Staff Picks: How We’re Staying Focused for 43North Week

Today marks exactly one month until 43North Week kicks off with THE PITCH on September 28, and you better believe our team is hitting the ground running to prepare for the event-filled week ahead. From September 28 – October 5, there will be pitches upon pitches, networking, fireside chats, and lots of ping pong – something for everyone!

Like most companies, we have a busy season, too. Now that we’re in the thick of ours, our team is sharing what they do to stay calm, cool, and collected. No matter how busy you get, your physical and mental well-being is of utmost importance. When you take care of yourself, you’re better equipped to produce quality work (and you’re likely to have more fun doing it).

From early morning workouts to the perfect playlist (and lots and lots of coffee), here’s how our team is staying focused as we prepare for 43North Week.

Elle Anderson – Business Development Associate

Morning ritual: Teach Barre, meditate, drink lots of tea, then prioritize my week or day. To stay organized, I create to-do lists every morning as well as throughout my day. I take the time, even if it’s 20 minutes, to unplug from technology and have my lunch outside to get some fresh air. That really recharges me and gets me motivated to get right back into my work or get me ready for any upcoming meetings. When I need to really zone in I’ll cue up a good Spotify playlist depending on the type of work I’m doing, and that always keeps things refreshing for me. Did I mention lots of coffee?

Lee Locklear – Events Coordinator

Every morning I do 20 push-ups, and then I have a mini dance party while my Lunchable is cooking in the toaster oven (which is normally about 15 minutes). This puts me in the right state of mind to have a great day!

Lauren Rivett – Director of Incubation

Early morning workouts clear my head for the day, and I bring lots of drinks and snacks to work so that I don’t have to leave my desk.

Brian Straka – Communications Manager

What keeps me (semi) well-rested, organized, and energetic for 43North Week are actually two things that give me a bit of “air” during our busy season: working out and time away from screens. Like a lot of people, I feel good both mentally and physically after working out. On the flip side, I get pretty stressed and antsy if I miss a workout. Keeping up my workout routine lowers my stress and helps me maintain a level head in our busiest time of year. Time away from screens (laptop, phone, TV, etc.) also helps. There are so many notifications, distractions, stimuli, etc., that it can get overwhelming. I try to set aside time each day to get away from that and do some relaxing things, such as reading, walking my dog, hanging out with family/friends, etc.

Dan Greene – Director of Operations

My grandmother always told me that at times of great stress, it is best to start your day with an ice cold dip in the lake. I rely on that advice throughout September. Sometimes it gives me a very, very intense headache – but otherwise it is invigorating and life-giving! I’m also trying to learn Morse Code!

Amy DiSarno – Office Manager

I will be listening to musical soundtracks, singing along to them in the shower and as I get ready in the mornings! Some of my favorites include Little Shop of Horrors, Mama Mia, Rent, and Calamity Jane.

John Gavigan – Executive Director

Over these next few weeks, I’ll be doing a lot of exercising, visualization and tapering until Finals.

Nate Benson – Digital Media Manager

One thing that helps me concentrate when I’m creating content for Finals is listening to the WNY version of War of the Worlds in the background. As odd as that sounds, the chaos of WNY being obliterated is soothing, as told by the WKBW staff in 1968.

I also spend at least an hour each night woodworking. Most of the content I’m producing for Finals is being edited at a computer or shot on a camera, so doing something mechanical with my hands alleviates a lot of the wear and tear on my creative workflow.
I also learned at an early age that nothing keeps one more focused than skipping stones directly at the bodies of unsuspecting swimmers during daybreak. It’s a Benson family tradition.

Peter Burakowski – Director of Marketing

When I’m cranking on any project that needs a lot of attention, I hide out in a corner of the incubator, log out of email, turn off Slack, and listen to an album on repeat. Lately, that album has been “Stay Gold” by First Aid Kit.

Colleen Heidinger – Director of Events and Programming

More often than not this time of year, I am hearing “when in doubt, go workout” in my head. So, you can find me spinning at Revolution, training at Impact Sports, practicing yoga at Power Yoga Buffalo, or at The November Project bright and early on Wednesday mornings!

Pete Petrella – Strategy and Development Lead

I cherish my moments of clarity early in the morning when I get ready to be creative and think about what needs to get done.

Kim Speier – Content Marketing Manager

As we’re prepping for Finals, where there are deadlines to meet and a million things to keep track of at one time, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an absolute must. No matter how busy I get, making sure I get a good night’s sleep is at the core of keeping me focused during the workday. If I don’t get enough sleep, the quality of my work suffers (and I’m not too pleasant to be around). It’s also important to get to the gym and clear my head, even for just an hour, and eat healthy, home-cooked meals. Takeout is certainly convenient when your days are hectic, but it will just leave you feeling sluggish and foggy.