Balancing the Grind with Divya Voleti, Head of Content at Circle In

Divya Voleti is the Head of Content at Circle In, a personalised program that provides parents, managers and HR with tools that facilitate productivity and connection.

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

A content marketer through and through – a true lover of words! My career started in Singapore 10 years ago. I’ve worked in boutique web agencies, creative agencies and performance agencies.

At some point in the middle, I travelled to Australia on a family holiday, fell in love with Melbourne and 9-months later, packed my bags to move here! I currently head up the content team at an amazing start up, Circle In!

We’re fighting the good fight and enabling organisations to go beyond policies and build parent-friendly workplaces. 

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

No two days are alike! Our morning stand up takes us from speaking with amazing women with great stories to hosting Linkedin lives with dad activists.

 I’m usually up by 6-630, and if the Melbourne weather allows, I go for a 30-40min bike ride. (Please don’t picture a girl in spandex speeding down bike paths…I’m really just a novice rider who is sometimes afraid of big slopes!!) 

By 730am, I’m at my desk, focusing on a big task that needs my full attention or responding to urgent requests from the day before. I try to break up the day by taking my dog for a walk, squeezing in a workout or hanging out with my partner on the days that he’s home.

This time allows me to well and truly step away from the screen for a good brain break. I find that it’s especially great when I’m stuck on a problem and need to clear my head. The rest of the work-day it’s bum to seat, switching between Zoom calls, slack messages and everything in between. 

I usually have my cross-team chats early in the day so that I can spend the rest of the day actioning stuff as needed. My team keeps things entertaining  with GIF wars, silly videos and 10/10 banter so Slack is my go-to when I need some entertainment. 

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

Thankfully, yes! As someone who writes for their role, the ability to switch up scenery and work hours is a very handy option. In the last few months, it’s been great to establish a remote routine.

Commuting is something I never enjoyed (especially after Singapore spoilt me with 20min distances) – I couldn’t believe I had to spend an hour commuting from an inner city suburb! With that out of the way, I was able to start work much earlier and flex through the day.

I love that my workplace has always been one to measure output vs hours in the office so I was able to confidently schedule in different priorities while sticking to our core work hours / meeting times.

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

I think it’s more work-life sync than balance for me. In my line of work, you can never 100% shut off – you’re always thinking about something, even if it’s just at the back of your mind.

But that’s not always a bad thing – filling your non-work time with hobbies or chores might actually help you solve a problem you’ve been stuck on for weeks! Work becomes more a part of your life than a separate entity. 

It’s about knowing when you get your best sleep, your most productive hours in the day and what you want to do in your spare time. I prefer working early vs working late, hence the 7am starts!

The tools go down at 5pm and my anticipation for bedtime begins (I am also a lover of sleep – lots of it!).

Depending on the day I’ve had, my evenings are spent binging a show, or working with my partner on one of our many home improvement projects. The most recent one was attempting to build my dog a kennel – although my contribution to that was quite minimal.

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

 I’ve started reading a lot. Over the last year, I started a book club with a few of my friends so I’m racing to meet our weekly deadlines on most days.

I can’t talk about the last one year and not mention sourdough! It’s become sort of an obsession to perfect the loaf – I’m not quite there yet!

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

Favourite books – In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (fiction) and Ride of a Lifetime by Rober Iger (non fiction) – both amazing reads! The first one keeps your blood pumping throughout and the second one is a masterclass in creative leadership by the CEO of Disney (so think of it as a business class with Disney references!) 

Podcasts – I’m a fan of the BBC World Service podcasts so I recommend checking out 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy and 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter!

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

My Kindle! It took me a while to get onboard but I cannot leave home without it! Strava – I love tracking my movements with it, the data validates my effort. 

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

I’d love to know what this means for people in different industries – what does it mean for a tattoo artist? or someone who owns a vineyard (does tasting the wine count as work, life or both?) 

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

Everyone’s priorities and definitions of work, life and balance are different so do you and don’t compare yourself to others! 

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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.