Our friends at Herman Miller's Lifework blog recently turned the tables on their managing editor, Cerentha Harris, and profiled both her home office space and the musical playlist that orchestrates her daily workflow. A Mac addict with a Dell external monitor (like us) with a love of Wilco and Billy Brag's redo of Guthrie's California Stars? We approve!
What do you listen to while you work? Music carries me through the mornings. All my blog writing and editing happens between 9am and 2pm. There's a lot to pack in so I have to be careful with my time. I've found I work better when there's music playing. If I'm trying to write I need something that's not too distracting. If I'm researching, I'm happy to listen to something loud and crazy. Anything to keep me engaged and stop me from wandering. There is definitely a tendency when working at home to wander. The view from my office is distracting, I've tried working outside but it's just too bright.
How do you listen? I am a serious Mac fan. I edit this blog using a 13-inch MacBook Pro, but when I'm at my desk I plug the laptop into a big screen. I love having two screens going at once. I keep my email open on one and then blog on the other screen. The Apple monitor was too pricey so I went with a 24-inch Dell with an attached speaker—nothing high-tech, really, but the music sounds just fine to me. We've got a Bose Lifestyle home theatre system, which stores all our CDs and plays the radio and is wired to play all over the house. I listen to that sometimes too.
Do you have any favorite music websites/providers? Pandora. Either that or I listen to music that I've got stored on iTunes. Most of that is stuff my husband has bought on Amazon. He is the music person in the family and I get the majority of my new music from him.
Does music influence your work? It definitely influences my mood. I enjoy the time at my desk more when there's a good song playing.
If your work was a song or a musician, what or who would it be? I'd love to say something clever and smart—some jazz icon that will deeply impress everyone, but that's just not true. I think instead it's a Ben Lee song, or maybe Missy Higgins. An Australian, with some soul, talented, perhaps a little earnest at times, edging towards something interesting and laced with a good dose of irony!
[Images: Cerentha Harris]