As Apple's former engineer, Steve Wozniak may be one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all time, particularly if you judge him entirely on how influential his products have been. But what can the mind behind the Apple I and Apple II teach you?
Apple's Co-founder and Developer has a number of tricks that can help you streamline your own day-to-day work life. These 'lifehacks' could help you make the most of your time, become more productive and allow you to focus on the task at hand.
1. Streamline gadgets and devices
Since leaving Apple Inc in the 1980s, Wozniak has been putting his Developer mind to good use at high-tech start-ups, programs for schools and other projects. All this means he's still a very busy man, despite having already accomplished more than most.
In his interview with Lifehacker, he says that one of the biggest changes he has made in his working life is streamlining his devices. Wozniak now has just one MacBook Pro and tries to avoid using his smartphones - a Blackberry and an iPhone - to answer emails.
By doing this, he is allowing himself to be more focused on each task. His Macbook Pro is where he does his work, he answers emails at his desk, and uses his smartphones to answer any calls he may have. Having something like this in place can help improve your focus and productivity. It can also improve your work-life balance; as soon as you leave your desk, you're leaving work for the day.
2. Pay attention to the people you work with
It's said that the people around you are the greatest influences on your life, and Wozniak certainly believes this. He says a job or a salary are the last thing he needs, but going to work allows him to be around smart people.
For Wozniak, it's important that he is contact with professionals that are making progress and finding new ways to do things. This is a crucial part of running your own business; you need to make sure the people around you are positive influences on you and your company. This doesn't necessarily mean finding someone who will agree with you constantly, as professionals that challenge you can be much more valuable.
3. Find the products that work for you
Wozniak prioritizes finding the right software for the task ahead, but concedes that the most popular and standardized version also has its merits. Using software that is extremely popular, such as a mainstream web browser like Chrome, can have the advantage of allowing you to learn from other people's mistakes. Having an issue with widely-used programs means a quick Google search can easily find the solution or even pre-empt a problem without ever having to experience it yourself.
For more specialist operations, you may find value in another product but you need to balance the potential gain. If you're not happy with a certain piece of software, or your team are having difficulty using it, look into other options. Forums can be a fantastic resource for identifying the products that could work for your team.