Interview with Garret Dimon from Wildbit
Published 04. oct 2018 04:54
Who are you and what do you do for a living?
Garrett Dimon, and I do all sorts of software stuff, mainly in the SaaS space and creating tools for developers. Currently, I work full-time for Wildbit as a sort of hybrid marketer/evangelist for our tools, but I also recently self-published a massive update to Starting & Sustaining, my book and collection of resources for building and launching a SaaS business.
What’s your morning routine like?
Roll out of bed and go through the routine of putting my leg on (I’m a left below-knee amputee). Then, I’ll wander to the kitchen and kick off the coffee maker. I usually try to check email and catch some news while the coffee is brewing so that I know once I sit down at my desk with coffee, it’s work time. Then it’s usually 5-10 minutes in OmniFocus and Calendar to wrap my head around what the day is going to look like.
What’s a typical day at work like for you?
There’s not much typical these days, but I’d say that writing and creating things to help customers dominate most of my time. Until recently, I was spending most of my time on Postmark, our transactional email delivery service. These days, I’m focused on Conveyor, our next product. My time there is focused mainly on writing about what we’re doing to shed some light on the tool and why we think it’s special. It’s a much different world working on a product that doesn’t have customers yet compared to Postmark that has thousands of customers that absolutely adore the product.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I can’t get outdoors enough. We live in the mountains, and our family spends as much free time as possible getting out of the house. Camping, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, and pretty much anything outdoors dominate my free time. With two little ones, most of those activities are less ambitious than I’d like, but as they grow, they’re loving to do more and more adventurous stuff with us.
What does your office and desk look like?
It’s pretty mundane at the moment. Currently, I’m crammed in a 3rd-floor loft that bears a striking resemblance to Harry Potter’s room under the stairs. I have a standing desk, but it doesn’t work well in this space because my head hits the ceiling when I’m standing. Other than that, I try to keep it simple. Laptop + Monitor + Recording equipment mounted underneath with a mic mounted to the desk. I recently added a Gather (https://gathersystem.com) to the mix, and it’s been great.
What challenges do you often run into when you’re working?
It is and always has been focus. I’m a generalist and, as a result, I’m fascinated by a huge range of topics. Front-end, back-end, business, customer success, marketing, writing, designing, and pretty much anything about the web fascinates me. So it’s easy to end up going down a rabbit hole of research and learning. These days, it’s impossible to keep up with everything, but it’s so tempting to try.
Do you have any good productivity tips?
The biggest single tip is to treat productivity as a skill that needs constant work. Everybody is so different and works differently. For me, I’ve found that OmniFocus + RescueTime + a morning ritual has made a world of difference.
One other tip that’s easier said than done is to treat everything as if it’s trying to assault your day. Meetings. Email. Urgent, but unimportant tasks. Ruthlessly prune and reduce these distractions so you can focus exclusively on the work that matters.
What tools do you use at work to be productive?
My main one is OmniFocus. I’m not big into GTD, but I’ve adopted a lot of the principles. While OmniFocus is great as a todo list, I’ve found it to be much better for clearing my mind. I know when something goes into OmniFocus, I don’t have to devote any more cycles to it. I know that it will surface at the right time, and I can handle it then.
How do you get inspiration to get up in the morning and kick ass?
I used to be much more of a morning person, but since losing my leg, I’m slower to get out of bed. In a way, that’s kind of caused me to slow down and become more methodical. Instead of trying to get excited about anything on a daily basis, I look at each day as more of a consistent routine. It’s not really about getting out of bed and kicking ass so much as it’s about waking up and keeping it going. I just try to focus on slow and steady incremental improvement. Since looking at work less glamorously and more methodically, it’s really changed things. It’s about the volume of work, not the excitement behind it.