Designers / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Devanta Ebison, Senior UX Designer at Hero Digital

Devanta Ebison is a Senior UX Designer working remotely at Hero Digital, where he shapes digital experiences for one of the biggest tech companies in the world.

Learn about the daily routines of some of the most successful people in the world. Sign up to our newsletter today & receive a free gift that will help you achieve your goals!

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

I kicked off my career in Graphic Design. I designed a little bit of everything from logos to apparel graphics, business cards, album covers, and flyers.

I can’t pinpoint exactly how I stumbled across UI/UX Design. If I had to take a wild guess, I’d say “UI/UX Design” was a random suggestion from Google’s algorithm. After that, the rest was history. I’ve been all-in ever since.

I’m currently a Senior UX Designer at Hero Digital. I’m fully embedded within the Interactive Retail team at a leading tech company headquartered in Cupertino, CA. (Sorry, I can’t mention the company’s name due to my client-agency agreement.)

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

Usually, I’m up by 8 am to start my morning routine. Since the client I support is based on the west coast, I don’t typically start my workday until noon. So, from 8 am to 11:30 am, I make time to meditate, write, and bond with my two kids.

My recent workday looked something like this:

  • 11:30 am – 12 pm: Ate breakfast and plan my day.
  • 12 pm – 3 pm: Uninterrupted focus work.
  • 3 pm – 4 pm: Lunch hour. I ate a sandwich and watched the first episode of Light & Magic on Disney+. (So inspiring!)
  • 4 pm – 8 pm: Collaborative work with my team, which consisted of meetings and jam sessions. I also used this time to catch up on emails and Slack messages.

After work ended at 8 pm, I spent a few minutes unwinding from the day. Then I hit the gym for an hour. Once back home, I ate dinner, showered, and spent the rest of the night Netflixin’ and chillin’ with my wife.

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

As a recovering workaholic, I’ve had to reevaluate what work-life balance means for me. Previously, I had a toxic work-life balance where I worked long hours, leaving very little time (if any) for other areas of my life.

When I read about The Four Burners Theory, it changed the way I thought about work-life balance. Here’s a good summary of The Four Burners Theory by James Clear:

The theory is that there are four major burners in our lives—our family, our friends, our work, and our health. In order to be successful, the theory says you can only have three of the four burners on at one time. In order to be very successful, you can only have two of the four burners on.

The Four Burners Theory: The Downside of Work-Life Balance

Today, work-life balance means working with intense focus, giving 110% effort, but also knowing when it’s time to unplug and enjoy life.

To achieve this goal, I try to set clear boundaries and be more intentional about how I use my time at work. This allows me to preserve energy for myself, be fully present with my family, and catch up with friends.

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

I found a bullet journaling system that works for me. Essentially, I use my bullet journal to track habits, plan goals, and reflect.

Establishing a daily meditation practice. I’m currently on a two-month streak! This 5-10 minute practice each morning gives me a calm start to the day.

Setting a weekly workout routine. I do weight training at least three days a week. As a sedentary worker, this weekly workout routine helps me stay on top of my physical fitness.

Writing every day. I used to think writing was boring. However, over the last year, one thing that’s become clearer is the value of writing. This habit takes a lot of discipline for me, but I can already see its impact on my life.

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

I don’t have any newsletters that I look forward to on a regular basis, but I’ll drop a book and podcast recommendation.

Nonfiction book: Atomic Habits by James Clear

This book is loaded with practical advice and stories on developing habits to design the life you want. I turn to this book often to realign myself.

Fiction book: Replay by Ken Grimwood

I’m a sucker for good sci-fi books about time travel. The lessons I took from this book are: (1) life is precious, and (2) the journey is where value comes from in life.

Podcast: How I Built This (HIBT)

I’m fully remote, so I don’t listen to podcasts as much as I once did. Without a commute, it’s hard to find time for it unless I’m doing a mindless task. However, when I can squeeze in a podcast, my go-to is How I Built This. I love hearing how entrepreneurs started and built their businesses. It’s so inspiring and refreshing.

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

This question has me a little stumped. There isn’t one specific person who comes to mind.

Going back to the Four Burners Theory I mentioned above, I’d love to read about work-life balance from anyone who’s managed to succeed and keep all four burners running.

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

Earlier this year, I was browsing Twitter when I came across this tweet by Jennifer Aldrich that stuck with me:

“In 3 years no one you work with will remember that you stayed late to work on a project one night, but your kiddo will remember that you worked late and missed her school play once. Maintain your work-life balance.”

This tweet shed light on an interesting perspective of work-life balance.

Sure, achieving success at work is important, but it’s also important to maintain the other areas of your life. Too often, many of us forget that life is about living, and work is only one aspect of that.

Before you go…

If you’d like to sponsor or advertise with Balance the Grind, let’s talk here

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.