How I Work: Andrew Case, Founder at NoonBrew

NoonBrew makes superfood teas to help you live a healthier life. Based in Brooklyn, they’ve shipped over 100k packages of tea to customers in all 50 states.

Published on
19 Jan

What mental models do you rely on to help prioritize and boost productivity?

I mark out my short term, medium term, and long term goals then try to work on each every day. It’s easy to just get stuck on short term goals and then not have the bigger picture in front of you, so I try to balance it all. 

On the weekends, I’ll reflect on what went well during the week and what I can improve upon and then will schedule my highest priority items for the week ahead in Evernote. That then sets my week up for success and allows me to focus during days when there’s a myriad of other things vying for my attention. 

How do you achieve a state of mental flow or deep-work?

I try to cut out all messages in the morning while I’m planning my day and figure out what the most important tasks are to tackle. The times I achieve the most deep flow is when I turn off my cell phone & Slack and knock out my tasks list 1 by 1. 

It’s easiest when it’s really early in the morning when I’m not getting hit up so much by my team.

How do you structure your day to set yourself up for success?

I workout in the morning to get my brain going and wake me up. That puts me in the right state of mind to tackle the rest of the day. After that, I’ll eat breakfast and plan out my day. Before I jump into any of my tasks, I’ll prioritize which are the most important to get done and then plan out my calendar. I find that if I don’t do that, it’s super easy to get distracted. 

I like to shut off Slack for the first part of the morning and go head first into my most important tasks then I’ll log on and respond to messages. After lunch, I’ll try to re-organize myself and see what important tasks I got done in the morning and what I still need to do in the afternoons. 

I try to limit my calls until the afternoon so I can knock out the most important items first and normally batch calls instead of having them spread out throughout the day. I try to get out of the office by 6 or 7 and leave my laptop there or else work just bleeds into my home life and it burns me out. 

What’s the biggest obstacle to your productivity on a day-to-day basis?

Myself! Mostly looking at any type of messaging app (email, Slack, Twitter, IG, etc) where you’re reacting instead of being proactive. Also, if I go out the night before and don’t get my workout in in the morning, it really has a big impact on the rest of my day. 

What are the tools or resources in your productivity stack that moved your business forward in the past year? What impact did those tools have?

A few tools that we rely on at NoonBrew are Evernote, Asana, Sunsama, and Google Suite. We track OKRs on Google Sheets which has been helpful keeping the team aligned and Sunsama has been great for planning out my calendar each day. 

Asana is also awesome for tracking big projects and tasks. Another tool I use is Pomofocus which is a pomodoro timer app you can use to focus for 25 minutes then break for 5 minutes. It’s free & I highly recommend it. 

What causes you to procrastinate? How do you push past this?

My phone and social media is the major one. Especially being in e-commerce it’s very easy to get distracted and look at your sales numbers or website traffic. 

I try to get past this by not having Shopify, Instagram, or Twitter on my phone and not having Slack or email open while I’m doing deep work. 

How do you create balance between work and personal life in a remote environment?

It’s definitely a challenge especially when a lot of friends also are founders of similar businesses. I like to pursue activities where you don’t have your phone with you (like yoga or being in a sauna) and also go to events that aren’t so business-focused like Broadway shows, concerts, and weekend retreats. 

What challenges set you back from managing stress?

Sometimes it’s internal where it’s a mindset thing and when it is, I like to listen to Youtube videos from Jocko or Kobe or David Goggins to help with managing it. If it’s external stress, I mark out what I can control and what I can’t control and then try to zoom out of the situation. 

Most of the times, the external stress isn’t permanent so I try not to let it get to me. I’d say making lists, marking out what is going well in my life (vs. focusing on what is stressing me out), and taking walks helps as well. 

What hobbies or activities outside of work keep you inspired and energized?

Working out, going rock climbing, biking around the city, hitting museums with friends, taking walks around the neighborhood, doing weekend retreats, dinner parties, and meeting up with friends outside of work.

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