Danielle Buckley is an expert in corporate psychology and mental health. As an expert in workplace psychology and mental health, Danielle has worked with organisations to resolve issues that exacerbate mental health conditions and overall wellbeing of staff.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am a psychologist, growing up I always wanted to be a psychologist, I loved science and I was fascinated with human behaviour.
My first job out of University (almost 16 years ago) was in a boys juvenile detention centre, which I loved! But I really felt passionately about helping as many people as I could before they ended up in prison, so I moved into more of a corporate and workplace space doing a blend of private practice and workplace psychology.
For the last 10 years I have had my own business, where I work with individuals and with organisation’s helping people improve their mental health and wellbeing.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I wake up and train everyday before work, I can’t be my best at work without exercising first. So I run or head to the gym at 7.30 then I start work by 8.45.
I don’t have ‘typical’ day because my work is so varied and depends on whether I’m seeing clients, running a presentation to developing content so other than my morning exercise, no two days are the same.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes! I am also a big believer in flexible and remote working. When I have to be creative and I’m designing workshop content, sometimes I’ll sit on the lounge with post it notes and journal articles all around me which gives me huge inspiration. I also love locking myself in a room in the quiet when I writing so I can be as productive as possible.
I also do a lot of travel for work. One lesson I have learnt with work travel is the importance of sleeping and resting so make sure you do your best to find down time in your work travel because it’s exhausting!
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
I am a massive planner. I plan my months, my weeks and my days. I know what tasks I am working on every day.
On a Monday I write a two week plan and fill in each day with the work that needs to be completed and when I will do it. I re-examine it every Monday and physically cross it out after I achieve each tasks.
I also try to have all my meetings on one day and I plan for writing time where I am not interrupted. I do all my admin on a Monday or Friday so the middle of the week is as productive as possible.
I’m also a mum of two, so I have a meal plan everyday that I write on the weekend and then shop for those meals. Once I’m finished work then I don’t even need to think “what’s for dinner” because its already written down!
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Exercise is non-negotiable to me. Family dinner time is sacred too. Because I like to plan it means I can ‘look down’ on my week and make amendments if something needs more time whether it be a work project or something for the family.
Not sure I always get the balance right, but having non-negotiables everyday makes me feel more in control.
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?
Self-regulation and being organised! I can’t stand chaos and I like to be planned but these skills have allowed me to be more productive at work.
When I worked in London and I was working on big psychology behaviour change solutions for organisations we would break all the tasks down into hours and times, I think this has stuck with me and I still work this way. I don’t get distracted by social media, when its work time I am really focused and that gives me a huge sense of achievement but also allows be to turn it off when its family time.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I like Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. I love how he calls things as they are.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Every day I start work by asking this question: If today is a success what will I achieve and finish? That gives me an immediate focus and a goal that I work towards.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others. Even if you plan for everything, things still go wrong. People change their mind or things take longer and are harder than you expected. That is normal and fine!
Set yourself up to succeed but remember to celebrate successes, have mental health days to recover from setbacks and don’t let work get in the way of self care habits like eating well and exercising.
You can’t be your best at work if you are tired and exhausted.
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