Ivan Mir from QotoQot

Ivan Mir from QotoQot

Published 11. feb 2018 07:57

Who are you and what do you do for a living?

I'm Ivan — developer, UX designer, and entrepreneur. I run a small company QotoQot with my wife who's a digital artist. We live in Valdivia, Chile but are originally from St. Petersburg, Russia.

What's your morning routine like?

I wake up somewhere between 9 and 10 AM, meditate for 20 minutes, and then eat breakfast. It's usually oatmeal or some other grain with a bit of fruit or berries in summer and nuts in winter. Then I go to the office room and start checking overnight emails.

What's a typical day at work like for you?

I work in two blocks of about three hours each – one around the noon and another in the evening. I split these blocks with a walk that includes visiting a swimming pool three times a week. I don't stick to exact hours: sometimes I go for my tasks right after waking up but sometimes I'd like to slack around and read some unrelated articles first. This way there's a balance between self-discipline and going with the flow.

What do you do when you're not working?

I try to learn something new but not related to the tech industry. Nowadays one of the main activities is improving my Spanish – it's hard to get fluent in a new country when working from home. Over the last years, I somewhat lost interest in most entertainment, so I rarely play video games or watch movies.

What does your office and desk look like?

I try to keep the surroundings simple — the office is just a room in our house without anything but desks and a cabinet. My desk is also "boring": a computer, a paper notebook, and a huge cup of green tea. Oh, and a Quagsire figure – he's the main in my Pokemon team.

What challenges do you often run into when you're working?

Since I run a business, avoiding multitasking is one of the top priorities. I try to batch similar tasks together because jumping between different worlds like development and marketing is absolutely exhausting.

I also started to dislike coding because when you are building a product, it feels like an obstruction that delays everything else. In cases like this, I try to disconnect my emotional preferences from tasks. The work needs to get done and not liking some parts of it is just a thought. If I don't pay attention to it — it will not be much of a problem.

Do you have any good productivity tips?

I ended up writing a whole productivity guide where I described my methods. One of its core ideas is separating work and leisure places. I keep everything distracting blocked on my work machine in the office and go to another room with a laptop when I'd like to have some leisure.

The other is focusing on your body well-being because it affects cognition a lot: sleeping well, eating healthy stuff, exercising, taking daily walks.

What tools do you use at work to be productive?

Scapple for thinking in concept maps, Trello for roadmaps, Bear for writing, Xcode for iOS and Mac development, Sublime Text for everything else, Qbserve (my app) for productivity tracking, Focus for blocking distracting sites and apps.

How do you get inspiration to get up in the morning and kick ass?

Before it was the pressure to hit my own deadlines and to make my huge todo list smaller. But nowadays I don't have so much on my hands, so I focus on how my work can help others. Then procrastinating it feels really disappointing: I have all the power to make meaningful things — why waste my short human life on something other than using this power?

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