Day in the Life Of the Remote Worker: Irma Mesa
Justine Shu / June 6, 2019
This spotlight illustrates how each remote worker finds freedom and productivity in their everyday life, in their unique way. Want to be featured? Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Name: Irma Mesa
Current Job: Product Manager at Open Up Resources, a non-profit K-12 curriculum provider
Current Location: Indianapolis, IN
Current Computer: Macbook Pro Retina 15''
Current mobile devices: Pixel 2 XL
What does your typical workday look like?
- 6 am: Usually wake up during this time. During my work week, I barely ever wake up and hang out on my phone. I tend to immediately get out of bed, stretch and brush my teeth to get me moving.
- 6:30 am: If I'm working from home, I usually spruce up a bit. Make sure my hair is in order lol and if I'm meeting with any users for user interviews I'll put on a nicer top paired with sweats :p. If it's work-from-a-coffee-shop-day, I'll dress casually and comfortably.
- 7am: Take my pomeranian, Lolita, for a 15-minute walk. Come back and feed both her and my cat, Genevieve.
- 7:30-8 am: Start prepping for morning coffee by grinding coffee beans and getting my espresso maker ready for the stove. My partner comes down around this time and we cook and make breakfast together.
- 9am: My partner leaves to go to work! I grab water and get settled at my desk.
- 9: 15 am: Open up Slack and my Gmail inbox, checking for anything that needs my input or following up on any items that came up after I left on Friday. Based on my emails and pending work, I use 5-7 minutes to map in my notebook what I'm looking to accomplish for the day. I try to be as realistic as possible and not try and be an overachiever.
- 10am-12pm: Checking the state of work in our project management tool and making necessary tweaks to priorities. Responding or testing to any comments from Engineering, this helps me get a pulse on where we're at with our deliverables. Following this, I attend our Backlog Grooming meeting via Zoom or Slack with Engineering, another Product Manager and our CPO.
- 12pm: Walk my doggo and rush back to jump on a weekly 1:1 with my CPO/Manager.
- 1pm: Lunch (this varies depending on meetings). I'll step away from my desk and sometimes I'll even place my Slack as DnD during this time. I either make a quick chicken salad, have leftovers or order/pick up food from local mom and pop restaurants.
- 1:30 pm: Myself and the other Product Manager meet weekly and we catch up, unblock ourselves and help each other with any logistical or priority items that need attention. We use this sort of as our "water cooler" time.
- 2pm-4:30 pm: This varies daily but it's usually:
- Meetings with stakeholders
- Meetings with Sales/Marketing over Zoom to discuss ongoing projects, such as a website navigation redesign or Product Marketing communications we are brainstorming for
- User Interviews with teachers using our curriculum or User Testing with internal stakeholders
- QA Testing
- Designing mockups for our user stories to present to Engineering
- Coffee chats with local tech folks
- 5pm: Doggo walk then start to wrap up my work. My Engineering team lives in a different timezone than me so I will stay a bit later to catch up and chat with them or provide them with any assets or clarification they need before I'm out. Ultimately, I try not to be a blocker for their work so that we can continue to work asynchronously but doesn't always work out.
- 6-7pm: Rock climbing, group fitness class or working on creative projects. I have a Youtube channel, a podcast, and a blog as well as learning React and Node right now to build a web app. This time after work time is usually used for personal growth or health/fitness!
- 8pm: Cook dinner with my partner, we love doing this together especially after a long day. We plan our meals out every Sunday so that we can just look at a list and cook our meals throughout the week.
- 9pm: Doggo walk! Then watch Friends or Terrace House on Netflix with my partner.
- 10pm: Bedtime :)
Describe your workspace setup:
I used to have my workspace upstairs but I was feeling too isolated so I setup my desk next to the fireplace in our living room. I have an external monitor, a stand that holds my Macbook and that is connected to the external monitor via a USB hub I got off Amazon. It's super handy because I have multiple USB outlets and I can plug up my external keyboard as well as a wireless mouse. I always keep my Bose headphones hanging next to my desk for easy access. I have a felt large mousepad underneath my monitor, keyboard and mouse that adds a little more dimension to my desk. I also always have either a book, my daily journal or papers from past User Interviews that I used to take notes on. I try and keep this space clean and clutter-free! :)
What do you listen to while you work? Lately, it's been Lizzo! Just playing her whole album on repeat. But usually, I tend to play Brain Food, Roots Rising or Throwback James on Spotify. Occasionally, I'll pop open a Product or Development podcast if I have some downtime.
Aside from your phone and computer, name a gadget you can’t live without in your workspace: My Bose headphones all the way! I can get über focused while wearing these. And similar to Cat I sometimes find myself wearing them without even listening to music, haha!
I uploaded a Day in the Life as Product Manager on Youtube, if anyone is interested in watching here.