Getting the critical items ready for action.
This week (in 2016) I spent time getting all my equipment up and running. This includes getting things out of storage, putting everything together, testing to make sure all the equipment is still good, and then packing it all back together ready for transportation.
I’d packed most of it away after my last consulting engagement and had to get it all back into working order for this job.
The list of equipment I normally bring in with me includes:
- My laptop – Lenovo X250 (amazing laptop, I highly recommend it)
- Docking station
- Monitor – 24″ Dell monitor (again, very highly recommended)
- Keyboard & mouse – My mechanical keyboard makes it easy to type really fast.
- Mini projector – It’s helped me many times in emergencies.
This is what the scene typically looks like when I’m getting setup.
Why do I use all my own equipment?
Because it makes me a lot more efficient.
To most people, it might not seem like a big deal, but all the small things like having a screen that’s too small, or having a keyboard with keys laid out too far apart etc. can all add up to a big reduction in my efficiency.
For example, if my monitor is too small, it means that I have to constantly switch between documents on the screen to get my work done. This constant switching has a cost. It taxes my cognitive abilities a lot more than I use to think. I found myself getting tired by mid-day and not able to focus properly by day’s end.
Having a large screen (or having two screens) leaves me with a lot more mental energy left over at the end of the day. I never realized this until I started changing the equipment I was working with.
I’ve experimented with different equipment over the years and have been able to make a system that optimizes how I use my time, my energy, and my mental stamina.
Having good mental stamina throughout the day is a major part of what will make you a successful BA. That’s why I put so much effort into improving the number of “clear thinking” hours I have in a day. My equipment is just a part of this. Getting good sleep, regular exercise and having a healthy diet are some of the other parts.
 I usually try to get all my equipment to the client’s site in the first week. Sometimes I drive it over, other times I take it on the subway. Most recently, I took an UBER ride. It’s winter this time.
Do you use your own equipment? What do you use, and why? Leave a comment below and let us all know.
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