Mary Hart
Senior Marketing Content Writer
May 11, 2020

Interview with Mary, a remote senior marketing content writer who maximizes downtime

With the help of a Franklin Covey Notebook & a few rounds of Candy Crush—Mary shows how important downtime is to remote work. See how she maximizes her time and puts work-life balance first.

How did you get started with remote work?

For a past job at a B2B tech marketing company, I worked remotely for five years out of my house in Massachusetts, with occasional visits to the headquarters on Long Island in New York. That experience taught me habits on what to do and what not to do when remote working, which I've used at jobs since when working from home.

In my current position at ConnectLeader, I have a commute of five miles, but we've all been remote working for the past weeks. Luckily, it's something that's not new to me—minus my son, who's a junior in high school, also being here at the same time and doing remote schoolwork.

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What are you working on?

I'm the senior marketing content writer for a sales software company. So my job entails talking to our sales reps and our customers to learn what our customer pain points are and then translating that into website copy, blog posts, eBooks, social media posts, case studies, PPC ad copy, and flyers for our tradeshows.

Since I'm a one-person marketing writing team, I wear quite a few hats, but that keeps me busy.

And working from home gives me plenty of time to have heads-down writing time without distractions from people stopping by my cube at the office.

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What's your typical work routine?

I am an early bird, so I typically work from 8 until 4:30 PM, with a break at lunch to spend time with my son, and eat some food. I may also go outside for a few minutes dressed up as an inflatable pink T-Rex or an inflatable unicorn to entertain the neighbors by doing jumping jacks in the street, taking a stroll up the street, or just being silly.

My son records these antics, and then they're posted each day to my Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn (thankfully, I'm a "creative" so quirky works!) to provide a smile to friends, family, coworkers, and work acquaintances.

Each week, there's a weekly sales meeting to start off Monday morning, and I sit in on that through Zoom to see my coworkers and hear even more about what the customers are saying.

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

I sure do! I have a pretty large bedroom, so one half of it has my work desk, comfy chair, and my laptop. I keep oldies music on in the background just for some kind of noise —and of course that gets turned off during any meetings.

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

I use SmartSheets to keep track of what I'm working on, as well as a good ol' Franklin Planner.

Yes, I'm old school! There's just something about writing things down that helps me stay on track.

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How do you stay on task?

I write everything down to make sure that I'm not forgetting anything and to stay on track. That includes writing things down in a Franklin Covey planner and also in a notebook for further information from meetings or notes/ideas for future blog posts and content.

I try to be in bed and reading a book instead of being on my phone by about 10:30 PM, so I get a solid number of hours of sleep for a smooth start each morning.

Sometimes, of course, I wind up mindlessly playing Candy Crush or scrolling through Facebook instead of reading, and I can always tell when I've done that because it throws my sleep off. So taking that half-hour of not looking at a screen really helps.

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What do you like about remote work?

I love that I can have music playing in the background while I'm working for that extra spark of creativity.

Sure, I could play music through headphones at the office—and have at past jobs—but at my current job, when I'm at the office, I learn more from listening to the sales reps pitching our sales acceleration software solutions on calls, so I avoid headphones there.

I also enjoy that I've made a clear time frame for myself that when I shut down the laptop at 4:30 PM, that's it for the day.

When I've worked remotely before, I could easily find myself working until eight or later (sometimes until 11) at night just because I could, but that wasn't healthy, because we all need downtime.

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What do you not like about remote work?

The one thing I miss the most is not seeing my coworkers every day, because they're all great and witty.

But I still get to "see" them every week through Zoom meetings, so that helps.

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What did we forget to ask Mary Hart?

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Mary Hart

Mary Hart is the senior marketing content writer at ConnectLeader and the founder of Mary Hart Writing & Editing, which was created to provide B2B and B2C companies with content marketing strategies and copy that compels potential customers to click.

Previously, she developed email marketing copy in demand generation positions at The Channel Company; Aberdeen Group, UBM Tech; and Ziff Davis Enterprise. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from Stonehill College and published her first book "Some Horrific Evening" —a haunted house novel—three years ago.

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