Lucy E. Cousins is a freelance health and lifestyle editor and journalist, writing for Women’s Health, Gourmet Traveller, Real Living, and more, as well as being the Wellness Editor for Marie Claire Australia, and founding her own website.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?
Sure! Well, I’ve worked in the media for around 15 years now. My first job was on Conde Nast Traveller magazine in London, and I’ve also worked on newspapers in Bolivia and Argentina.
In Australia, I was Deputy Editor of Inside Out, Acting Editor of Women’s Fitness and Editor-in-Chief of CLEO and DOLLY. I’ve written five travel guidebooks, contributed to three others and have been featured on TV and radio. Last year, I also helped produce the first season of the Women’s Health podcast and I curated the Mumbrella Health and Wellbeing Summit in 2017.
2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?
I’m a freelance writer/ editor, as well as the Wellness editor of Marie Claire, the Wellness columnist for Virgin Australia magazine and founder/ editor of URBANSWEAT.
3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I work from home so there isn’t any typical day! I’ve just had a baby so I tend to work during her naps. During the day I’ll speak to PRs, conduct interviews, do research and write up articles.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
I think it’s really important to be organised with spreadsheets for your finances and an article tracker to make sure I don’t miss any deadlines. And I also use programs like rev.com to transcribe my interviews as my time is too valuable to do that!
5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?
It’s challenging, but being a wellness writer I know how important balance is. I use exercise as an escape, and I am also obsessed with podcasts (it’s my kind of meditation). I also think that zoning out to trashy TV is sometimes exactly what I need to give my brain a break!
6) What does work life balance mean to you?
I think the concept of work-life balance is an unachievable state that we put way too much emphasis on. Life has busy moments and quieter moments, and there will be times when you can’t have balance, so it’s important in those moments to make sure you always make a little time for yourself.
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?
To be organised, to always treat people with respect and to be reliable. Having said that I’m terrible on email, I forget names (not faces) and I could be better at not screaming into my deadlines!
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I get up early. My baby daughter helps me with that obviously! But I find that if I get up early, around 6am – 630am I can attack my emails or read through an article before the working world wakes up at 9am, and it makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something first thing.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think it’s important to understand your ‘why’ and choose your career accordingly. For example, if I were really interested in being a billionaire, I wouldn’t be working as a writer!
But I really love writing and editing, I love seeing my work in print and I love giving a voice to interesting people and interesting topics. Secondly, I think it’s important to understand that at some point, no matter what career you choose, work will at times feel like work.
No job is 100% fun, 100% of the time. So the key is to find a job that aligns with your passions, your skills and your lifestyle, and to enjoy as much of it as possible.
If you’d like to have a conversation with us about how you balance the grind, get in touch with us!