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Member Spotlight: Ray Anderson

Ray Anderson

Ray Anderson joined our ranks in November and became a pillar of our dedicated desk crew in April. Our first impressions of Ray were along the lines of “quietly productive and focused.” Yet as the months pass, I’ve come to appreciate the social contribution Ray brings to Groundwork! I often see Ray listening attentively and giving helpful advice, and he is more than willing to provide a helping hand to the success of our space: he’s lent us adaptor cables and even a bike pump for filling up the yoga balls we use as chairs.

Ray runs a successful Meetup called 0D0A that will return in the fall, he is a dad, an avid cyclist, and he has a serious weakness for Klondike Bars. Read more about Ray in his own words:

What’s your profession?

I’m the Chief Technology Officer for a medical analytics software company. We centralize healthcare provider group management, education, scheduling and messaging into a central location for use by healthcare providers and group administrators. We help them see where they’re wasting money and then help them do something about it.

Describe a typical work day for you.

My day starts at about pretty early, with a check on what happened over night. My colleagues are in three different time zones and are busy working during hours I’m sleeping. Responding to what they may need from the overnight sometimes makes for a hectic morning. I use this early check to get it out of the way and get them what they need as quickly as possible.

I do a “stand-up” meeting with the development and operations teams mid-morning. I usually do this video conference call from the Groundwork! offices; which technically makes it a sit-down meeting for me since it would be odd to have me randomly standing around at Groundwork! ;-)

After the morning catch up and calls, it’s on to getting some work done.  I spend most of the rest of the day in heads-down mode… reviewing code, reviewing other types of work product, documenting new product features, fixing bugs, pushing contracts back and forth between us and customers

…  we interrupt this part of my day for a nice walk through Clasky Commons …

Then it’s back to working with designers and other creative talent on marketing campaigns, interacting with board members to keep them up to date on what’s going on, working with vendors to get what we need… The list goes on and on.

We’re a small, new company. There’s a ton of variety in my work.

What’s the biggest challenge you face at your job?

We’re bringing a new product to market. Right now, our biggest challenges revolve around customer acquisition and on-boarding.

Do you have a morning routine?

The only thing I’d add to #2 is that I drink coffee… *A LOT* of coffee. I drink so much coffee that I think I’ll be in *big* trouble if someone, someday,  publishes a study that says coffee increases the risks of some horrible, life threatening disease.

What are your favorite productivity tips or hacks?

TIP: Keep your email inbox empty (including any SMS messages you receive). It’s easier than you think. Start right now – it takes 30 min or less. Empty it all by moving whatever is in it to be somewhere else. If you’re using Gmail just archive it all.  Then try limiting your email checks to once every 3 or 4 hrs. But, when you check your email, work your email until you’re done. You’ll know you’re done when your inbox is empty.  Anything you can’t archive should get a followup note in a tickler file somewhere – a tickler file that you trust or you’ll worry that you might lose something important.

TIP: Use Things or Omnifocus. These two productivity tools afford you the option to prioritize what you need to be doing and thinking about. They then try to draw your attention to what’s important at the right time.  They also make a great spot for those things that need a tickler file after being in your email inbox.\

TIP: Read “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and use the GTD techniques in the book explained in the book within Omnifocus (read how here)

What do you listen to during the day?

— Music.  All kinds.

— Jeremiah, Sarah and Shelley. They’re a hoot!

How do you benefit from using a coworking space?

There are people that can work all day without any interaction and be completely happy — I’m not one of them. I’m used to a high level of interaction with others and I miss it a ton in this new remote job I’m in. Groundwork! helps me by providing that “professional” level of personal interaction along with some distance from my family that allows me to focus when I need to. It’s great!

What’s in your digital toolbox?

Macbook Pro, iPhone (I’m no fan-boy; but they work well so I use em)
Emacs (I’m a total fan-boy; bring it, Vim bitches)
Pivotal Tracker

What is the most surprising or unusual aspect of your life?

I’m surprised to be doing what I do professionally here in New Bedford. I’ve always lived in the area and always wanted my professional life to be in the area too. I never found quite the right situation at the quite the right time to have that work out. I’d resolved myself to the idea that I’d be commuting to the Greater Boston area for my whole professional career. Now that the stars are aligned I’m surprised, but very thankful, to be here in New Bedford.

What inspires you?

Underdogs. I want to help whenever I see an underdog trying to accomplish a goal. Underdogs come in many shapes and sizes but every great success story starts with one. When someone has with very little and rises up against the odds to make something great happen… well, that’s inspirational.

Oh, and Dena’s ping pong skills…. she’s crazy good!

Erin Baker
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