How I Work: Eleonore Shaffer
September 27, 2017
Eleonore Shaffer is a MLIS student in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University.
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Current Gig: On co-op in the Jules Léger Library at Global Affairs Canada
One word that best describes how you work: Methodical
Current mobile device: iPhone SE
Current computer: MacBook Air
What apps, software, or tools can’t you live without?
I love having F.lux on my laptop – it adapts the screen brightness to the time of day, which makes reading and working a lot easier on my eyes.
On my phone, having Duolingo and Google Maps has been essential over the past few weeks since I just moved to Ottawa. I’ve been using the apps to work on my French and figure out how to navigate a new city.
What’s your workspace setup like?
I work at both the reference desk as well as my own cubicle in the library. My cubicle is still pretty bare since I just started a few weeks ago, although I just added a painting to make it a little more cozy. My main tools are the computer and a notebook I use to keep track of my day-to-day activities. Books and papers tend to accumulate over the course of the day, but I clear them off before I go home so that I can start the next day with a clean slate.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut?
Since I work from several different desks, I’ve set up each computer station to have the same program defaults and bookmarks. It makes moving between workstations as seamless as possible.
What’s your favourite to-do list manager?
I keep going back to the Notes app on my phone. It’s basic but it works for me — I have my to-do list, my grocery list, notes to myself, and songs I want to to try at karaoke night. I also like to keep a post-it on my monitor with a list of my top priorities for the day.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
To be honest, I just don’t collect a lot of gadgets! One that comes to mind, though, is a set of measuring spoons that I use all the time. They’re great for baking since each one has a round end for liquids and a narrow end that can fit inside spice jars. They’re also magnetic, so they nest together for easy storage.
Do you find yourself always working on something? Or when you finish a project, do you take time to let your mind wander without concern for what’s next?
I like to work steadily but rotate tasks so that I can keep a fresh eye for what I’m doing. I find that taking a break to work on something else also gives me time to reflect on the best course of action. In my free time, I tend to do the same thing…I’m always looking for opportunities to seek out new knowledge or explore new places. As an information professional, you never know when a piece of information may come in handy.
What do you listen to while you work?
I tend to get distracted if I’m listening to music while I work. If it it’s a task that doesn’t require as much focus, I like to listen to podcasts. Two of my favourites are Reply All and Invisibilia.
What are you currently reading?
I just started The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry after hearing about it in my Reader’s Advisory course last semester. I’ve discovered that I have a real weakness for books about books.
How do you recharge?
I love keeping Sundays as a day to follow my whim. A perfect day would be tea and a good book in the morning, going for a walk or checking out a museum in the afternoon, and then meeting up with friends for dinner at a new restaurant.
What’s your sleep routine like?
It’s a work in progress! I’m still readjusting my internal clock after spending the last year as a student. I like to get a full night’s sleep, at least eight hours a night, whenever I can.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My dad taught me to always have a back-up plan. In my experience, you shouldn’t get too attached to plan A. You never know when things may go sideways or just turn out differently than you expected so being ready to switch gears is hugely important.