Balancing the Grind with Claudia Oprya, Marketing Manager ANZ at Waterstons Australia

Claudia Oprya is the Marketing Manager ANZ at Waterstons Australia, an IT business optimising businesses through technology based solutions for close to 30 years.

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

I’ve pivoted quite a lot in my career. I pivoted into the tech industry from the music industry. The music industry in Australia died during COVID and I decided that I didn’t have the time to wait for it to regain consciousness. That industry in Australia is hard enough to get into without a global pandemic taking it 20 paces backwards.

My current role is Marketing Manager ANZ for Waterstons Australia. We work with companies to find solutions for their business problems through technology. Whether that’s consulting, managed services and most notably – Cyber Security. 

What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Every day starts with a coffee, for sure.

I go through my emails, as we have a UK team so I usually have a few to go through overnight. Jump onto my scheduling and start on my to-do list. Which is always vast!

As our company is growing in the APAC region, no day is dull, they’re all so different. I’m constantly working with stakeholders to achieve successful events, creating content & thought leadership pieces and the other million-and-1 things a Marketing Manager at any company does.

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

I’m very lucky to be at Waterstons. One of the many reasons I chose to join the organisation is their 100% commitment to giving power to their people. Meaning, I work the hours and days that suit me. So, achieving work life balance is arguably easier than some other more rigid companies.

I also am planning my wedding (EEP!), I do content creation, I study full-time (Communications Major) & I run a couple of side businesses, so I’m very time poor. Balancing my extra-curricular activities with my demanding full time role can sometimes be a struggle. 

As mentioned above, Waterstons empowers me to work the hours that suit me most. So sometimes that means I wake at 5am and jump straight in and other days, it means jumping on at 9am or 10am. If I’ve got a-lot on in my personal life, I take some time during the day and then come back to my desk and power on in the evenings. That is what works for me.

I also have an extensive diary to which I plan my days down to almost the minute. I even schedule in quality time with my partner, to ensure that when I’m with him, there are no distractions. It works well in my situation.

In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Absolutely! I start my day with some form of physical activity, whether that be going for a swim (a little bit of a flex, but I’m walking distance from the beach), a walk, the gym or even some yoga/ stretching. Moving my body has changed absolutely everything for me.

I also noticed that by 3pm, my brain feels like mashed potato. So, I saw an article which promotes eating protein at this time. I started doing it and BAM, I feel almost renewed. This means I munch on a piece of toast with tuna, a protein bar or some warm chickpeas with spices.

Another thing I’ve started doing in the mornings is my hair, light make up and putting on my jewellery. Even if I’m working from home. It gets me ready for the day and if I look good, I feel good.. It’s also less incentive for a midday nap if you’ve got lip gloss on.

Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Atomic Habits by James Clear changed my life! It’s a very popular read, but I jumped on the bandwagon late.

The Gary Vee Experience hypes me up when I don’t feel motivated to keep going.

Anything by Brene Brown is also wonderful for the mind and soul.  

This might be a controversial one, but I absolutely love listening to True Crime. It fascinates me and the focused tone from the podcasters is an interesting listen while I’m creating content for work. (Killer Queens is a great one). 

If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Timm Chiusano. He has almost 1 million followers on TikTok, he’s a Creative Director who manages a team of 250+ people in NYC and he makes incredible content online. How he has the time is beyond me.

But, he’s been a great thought provoker when it comes to time management.

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

We all have the same 24 hours. But we all don’t have the same circumstances.

It’s very easy to tell someone to manage their time better.

It’s a very privileged position to sit here and tell people all the ways I manage my time.

But, it’s not always that simple.

I encourage organisations to be more empathic with their teams.

I encourage organisations to give their people more freedom to work in the ways that suit them best. The more you empower your people, the more reward you get back as a business.

I encourage anyone reading this to evaluate their time, evaluate what they spend their time on and evaluate who they want to become, personally or professionally and embody that. Work/ life balance is never perfect but if you stay organised, stay vigilant and are open to change, you can make it better for yourself.

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.