more attention like editing texts or have some late calls. Throughout the day I try to use a somewhat customized Pomodoro technique making regular short breaks between the intense periods of work. Since I usually have a lot of short tasks to do, such approach helps me stay at the top of my productivity.

During the break I usually stretch, make myself a cup of coffee or sometimes check the social media (which is the habit I’m getting rid of.)

Since our team is running events, our workload can be very uneven. Usually a couple of weeks before the event we work a lot of extra hours to get things done. We’re hosting the virtual events in the PST time zone so they fall to the night time for me, and during these days I have to work until 2-3 am. Right after the event the calm time comes when I can take a couple of days off and get back to my regular hours.

Right now we’re preparing for our next Running Remote Online conference that takes place on August 12. 

Describe your workspace setup:

I like having a big table where I can have everything at hand - mobile phone, notebook, a cup of coffee, some paper to draw, etc. A comfortable chair to lean back is also a vital workplace part for anyone who spends 8 hours in front of the computer.

Despite having a lot of apps to keep track of work I really love the old school approach of hand-written notes. I usually start my day with making a to-do list and then crossing items one by one makes me happier. Sometimes when I need to come up with a creative idea, I can start drawing some pattern which helps activate my brain.

I’m a coffee addict and sometimes I drink it just to fill in a short break. Although I try to limit its amount, I can end up having three cups of coffee per day.

What do you listen to while you work?

I usually listen to music only when I’m doing some kind of routine or mechanic tasks like putting files in order. When working on more creative tasks I find that music distracts me.

I prefer ready-made playlists on Spotify or similar services (like Russian Yandex Music) with light electronic or instrumental music for work.

I usually finish my day with watching a movie, reading a book or taking a bath. I live 30 minutes away from the seaside so when the weather is good, I can take a walk there.

I adore all kinds of water sports so during the short summer season in my home town I try to do them as much as I can - I often go kayaking, surfing, wake surfing or take trips with friends on a yacht around Baltic sea. This keeps me energized and happy.

Aside from your phone and computer, name a gadget you can’t live without in your workspace:

My paper notebook :)

Connect with Anna:
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anna-usova-25553033

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