Designers / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Terri Bertakis, Founder & Brand Designer at Future Present Branding

Terri Bertakis is the Founder & Brand Designer at Future Present Branding, a purpose driven branding and design studio.

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

Based in Sydney, I have been in the graphic design industry for 11 years, and have developed a focus on building brands large and small. I’ve worked my way through various organisations both agency and client side, as well as freelancing.

In 2016, I worked my way as a Senior Designer in a marketing agency creating and building great brands from successful start-ups all the way through to well known national brands. This was one of the highlights as well as the toughest period in my career which enhanced my growth, yet challenged my relationships and health. Unfortunately it led to burn out.

Whilst I was determined to succeed, a family member had a near death experience which re-shaped my understanding of what was important, reminding me that health is vital. Because if I don’t have my health, how can I do the things I want to do!

I decided to take a career break and completed my 200-hour Yoga Teacher training in Bali in 2017. I re-evaluated my values and discovered that my purpose was to help others transform their lives to live a healthy and purposeful life. I see myself designing for wellbeing as well as teaching wellbeing.

Currently I play a few different roles as Brand Director, Graphic/UX Designer, and Yoga Teacher!

2019 saw the launch of my branding studio called Future Present Branding which provides branding and design for wellness, working with conscious brands that want to make a difference. Teaching yoga gives me great joy to share and inspire others, it helps me stay connected and grounded.

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

At the moment I have a very dynamic work schedule; working as a yoga teacher and building a branding business and designing, so my days vary from day to day.

I am working on building morning rituals such as waking up at 5.45am to either teach yoga or to attend a yoga class to start the day. This is followed by a 20 minute meditation/breath work practice, then breakfast and journaling time, which is my space for reflection, intention setting and gratitude.

I then head into my office which is a coworking space, trailing through my emails, organising my asana lists and jotting down top 3 priorities for the day.

During the day this varies quite broadly, however a typical day can look like, morning meetings/research/brainstorming by 11am with a coffee. Followed by creative/project work from 11am – 4pm, then more admin/business planning/social media in the afternoon. Early evening is a mixture of 20min meditation and planning an evening yoga sequence for the next week.

Evening rituals are quality time with my husband followed by reading, tea and, working towards no digital devices an hour before bed.

Medicinal Reishi tea is a new tonic I am trialing as it helps me to have deeper sleeps, as I’m a very light sleeper. Sometimes I do a guided yoga nidra to help me fall into a deeper state of rest. The aim is to be in bed by 10pm or earlier if I can!

Balancing a healthy diet with rich vitamins and minerals and quality sleep is everything to me right now.

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

Yes, and I feel very grateful for it. I love it. At the moment I need to be flexible with each project, it can change depending on what project I am working, whether this is on-site with a client or at my office or even at a cafe to mix it up.

I also need enough time transitioning from office mode to teaching mode, and this can mean taking some extra time around my teaching schedule to unwind and re-centre.

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

Apps I use:

  • Gmail calender /G-suite for syncing across devices is super important, as I am moving quite regularly.
  • Asana for personal and work projects.
  • Evernote for idea mapping / brain dumping
  • Slack for communicating across different groups
  • Yoga Glo for meditation/yoga

I batch tasks and put a timer on, to help me stay focused. I like to move my body regularly, constantly checking in with my posture, and stretching my upper body, this helps with managing my concentration and fatigue.

The night before I check my calendar and write in my journal about any pressing thoughts/ideas before bed. This then follows through to The Five Minute Journal entry.

Aside from meditating and exercising, I would have to recommend that everyone needs to have at least a 20 min form of movement, whether that is walking or some other kind of exercise that brings fresh oxygen and blood flow into the body.

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

At the moment, honouring my energy levels is super important. And being mindful of my actions and words to myself and others. For me it’s balancing between giving to others and nourishing back to myself. It’s also about setting some boundaries to be able to switch off and close the tabs that are open in my mind.

I also have to remind myself to have fun and enjoy the journey, and surround myself with great quality friendships and collaborate with people who want to raise their vibration and live their purpose.

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?

Daily habits:

  • For me the way I sleep and the way I start the day are crucial to how I show up.
  • As mentioned that meditation works for me and exercise in the morning.
  • Diet is also very important for me, less toxins, more fresh wholefoods.I go through phases of lemon water in the morning and chlorophyll.
  • Listening to my body and intuition more and trusting myself even if its not clear at the time.
  • Knowing that incremental steps towards progress over perfection is paramount.
  • Focusing on one thing at a time and compartmentalising, I cannot do all these things if am thinking about everything at once.

Long term habits:

  • I also cleanse my body and mind with deeper detoxification rituals at least once or twice per year.
  • Giving myself permission to have ‘play time’ by experimenting and failing on the mat and off the mat.
  • I like to switch off from technology, so long walks/hikes in rainforests, national parks and swimming in the ocean in summer.

7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years? (They don’t need to about work-life balance)

Yes I am a big book worm! More recently;

Plus a whole heap of branding, design and yoga books that are on my shelf which have influenced my work.

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

Gratitude and/or meditation, even for 5 minutes.

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

Yes! It is fundamental that we all become our own best teachers.

By understanding ourselves consciously on how we affect our own body, brain, emotion, and energy, and as a result behaviour. Everything is connected and it is our responsibility to understand ourselves through self awareness and self care.

From there we can work towards changing habits that no longer work for us. When we show up authentically for ourselves we show up for others more fully, and are able to enjoy the best out of this life.

I also want to mention that I’m an advocate for creativity and learning something new each year.

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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.