Speaker Interview: Kassey Sikora

Here at WordCamp Northeast Ohio, we are pretty big fans of the Lifehacker series “How I Work”. We asked our speakers to do a WordPress take on that idea, and thus was born “How I WordPress”- a series where some of the best minds in WordPress share a bit about their process with our readers/attendees.


Name
Kassey Sikora

Location

Cleveland, OH

Current Gig

Designer and Consultant

Career Summary

I spent years doing marketing and design and then shifted focus to UX/UI work in software development. I still do a mix of both with a little photography thrown in!

One word that best describes how you work?

Efficiently.

Current Mobile Device/Why

iPhone. I’ve tried every major OS there is (including BlackBerry back in the day!) and found I enjoy the UI/UX of the iPhone the most.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

Web Apps: Google Calendar, Wunderlist, Feedly, Pocket, Dopbox, and Spotify Software: Adobe CC, Axure, Brackets, and F.lux Tools: phone, laptop, Wacom tablet, Bose headphones, and a good old fashioned paper notebook

What’s your workspace setup like?

I have an incredibly long worktop-style desk I’ve had for years. I focus and think best in a neat, sparse space so I like it facing a blank wall with almost nothing on the surface except some flowers or books I’m reading, a candle, and a pencil cup. I always position it near a window for maximum natural light. Not Pictured: The occasional pile of paperwork or magazines that accumulate on the far left end of the desk.

What’s your best time/effort-saving life hack?

It’s so classic/common: Make. Lists. When I don’t have a list/plan/schedule, I waste so much time trying to figure out what to do next or where projects are going and waste so much space in my brain trying to remember multiple things. Take the time to plan and write it down. It’s okay for things to change and shift, but don’t waste time and mental energy by keeping everything in your head.

What’s your favorite to-do list method?

I use Wunderlist to create lists (of lists!) for general thoughts but when working on larger projects I like using the kanban method.

After your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without? Why?

This is tough! I want to say my watch because I’m obsessed with keeping/monitoring time but in reality it’s probably my Bose headphones/speakers. I work well in complete silence which you don’t get too often in the city so I usually retreat into good music with quality sound delivery. It’s the musician in me that appreciates it the most!

What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else?

Besides being a designer…Cooking and organization. It’s a joke among people who know me that I could rival Martha Stewart with my domestic skills. (I make a mean plum tart).

What do you listen to while working?

If you use Spotify, you can find some of my playlists under my username, kasseys. The music I listen to varies so much but on the average day it’s either classical, dubstep, hip-hop, rat pack (Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin), 90s pop, or alternative.

What do you do to stay inspired?

Go out into the world and take a walk! Bonus points if I take my camera with me. I live in downtown CLE so there’s never a shortage of events to go to, new places to eat, and interesting people to meet. Plus fresh air and a little exercise refresh me the most.

What are you currently reading?

The World on a Plate: 40 Cuisines, 100 Recipes, and the Stories Behind Them by  Mina Holland. I’ve traveled a fair bit and love trying/cooking new foods from different places.

What’s your sleep routine like?

During the week, up by 7, in bed by 11, asleep by 12. On the weekends I still naturally wake up by 7 but go to bed around 2 or 3. And drink a lot of coffee.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

I read this in a book when I was young and it’s stuck with me: “Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

Any other tidbits you think might interest attendees?

I’m obsessed with cats but am also allergic to them so I can’t have any, I don’t watch TV often but I love Sherlock, and I used to live in England for a short time and it really shaped who I am.