Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Zach now resides in Dallas, Texas.
Before jumping into the tech world, Zach was something of a traveling salesman, heading down to Chile shortly after graduation to sell 25,000 pairs of eclipse sunglasses. Then using the profits to fund further world travels.
Feeling the need for a more stable source of income long-term, Zach turned to tech following his travels – joining a very early stage startup as their first hire. He is currently a product engineer at Linq, a networking platform aiming to replace business cards.
With Linq, you build your own page which best represents you professionally. You can share the page with others to access all your contact info, see your portfolio, collect leads or payments, and more. When paired with a Linq Product like a reusable business card or bracelet, you can share your page with a tap.
As employee number one, Zach was able to choose his own title. He chose Product Engineer after reading this blog post which outlined what the role entails. The title reflects Zach’s desire to write code and influence the ‘why’ of building the product and startup.
For the last 300+ days, Zach has stuck to the same morning routine: he writes down three things he’s thankful for, meditates for about 10 minutes, and eats breakfast - All-Bran cereal for that daily dose of fiber.
Zach’s also committed to daily exercise - at least a 10-minute walk. When he has more time, he might Chromecast a workout video or play tennis with his wife. Notably, he also has an anti-habit where he limits himself to one YouTube video per day.
At Linq, Zach has done a bit everything, like most early startup employees. But lately, his role has been more concentrated on building software and hiring and mentoring as the Linq team grows.
Zach’s favorite part of his role is participating in product vision discussions. His biggest challenge is building solutions without perfect information. Striking a balance between how quickly you can create a feature and ensuring it provides enough value to the user is difficult.
“I think about that analogy where customers ask for a car and I have to figure out the best way to build them a skateboard that we can then turn into a scooter, and leave room to add a motor to later.”
Zach had been in the market for a new productivity tool when he found Taskable nearly a year ago. Back then, it didn’t immediately fit into his workflow because most tasks at Linq were communicated verbally within the team.
But as Linq grew, and they needed to establish more formal processes, Zach found himself copying and pasting his tasks from Shortcut (a project management tool) into a personal task manager.
When this became frustrating and hard to manage, he realized he needed a better system. He also noticed Taskable added a Shortcut integration, so he gave us another shot. Now all his sprint tasks and other work tasks are in one place.
“Having all the stories I “own” automatically show up in Taskable removes just one extra step that was bogging me down and causing me to manage two task lists instead of one. I do a much better job of managing my to-do list now that I just have one. I also really enjoy seeing all my meetings in the same location as my tasks. I really feel like I can see my whole day all in one view.”
Muting Slack for periods throughout the day is one tip that helps Zach get more deep work done without the constant distraction of notifications. Another tip is to stay focused on one well-defined task at a time.
Beyond just basic productivity, Zach’s best advice is to have a totally separate hobby from work that is simple and fun.
“You need a place to escape that isn’t just watching TV. It’ll help your mood and your creativity. Life is not just about productivity. It’s also about enjoyment.”
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