Our new five questions series asks parking professionals about the habits and hobbies that allow them to be the best versions of themselves at work, and otherwise. Check back next month for more!
Heidi Barker, Sr. Director of Marketing and Sales Operations, Parker Technology
Heidi prefers variety over routine. She is known for her follow-through, and leading a team through a project from start to finish. Her weaknesses are chocolate chip cookies and floral prints.
Read on for her answers to our five questions.
1. How do you start your day?
I start my day with music (my Amazon Alexa wakes me up to Dave Mathews Band most days). Then I get up, make my coffee and sit down to do my devotional and prayers. After that, I get ready and then read or check emails before heading to work. The morning is really my time to set the day off right: relaxed, centered and motivated. I wouldn’t have considered myself a “morning person” a year ago, but now I LOVE the morning!
2. What do you do to enrich yourself outside of work?
I have a very active social life! I’m on the board or leadership team for several non-profits, and volunteer regularly. I love planning double dates or outings with friends and family. I also find creative outlets to stay balanced, such as crafting, interior decorating, organizing and writing. And finally, I enjoy reading, for fun, as well as for professional or self-development.
3. If you need inspiration, where do you draw from?
Being outside and in nature is one of the best ways to draw inspiration. However, Indiana in the winter can be brutal, so when being outside isn’t an option, I like to settle into a quiet room with serene ambiance, perhaps some Enya wafting in the background, and begin writing or designing my thoughts and ideas.
I also really love talking things out. Collaborative thinking and brainstorming can get my creative juices flowing and really jazz me up. That interpersonal connection provides energy and inspiration!
4. What work-related habit or practice do you think contributes the most to your success?
You could ask any of my colleagues and they would tell you that one of my best skills is follow-through; I do what I say I’m going to do. They can completely trust I will remember to check back in about something weeks later or get them something I promised.
This is due to the fact that I take meticulous notes and make lists or tasks for basically everything I do. Otherwise, I would easily forget! With so many meetings and ideas floating around my head in any given day, I have to capture them somewhere. Finding a system that works (e.g. I use OneNote to take notes for all my meetings and to-do lists, and use Tasks in Outlook for setting reminders) is crucial.
Staying organized leads to effective follow-through, which earns me respect, causes others to trust me, and creates healthy, lasting relationships.
5. What’s the best thing you’ve found to do when you’re stressed?
When I’m stressed, one of the best things I can do is knock out small to-do’s one-by-one so I can de-clutter my headspace and not have the weight of everything hanging over me. However, after that, if I’m still stressed, I may call a friend, decompress with a good book, play with my kitties, take a walk/get outside, or build/craft something.