Name: Brad Hoot
Location: At the moment? In my campus office.
Current Gig: Assistant professor, Department of Modern Languages
One word that best describes how you work: Systematically. I try to plan out what I will be doing and approach it mindfully, although I don’t always succeed.
Current mobile device: Droid Maxx
Current computer: Dell Laptop, not sure what model
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Google Drive, Google Calendar, Zotero
What’s your workspace setup like? Fairly bare. I have a computer and often a few books on my desk, plus a notepad in case I need scratch paper, but that’s about it.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack? Do you automate something that used to be a time sink? Do you relegate email to an hour a day? I often use rubrics for grading, which helps streamline the process while still giving students meaningful feedback. I try to control the amount of time spent on email by limiting email checking to certain times, but I don’t always succeed.
What’s your favorite to-do list manager? I don’t really use one. I primarily try to map to-do items directly to spaces in my calendar, so my calendar often becomes my to-do list. When I do make a to-do list, I just use a Word document, which is synced via Google Drive across all my devices.
Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why? I don’t really have many gadgets beyond those two, and nothing I couldn’t live without.
What everyday thing are you better at than everyone else? What’s your secret? I think I’m better than average at seeing both sides of an issue. It’s easy for me to see how a situation might look from someone else’s perspective. I always say to myself “On the other hand…”
What do you listen to while you work? Usually nothing, but if it’s a task that doesn’t require much concentration, I listen to Spotify.
What do you do to stay inspired? Who are some of your favorite artists? When it comes to work, I mainly stay inspired by attending talks and conferences; if I find the right presentation, it can help remind me why I decided to pursue this field in the first place. I also read about professional development in books and on blogs for professional inspiration.
What sort of work are you up to now? I’m trying to write up the results of an experiment about how word order and intonation affect sentence meaning in the Hungarian of Hungarian/English bilinguals, and I’m collecting and processing data for a similar experiment with Spanish/English bilinguals.
What are you currently reading? For work, at the moment, a bunch of papers about statistics. For pleasure, Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler.
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? Maybe both. Definitely an introvert.
What’s your sleep routine like? I keep fairly regular hours. I sleep roughly 11:30 to 7:30, plus or minus half an hour or so.
Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions. Why? Jessica Bishop-Royse. Because she seems like someone who has given serious thought to how to work.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? I think there are two pieces of advice that had the most direct impact on my career. The first was a friend in college who said I should major in Spanish, even though I wasn’t really considering it all that seriously, because my eyes lit up when I talked about the classes I would get to take if I did. The second was the advisor in graduate school who suggested changing the way I thought about my graduate school experience, shifting from thinking of myself as a student to thinking of myself as a novice professional in training. Though it may seem like a small distinction, that change in perception led to a change in how I approached the last few years of graduate school, which I think was very beneficial, and which has carried over into my career so far as a faculty member.
The How I Work series featured on the re/search blog is shamelessly stolen from Life Hacker’s How I Work series. The SSRC’s version asks DePaul’s heroes, experts, and individuals of note to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email your suggestion to Jessi Bishop-Royse at email@example.com.