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Workflow with Sheila Knight, Director of Digital Marketing & Ops at Kira Systems

In this edition of Workflow, we have Sheila Knight, Director of Digital Marketing & Ops at Kira Systems, talking about her productivity as a night owl and romantic workspaces.

Workflow is an interview series by Balance the Grind to get a glimpse into people’s working styles and workspaces. If you’re interested in sharing your workflow, submit it here!

Describe what you do: I’m the lead for the Digital Marketing & Operations team at Kira Systems, a machine learning software company based in Toronto, Canada. My team aims to discover and employ increasingly unique and intelligent methods of digital marketing and marketing automation.

How do you like your coffee: I don’t drink coffee but in the morning I usually drink a cup of green tea (Sloane’s Jasmine Snow Dragon). In the afternoon or evening, I drink a cup of warm Kirin milk tea or a bubble tea (The Alley Royal No.9 is a current favourite).

Device(s) you use:

  • Windows gaming PC with monitor and surround sound system
  • Work laptop is 13‑inch MacBook Pro
  • iPhone XS
  • Bose sound-cancelling headphones or earpods

Describe your working style in one sentence: Even though we’re working from home, our teams at Kira are still as close as ever. We got a box of snacks as presents in the mail and just recently a cute pack of WFH stickers! Life still goes on, and we keep up with each other’s developments while encouraging one other to do better and learn something new each week.

We actually have days mostly themed around types of meetings:

  • Monday for team meetings and syncs on how we’ll tackle the week
  • Tuesday for 1:1 meetings
  • Wednesday for vendor meetings
  • Thursday for cross-collaboration meetings
  • Friday for org-wide meetings and analytics alignments

I find I’m very focused or full of ideas late at night. I use nights for any deeper analysis and planning that needs to done without distractions like phone calls, deliveries, or messages. My husband and I are night owls, so it’s not unusual for our keyboards to be clacking furiously past midnight.

What does your workspace look like: I have a small, soft romantic space. My office has furniture that’s French provincial inspired and silk drapes that match my pointe shoes. I use the same space for working, reading, and also getting ready, so there’s a huge full-length mirror beside me.

There’s not much on my desk, but some perfumes are stored in a trunk. I do have a lot of lip balms and moisturizers at the ready for whatever level of moisturizing I need, and my “old faithful” Mason Pearson hairbrush. My room’s walls are mostly bare because I sometimes use that space for sticky notes when visualizing projects.

When I don’t have any meetings, I use the chaise lounge. My cat also has a bed beside it and often sleeps there while I’m working. He also likes the window for Cat TV: outside our pear tree is blooming, and often some squirrels, cardinals, and bluejays come by. It’s a pretty active nature show even though we’re in the city.

Scent is important for workspace atmosphere. Flowers, diffusers, teas, and baked goods help with resetting my mood. I like to get something new whenever traveling so that the scent takes me back to the location in my mind. One example is a bottle of Fragonard’s Orange Blossom perfume which I picked up in Eze, the smell is exactly like the trees in Marrakech and wakes me up, making me think of spring.

Do you have a favourite playlist for work: I use my desktop sort of as a television with surround sound. It’s great to have youtube videos going as meditative ambient noise if I’m not in a meeting. The sound of rain or a distant storm combined with another tab for music is nice for concentration.

Chillout songs from 16-bit era games, like this Relaxing Donkey Kong Music + Rain & Thunderstorm Sounds hits the spot. If I need to grind something out, Chillout Vocal Trance from the early 2000s is what’s up. At the moment I’m in a Schiller mood.

Who would you like to nominate for the next workflow interview: Bryce Wendelaar, a developer with impeccable taste in decor! 

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About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.