Coaches / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with David Lee, Mindset & Performance Coach

David Lee is a Mindset & Performance Coach, who has been working with individuals, teams and organisations for the past 20 years helping them set meaningful goals and achieve them.

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

I am a qualified Mind and Body coach and have been working with individuals, teams and organisations for the past 20 years helping them set meaningful goals and achieve them. It is a very rewarding profession being a Coach and my focus is always on combining the principles of psychology and physiology to ensure that my clients feel they have a strong mental state and a strong physical state to pursue anything they want from life. 

However, like many of your readers today, I was in the thick of the corporate world having had a very illustrious career in media and advertising that spanned over two decades where I found myself pouring from an empty cup and feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled. So, I had to make radical changes in my life to find better balance and harmony. This is what led me to pursuing life, fitness and mindset coaching as a qualification to help others as I experienced first-hand the benefits of adopting new beliefs and behaviours that helped me master a work-life balance. 

These days, through my coaching practice; Leeway Mind and Body Mastery, I have a distinct focus on work/life balance, and in fact I have developed a program which is the blueprint to work-life balance called The Eight E’s of Equilibrium™- which promotes the adoption of 8 Power Words (beginning with E) that pertain to Eight daily pursuits that have transformational benefits to oneself. 

I receive enormous satisfaction in helping people transform their lives and most importantly transform the relationship they had with themselves.  

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

I rise at 4.30am and have a strict morning routine which involves lemon water, coffee, meditation, journaling, reading, creating a ta da list, movement, cold showers, thymus thumping and currently writing my new book.

My entire morning routine would appear complex but is so habitual that I don’t think twice about the sequence. The first hour is the rudder for the day and my morning routine ensures my days aren’t routine. I train my clients in 45-minute blocks from 6am from my home gym until around 10am – they are my Mind & Body Mastery clients – which to the outside world might look like classic Personal Training sessions but are in fact a Q&A mental & physical program addressing self-limiting beliefs and transforming mental and physical confidence with reframing techniques.

My book is on work / life balance curiously enough and I return to writing this from 10.30am until midday as I find my mind is most creative until about this time and I have fresh insights every day from my clients. I will train for an hour from midday. I am intermittent fasting, so my first eating occurs around 1pm and then I will facilitate online workshops, hold online coaching sessions with executives, or have business meetings from 2pm until 6pm in the evening. With the return to the office for many companies, the last few months have seen me host workshops on-site with real life people which has been great.

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

Remote working has been perfect for me as I am able to work with many more people than I would have prior to this new way of the world, and I don’t drink anywhere near as much coffee as I used to seeing clients in cafes.

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

Work life balance means that you work all the time you work (which should be 8 hours). It also means that 8 hours of sleep is non-negotiable (for those of us who perhaps are not rearing very young children) and that the remaining 8 hours in our day are spent oiling the machine with a combination of mindful & behavioural pursuits that turn your leisure time into treasure time.

Like spending time meditating, journaling, learning a new skill, engaging with loved ones, encouraging friends, and making time to go to the gym. How we use our leisure time is the key to feeling a sense of balance in every other aspect of our life. I find my social life over catered to through my clients, and as I love what I do, a couple of my leisure hours a day are spent on what might be considered work, but don’t fit under that umbrella for me.

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

I quit alcohol for 2022 in support of my Mastery Program clients (Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation) . I also quit alcohol as an experiment for myself to be able to share authentic experiences with my clients as well as ascertain how the experience has impacted me on a mind and body level. 

What I love the most from quitting alcohol is I have personally achieved more this year than I have in the last 3 or 4. In fact, I have just created a 90-day program called ’90 Days of Monday’, because waking up every-day with no excuses to get the most out of your days, no setbacks through spontaneous celebrations and no late starts or missed opportunities from hangovers which provide an excuse to be lazy with your choices or break good habits.

With this program, every day is literally treated as a Monday, and it’s great for my clients that have short term goals like launching a new business/product, shredding for the wedding, starting a new path in life or even writing their magnum opus, as it is designed to create positive action and momentum in your life. I am using my own program to help me write my new book, and my Publisher is astonished by how much I am getting done. The only downfall seems to be that I have missed bin day a couple of times (it falls on Thursdays!).

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

My favourite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show and his 5 bullet Friday newsletter is the only newsletter I really read religiously. The books that I recommend more than any other are The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr Stephen Covey, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl and The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr Norman Vincent Peale.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

My Myzone heart rate monitor (if it’s measurable it’s manageable) and my IPhone alarms & timers – I set alarms all day long and stick to them, to be diligent with my time, especially when I have multiple meetings, workshops, and coaching sessions in one day. I set an alarm for 3pm every day to set time aside to think about and action the things that are going to wake me at 3am in the morning, when I can do nothing about them.

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

Christina Holgate.

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

Take responsibility for your work life balance. A belief is a behaviour, repetitive behaviours are habits. if it’s not serving you, nurturing you, supporting you or sustaining you, find new beliefs, practice new behaviours and be consistent to form new and positive self-serving habits. 

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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.