Lydia Dolbel is the Founder of Video Explainers, producing website videos and corporate animation, as well as the Creative Director at Zeus Productions Media.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started out in life with the ambition of becoming a graphic designer but once I got to university I decided to move into the digital realm as we are all living in a world that is every changing and moving further and further in that direction.
In the early stages of my career I really spread my wings wide creatively, only to specialise in animation after arriving in Sydney having first worked in New Zealand and London nearly 5 years ago now.
I suppose I just wanted to soak up as much learning as possible before eventually settling into my own niche.
After freelancing at many major production companies in Sydney, working with many leading brands including Optus, Oracle, IBM, Accenture and the NSW Government I am now the Founder and Creative Director of Video Explainers.
We produce high quality website videos and corporate animation for Australian and global businesses.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
I try to keep my days well structured because I believe that having a routine helps towards staying organised when your working for yourself or running a business of any kind.
Lately I have been starting my mornings off with 20 minutes of guided meditation, it has been highly effective so far towards stress prevention. I use the calm app, it’s not free but it is worth it for me and the yearly subscription does not cost a lot.
After clearing my thoughts and developing a focused direction for the day I head off to the studio.
I used to find it easy to become distracted by emails and phone calls when really my number one priority always should be to produce creative content so I schedule time in the morning, lunch time and end of the day to manage correspondence.
Same goes for social media, it’s probably wise to have someone else manage your social accounts for you if you can afford it. Then if I have no meetings on most of my day consists of solid production.
Some days I work on my own and sometimes with a team but either way my main goal is to avoid time wasting and work as efficiently as possible. And produce stunning work of course but quality isn’t the challenging part for me any more it really is all about balancing the grind!
I consider the day a success if I manage to get all of my work done by 6pm and I can head home and put my feet up at a normal hour but this is not always the case.
For anyone out there thinking about working for themselves my main advice is to dome something that you truly enjoy because nobody wants to work long hours if it’s going to really feel like work.
That and always find time to take breaks or you may burn out.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes it does and I consider that to be one of the biggest perks of owning my own business. It comes with added stresses of course but having the freedom to create your own schedule is a very good feeling.
That being said, 99% of the time I do chose to go into the office because I’m just more focused when my brains knows that it’s in my official working environment, when I stay home I find myself easily side tracked.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Being a glass is half full type of person I have a tendency to over estimate how quickly I can complete a task so the most effective workload management technique that I use is setting deadlines on the long side when ever possible and then if you finish ahead of time fantastic but this takes the pressure off.
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
My definition of work-life-balance is achieving a work-life that does not feel like work. Working on projects that I feel proud to be a part of and working alongside people of good character makes my days feel worth while.
I try not to get too caught up in chasing money, I believe if you follow your passions in life then eventually the money will come.
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?
I’ve never had a problem staying motivated to strive for success, it’s pulling back and achieving the life balance that I’ve had to work on.
All of my biggest mistakes in life have happened because I have let stress get the better of me so I’d say the most important thing that I do to prevent this from happening is my daily meditation practice.
Many people can still be sceptical of meditation and yoga still but it is in fact scientifically proven to reduce your brains stress response in challenging situations if you practice it regularly.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
- Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson
- The Art Of War by Sun Tzu
- Breaking Through by Marina Go
- I’ll Never Write My Memoirs by Grace Jones
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
Looking after myself by eating healthy and keeping fit, always. When you let your health slip then it really does make everything you do that little bit harder.
You don’t need to be a gym person, myself I hate to work out so I simply go for a long walk. Doing physical activity is very good for the brain and creative thinking.
For this reason Bob Marley used to always try to play a game of soccer before writing music, he said this was to ‘Lively Up Yourself’.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I believe that achieving it is curtail to achieving true success in life. There is absolutely no point in making a lot of money in life if you can’t take any time out to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
If you found the above conversation helpful and inspiring, be sure to check out Balance the Grind’s guide to achieving a healthy work-life balance.