Founders / Freelancers / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Lottie Dalziel, Sustainability Expert, Founder & Freelance Editor

Lottie Dalziel is a Sustainability Expert, Freelance Editor & Founder of Banish, a company aiming to help Australian’s reduce their waste with the right products and even better information.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I worked at Women’s Health and Men’s Health magazines for three years before taking the plunge and focussing on my own business, Banish full-time.

I was tasked with living like Mark Wahlberg for a week (aka 4 am wake-ups, a lot of protein shakes and intense workouts). Marky Mark believes that you’re most creative in the morning and I can back-up his theory!

The first morning I did his 4 AM wake-up I thought of Banish. One of my many New year resolutions in 2018 was to reduce my waste but it wasn’t until I started making a more concentrated effort that I realised how difficult it was.

It wasn’t just hard to find credible information on the current environmental situation but it was tricky to find products that were legitimately plastic-free (I ordered a pack of stainless steel straws online and they came individually wrapped in plastic).

I started Banish to help educate people on how to do better and give small businesses a platform to speak to audiences at mass.

2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

The 4 am starts lasted for a couple of months but now I wake-up at 5am. I start my day with an Earl Grey tea with a squeeze of lemon and write 1-2 stories first thing.

I then normally move my body whether it’s a run, swim or a walk through centennial park. I head to my local cafe at around 9am for a coffee and to knock over some of the admin side of things (emails, order fulfilment).

From there I don’t really have a typical day, at least one day of the week I spend creating videos for my new YouTube channel, another I spend organising our social media, emails and marketing and another chatting and vetting potential stockists (this is a very lengthy process as we have very strict guidelines).

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Yes! I’ve been working on Banish solely for almost a year now and while I love it, it has taken a bit of getting used to. I am actually heading up to Noosa in a couple of weeks to work from there so I am not complaining.

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?

I spend a couple of hours either on a Sunday or a Monday morning planning out my week. Every nitty-gritty little bit from my meetings to what exercise I will do even my food! It sounds ridiculous but my days are so jam-packed that having them all mapped out in advance means I can fit more in!

Another thing I do is I have set days when I have meetings otherwise I am out and about too much and not working.

5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

Honestly, I find it really tricky to find work-life balance. Living a sustainable lifestyle is how I live but it is also my job so I am constantly documenting that and thinking of new ways to improve Banish.

One of my favourite things to do is to go hiking with friends which you’ll rarely see on my IG as I am taking it all in IRL! I also love reading books (that aren’t businessey!) that helps me disconnect and relax.

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 friends and family are my biggest support network and pretty early on we established that when we’re together we don’t use our phones. It helps me stay present and time flies by when I am not checking emails or orders every couple of minutes!

Another game-changer for me is not checking my emails until my morning coffee. It’s easy to see an email and go straight into admin mode which zaps all of my creativity!

7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

The Alchemist is one of my favourite books of all time, it is one of the only books I will reread and every time I take a new life lesson from it.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Get outside! If I am in a funk and not getting anything done I will literally walk around the block for 10 minutes and I come back a changed human. Fresh air cures all of my problems.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers

I think one of the biggest learnings for me has been that work, life balance isn’t going to be the same every week and that’s okay. Some weeks I’ll work seven 16 hour days in a row but the next I’ll take three half days off, that’s my version of balance!

If you found the above conversation about work-life balance helpful, be sure to check out Balance the Grind’s 42 tips for achieving & maintaining a healthy work-life balance

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.