Patryk Pawłowski
Front-end Developer & UI Designer
August 05, 2018

Interview with Patryk, a Front-end Developer & UI Designer

Patryk has learned that there is no reason to wait for the flow - once you start working, it will happen naturally.

How did you get started with remote work?

For as long as I can remember, my parents have been running their own business - so to me, working a regular 9 to 5 job felt somehow unnatural.

I started out as a freelancer when I was studying at university.

At first, I mostly wanted to get commercial experience and build up a portfolio. At that time, I was still dreaming about joining a "Mad Men"-like agency and bringing huge campaigns to life.

But after a while, I realized that what I most enjoy is direct contact with customers - briefing them, understanding and solving the problems of their businesses, presenting and defending my work.

I also realized that working as a freelancer allows more freedom - you can work wherever and whenever you want. Since I enjoy traveling, the choice was easy.

I never really worked in an office, so there was no transition to make.

I started getting clients thanks to recommendations from my friends or from people I met during conferences.

Maybe those suited-up businessmen found me, 20-year-old kid in a T-shirt telling them how passionate I am about design & IT, adorable. 🐣

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What are you working on?

For the past year and half, I have been co-leading the front-end development of PRNCPL, a database system tailored for art shows 🎨 .

The project is owned by MCH Group, but we're working in more of a startup environment.

My journey with PRNCPL is ending soon, and I'm switching back to being freelance from the beginning of October 2018.

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What's your typical work routine?

I usually get up in the morning and head off to a coworking space near my apartment, where I can fully focus on delivering great code.

If it's windy, I set up a temporary office in a cafeteria on the beach. From there, I can go kitesurfing when I need a break.

Our team at PRNCPL is distributed across USA and Europe, so sometimes I need to be online in the afternoon to discuss back-end or design, or to have a status call.

There are also days when I'm running errands in the morning and catch up with work in the evening, but I prefer to push code during the day.

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Do you have a dedicated space to work?

Yes. I'm renting a desk in a coworking space, where I keep my 25" monitor, external keyboard and mouse.

If I am staying at home, I set up my MacBook on a kitchen table, but having a nice environment in the coworking space helps me getting out and keeping the routine.

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What tools do you use to stay productive?

Memo notes. 📝 Seriously.

I tried out dozens of shiny apps and read hundreds of articles on productivity. And this old school item is the simplest and the most powerful solution.

Each evening, I write down up to 3 tasks I want to accomplish. The key idea is focusing on what's the most important right now. The next day, I don't need to prioritize.

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What do you like about remote work?

Having the freedom to chose where, when and how I want to work.

Not wasting time for commuting.

Working for companies from all over the world.

Being able to kitesurf, travel and work at the same time.

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What do you not like about remote work?

I miss having face-to-face relationships with my colleagues.

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What are the challenges with working at night?

I've always considered myself a night owl 🦉. I was dead tired in the mornings and fully productive in the evenings.

After graduating from university, I decided to schedule my day to fit into that rhythm. I was waking up at noon, reading a book, going to the beach for a walk, eating healthy breakfast, doing some errands.

Then, at 4pm, I'd sit down and work until midnight. After work, I'd still have some time for myself.

It might feel unnatural to most people, but I was nailing it. I still consider that time as a highly productive and well balanced period of my life.

It's a lifestyle that's easy to sustain when you're single, but when I started living with my fiancée, it became impossible. My priorities have shifted from focusing on my own needs to spending valuable time with my beloved.

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How has your routine changed over time?

At first, I didn't have any routine. I was believing in moments of magical inspiration.

So I usually adjusted my schedule to those sensations. Somehow, the urge to work always appeared when the deadline was tight. 🤔

Thankfully, after a while I understood that there's no reason to wait for the flow - you need to start working and you'll eventually get into it. A great routine is the key to freedom.

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How do you decide priorities?

I'm always open to new opportunities and eager to help people or get involved in non-profit activities.

However, that trait means I can easily become overwhelmed by too many commitments.

Every couple of months, I write down and evaluate my long-term goals. Whenever a new opportunity appears, I first check if it aligns with the bigger picture.

It's not always easy, as it means saying "no" to a lot of amazing things. If you want to learn more, google "opportunity cost". 😉

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Biography

Patryk Pawłowski

Patryk is a UI/UX Designer and JavaScript Developer proficient in modern frameworks (Vue, React, ReactNative) and obsessed with details.

He has also fallen in love with kitesurfing and travelling. You can find him on LinkedIn or instagram.

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