What I Learned from Briefly Sharing an Office with Steve Jobs
Get Started Early
Steve used to come in real early. By the time I got there I could see evidence that he had already been there — discarded coffee cups, little crumbs of food, a mild odor in the air — he had obviously been there for hours. Haters and self-doubt sleep in; get up early and get in charge of your day.
Don’t Clutter your Office — Don’t Clutter Your Mind
My desk has always been really messy. My side of the office was just a huge wasteland but it worked for me; Steve kept his side really minimal and I think it helped him focus. I mean just look at his accomplishments versus mine — clean desks are clearly the way to do it.
Head Off-Site to Avoid Distractions
When I tell people that I shared an office with Steve Jobs for a few months they don’t believe me, but it’s true. I think at the Apple HQ he was probably always being interrupted with questions and meetings and he just needed a place to just focus on work. Go off-site to improve your productivity.
Focus on the Important Stuff
I never once saw Steve Jobs on the phone and he never took a meeting in our office. What was he doing then? Just working — gathering scraps of food, looking up at me, running away. Avoid the distractions of social media, world news, and the unimportant.
Disguise Yourself to Avoid Interruptions
Steve was really a maverick, but his methods worked. Disguising himself as a small mouse was certainly innovative, and ultimately it will be up to the historians to decide if it was a greater achievement than the iPod. But I’ll tell you it impressed me; I’ll always look back with fondness of our time together.