Dr. Bailey Bosch is the Founder & CEO of Remotestar Consulting, which helps individuals and team make informed decisions around recruitment, development and management of their remote workforce.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am a psychologist with a background in research and academia. In recent years I have become especially interested in flexible and remote work and have developed an expertise in selection of remote workers.
At the heart of my interest in non-traditional working models is the belief that (especially for working mothers) opening up alternative ways of work allows individuals the opportunity to have a career and a life. It shouldn’t be a choice between the two.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
As I write this, I am in Wellington New Zealand where I am speaking at a conference about mental well-being for digital nomads.
I don’t have a typical working day in the sense that I am bound by certain work requirements – that is one of the great benefits of working remotely and working for myself, but my work days typically are based around my family.
I have five young kids so my work fits in around my mothering. I generally wake up very early – before the kids are awake – and spend some time reading and drinking tea.
If one of the kids wakes up during this time, I generally set them up on the couch next to me with a blanket and try do a bit of work while they snooze (or more realistically, try work while nag me to make them tea!).
Then it’s into full-on get ready for school – breakfasts, lunch boxes, uniforms, finding uniforms, changing uniforms that have spilt breakfast on them etc etc etc and eventually we get out the door.
I then come home and work or if I am seeing clients I will be out and about during the day and then it’s time to pick up the kids and get them to their various after school activities – which I love by the way.
I really enjoy watching them play sports so am definitely not complaining about this despite it involving a lot of planning and driving back and forth!
I am also asked regularly by the media to comment on various topics relevant to my field, so if that is the case, I may duck out of the house so that I can be interviewed without screaming kids in the background (generally I sit in the car in the driveway!) or if I have to go into the studio, I prefer to pre-record interviews so that I can still be around at dinner and bedtime.
If I have something urgent to do, I will try get it done after dinner but most of the time I prefer to work in the early morning rather than stay up late at night. What all this means is that when it is time to work it is time to work! I don’t mess around and have become very efficient and productive with the time I have.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
As a business owner I have full flexibility over my work.
This means that I schedule client appointments to suit my family responsibilities and because much of my work is done remotely, I can utilize most of my child-free time rather than waste it, commuting back and forth to an office.
Even if I have meetings scheduled I have the flexibility to block them together to ensure I get as much done as I can when the kids are at school/daycare.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
My tips to help manage workload and schedule are rather straightforward and based on common sense.
I think we sometimes are looking for the new shiny thing that will solve all of our problems but to me the most obvious thing is this: when you are supposed to work, just work.
It needs to be done so you might as well get onto it and knock if off rather than have it linger and follow you around for the rest of the day – the unfinished business will eat into your leisure time and weigh on your mind.
Decide what you need to get done during a certain time period and simply get on with it and do it. So sorry! Nothing magical or new – just a reminder that self-discipline is at the core of managing your time.
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
Work life balance to me means that when I am working, I am not feeling “guilty” that I am not spending time with my kids and that when I am with my kids, I am not feeling like I should be working.
I use this as my barometer of how I am tracking. Now, don’t get me started on working mother guilt that is a whole other area of work that I specialise in and I truly believe that women can conquer it!
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?
My best habits are all founded on simple self-discipline.
You can read about all the tips and tricks for success and time management, you can listen to hours upon hours of podcasts and learn from the greatest leaders in your industry but if you never implement those ideas or make a commitment to behavioural change, none of it is going to be of any good to you in a practical sense.
So, my advice would be to get some coaching to help you address ways you might be self-sabotaging your own success and then work on forming habits. And get an accountability partner, there is nothing quite as motivating as having someone else expecting a progress report!
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
There are so many books that have enhanced my life and not just because of the information they contain but from simply the experience of reading them and for their entertainment factor.
For me, reading is an absolute pleasure so anything I do read is always going to help me whether that is in an intellectual or recreational sense.
One of my all-time favourite books is The Alchemist for the reminder that often what we are seeking is already within us.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
The number one thing I do to make sure I get the most of out my day is to check what is the priority for that day: is it work or is it family? Is it my health or my kids’ well-being? I then make sure whatever I plan for the day aligns with that.
I also like to use the quadrant of urgent, not urgent, important, not important when deciding what I need to do each day to make sure I use my time wisely.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I really believe that at the heart of the work-life balance dilemma is guilt.
I think if we can overcome guilt and start to see it as a gift (stick with me, I know you might think I am talking junk) we can create a life of meaning and purpose and craft our days to make sure we live according to that purpose and in alignment with our values.
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