Adrian Stewart is a Strategist and Copywriter at his own company, The Copy Mob, where he freelances as a writer and marketing strategist for agencies and companies of all sizes and industries.
This conversation is brought to you by HelloFresh, delivering delicious ingredients and simple recipes straight to your doorstep each week.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
After uni, I decided it was time to put my prestigious Bachelor of Media & Cultural studies degree to work by cold-selling credit cards. The 7am sales meetings, jubilant bell ringing, frenzied clapping and relentless “you too can own a mansion” rhetoric quickly wore thin and I moved on.
Since that first foray, I’ve traversed a range of roles in sales, training and marketing and I’m now a strategist and copywriter running my own business called The Copy Mob.
Basically I help businesses cut through the bullshit and find the right words. We do brand positioning, value propositions, campaign messaging and more.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Each day is different, but a reasonably normal one looks something like this…
Wake up at 6, hit a morning Muay Thai session, head home, shower, meditate, cycle to WeWork. Drink a strong cap, chat with friends, read The Hustle, then get stuck into work.
Headphones on, work on client projects (writing, researching, strategising). Come up for air, lunch, walk. Mindless distractions, more coffee. Working block #2 (same as the morning only less productive).
Afternoon slump, search for distractions. Emails, admin, non-thinking tasks. Call it a day. Go home. Eat. Wrap up loose ends. Plan the next day.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Absolutely – that’s always been my goal, and I’m glad to say I’ve achieved it. I’m self employed so can determine when I work and where. Now I’ve got it, I couldn’t go back.
For me, it’s all about having the freedom to work in a way that works for you. 9 to 5 five days a week is just one way of working. I don’t mind working evenings or weekends as long as I can balance it out.
I love having the freedom to do some shopping or life admin, or a friend is in town, I’ve got the flexibility to work around it. And if I want to go on holidays, I don’t have to go in the busy times just because that’s when annual leave is available.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Know what’s coming up. Check your next few weeks, know what’s on the horizon.
Plan your day the night before. With no plan, impulse wins.
Morning routine is key. Kick it off well and it’s easier to keep it rolling.
Protect your focus. If you’re in the zone, stay there. Phone on airplane mode, headphones on, deflect interruptions.
Timebox distractions. Choose your own distractions. Don’t let temporary impulse drive your behaviour.
Big tasks first. Focus is hard late in the day, so keep the easy-thinking stuff for when you’re brain is spent.
5) What does work life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Balance depends on your time horizon. Some may want to strike the perfect work life balance every day. But to me that’s unrealistic. Sometimes you have to dig deep to make progress and some other aspects of life fall down the priority list. But as long as it balances out over a longer time horizon, you’re all good.
Work life balance for me means freedom; to work, to travel, to live as I want. It means choosing my obligations, not having them forced upon me. And it means being fulfilled and working towards something.
6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
Morning exercise. It sets me up for the day, mentally and physically.
Always be learning. Audiobooks and long walks are a great combo that works for me.
Evening planning. Reviewing the day and planning the next has unlocked a new level of focus.
Be willing to say no. Focus is essential. You have to be okay to tell people now isn’t a good time.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
That’s a long list. Here are just a few that have had a big impact on me.
- Mastery by Robert Greene
- The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
- The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
- The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday
- Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Figure out what you really want from life, then go after it. It’s easy to just go along with the current. Take the time to choose your own path, then have the courage to go after it.
If you’d like to support Balance the Grind’s mission to promote health work-life balance to a global audience, you can join our Patreon membership for as little as $1 a month.