Claudia Flannery is a Content Manager at G Squared, a digital agency focused on UX/UI design, web development, content marketing, community management and performance marketing.
In addition to her role at G Squared, Claudia is also undertaking a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney.
Balance the Grind spoke to Claudia about juggling her full-time career and uni work, exercising 5 to 6 times a week, getting an early start on the day and more.
This conversation is brought to you by Freelancer.com, the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?
I’m a little bit of a social media geek to be honest. I started straight out of school in a number of start-ups, including Start Up Daily. I quickly realised that I loved working and making connections in the media and business world.
This led to my first real social media job as a social coordinator for Pulse Communications, part of Ogilvy.
I had the fantastic opportunity of working with Microsoft Sydney and New York while I was there, as well as Australian Eggs (so I have quite the egg-pun list, which surprisingly comes in handy).
From there I jumped over the Channel 9 and ran their 9 News Sydney social media channels, and worked on events such as the state and federal election which was fantastic!
After 18 months at 9 I realised it was time to really challenge myself and take my next step – which has led me to G-Squared where I now work as their Content and Community Manager.
2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?
I am loving my current role as Content Manager so far, I manage everything from start to finish for client social content, as well as reporting and what not – working with 11 or so clients and getting to be very hands on and client facing.
No day is the same at G-Squared, I could be doing anything from client meetings, to content briefings with the design team.
3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I’m an early riser so my day usually entails a trip to reformer Pilates or the gym at 6am or so. Then a dash into work for a nice early start.
I love setting myself up at a local café and getting some uni work, or work work done, so I will usually do that for an hour or so most mornings.
From there I will be in the office from 8ish and will be juggling tasks for most of the day. I’m a big list person so most workdays will be ticking things off the to-do list, with a few coffee breaks scattered in between.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you prioritise your workload?
To-do lists are a must. I don’t know what I would do without them. I keep a short-term list which will be for tasks I need to get done during the day, and a longer-term list that incorporates work, uni, and life admin that has to be done.
Beyond this I always make sure to communicate with co-workers to make sure that work is being done effectively, and that I’m not wasting time on tasks that aren’t really needed.
I think it’s also so important to work productively and not spend hours on an activity that should only take minutes. This is why I force myself to take coffee breaks or even to walk around the block when I become distracted and unproductive.
5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?
Finding time for myself is definitely difficult given I work and study full time.
I have really learnt to appreciate those small moments of free time I have, using it to socialise with friends, family, my adorable dog Bailey or even just to listen to a nice peaceful song.
I also ensure that I am exercising 5 or 6 times a week to keep my body and mind fit and healthy.
6) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?
Peaceful music, time by the water, and Netflix are my main time out activities. Anything that basically lets my mind switch off for a bit. I think it’s so so important to give yourself this sort of time to just unwind and block out the never ending to-do list.
7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
I believe that my internal motivation to increase my own knowledge around all things social media has been the biggest factor to drive me to the point I am at now.
I don’t think I would even been working in the industry if it wasn’t for that motivation. You really have to love what you’re doing, and really want to learn in order to maintain a full-time job and degree.
Being surrounded by positive, loving individuals is really what helps the balance. Having such a supportive and encouraging family, as well as a strong social network has allowed me to maintain the work/life balance.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Start early and take breaks. I am a big fan of getting started nice and early. I never let myself snooze the alarm, I hop straight out of bed and get the day started.
I always find my brain is at its best first thing in the morning. Beyond this, I make sure to leave my desk every few hours to ensure I remain productive throughout the day.
If you’d like to have a conversation with Balance the Grind about how you manage work, life and balance, feel free to get in touch with us!