Balancing the Grind with Edward Krause, Senior Digital & Content Production Specialist

Edward Krause is a Senior Digital & Content Production Specialist, with a background in journalism writing for books and publications across the world.

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

I was originally a journalist and spent my early career in magazines, specialising in automotive and sport. I’ve written for magazines in Australia, Asia and Europe and contributed to 20 books.

From there I found myself in digital publishing and then, after a brief detour in TV production and distribution I found my way back into digital in agency land and for the past 13 years I’ve been a digital & content producer.

While I’m currently taking a COVID-enforced break, my most recent role was with a start-up agency helping them with web builds and live web broadcasting projects.

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

With the recent WFH requirement, and hence no commute, I could get up a bit before 8 and still be fully prepped and ready for the daily 8.30 meet.

Mornings were usually meetings and then, with the two major projects I was doing, I’d try and split the day into project management and production segments.

PM time was ensuring the teams for either the web build or the social content were briefed and on track to deliver each day.

Production time was all the prep I needed to do for the Friday night web broadcast. It was a live ‘virtual pub’ broadcast hosted by Matt Okine and Aaron Finch, so I had to research and prep content, run sheets, all the usual stuff, for a 5.30pm Friday broadcast.

It was really great to be able to do two completely different types of projects at the same time and it was the first time I’d ever done a live broadcast, so I learned a lot and, a few panic attacks aside, it was great fun.

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

Most of my roles over the past few years have allowed for a degree of flexible and remote working, My employers were delivery-oriented and if the work was done, they were flexible in how and where you were doing it, within boundaries.

I’m curious to see how the post-Covid workplace plays out. Whether it prompts a revolution of remote working, or whether we return to something similar to what we had before. We probably won’t know for a year or two.

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

I have to admit this question stumped me at first. I realised that, while I have always desired work-life balance, I couldn’t immediately spell out what that means in real terms.

I realised that what is important to me at this time of my life is the ability to be present for what I’m doing. Be it work or personal, I want to be able to focus on that part of my life, be in the moment, without the feeling that I’m letting something in the other part of my life slip.

I found that I can’t fully focus on work if I feel I’m neglecting my son, or my partner, and I can’t be fully present for them, or for lunch with my friends or family, if I’m thinking about what work still needs to be done.

So for me, it’s about being realistic with your workload and realistic about your personal obligations. Then making the time so that you can focus on that and not be torn between them.

Now that conscious approach in organisation and in mindset to be able to dedicate myself to being in the moment of whatever task that is – professional or personal.

With that focus comes a greater efficiency in work as well, so you can more effectively segment that time and adjust your mindset accordingly.

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

My professional life has changed drastically in the past 12 months. After spending 6 years in a single, fast-paced agency, I’ve worked in three different types of agencies on contract and also had about three months across this time without working.

So during that time, the biggest thing I’ve worked on is consciously and deliberately making time for the optional things that are important to me. The things that provide a quality of work-life balance, making the most of the time I have.

Getting in touch with friends, doing courses, taking my motorbike out for a ride, going to the gym, getting out for a walk, working on my side project. The things that can fall by the wayside when you’re busy or lethargic or de-motivated.

These are the things that bring the balance to your life. The motorbike is the best example for me. It’s a pure indulgence, but riding it forces me to focus on what I’m doing in that moment and the adrenaline and the enjoyment, it’s like a form of meditation.

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

For me a big part of the enjoyment in life is about learning and improving. The satisfaction of that, be it personal or professional development, is what provides the quality of your life balance.

So I’m currently reading The Art of Learning of Josh Waitzkin – who was a famous child chess prodigy who then went on to become a martial arts world champion.

The book is his study into the learning techniques that helped him achieve success in two completely different, competitive pursuits. It came highly recommended to me, but so far it’s been enlightening.

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

For work I use specific job apps (Project, Smartsheet, JIRA, Trello), but for personal I keep it simple: calendar, Trello board and just list notes. I save a lot of links within platforms for things I want to learn more about.

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

Selfishly – me in 20 years to know if I’m doing it right. But other than that I’ve found reading about different people in different circumstances is beneficial. Nobody has all the answers for anyone else’s specific circumstance, but each will have a nugget or an idea or thought-starter that can help.

I had the opportunity to talk to many different professionally successful people and again, their experiences are informative, but they’re on their on path which is different from mine. You need to put the pieces together yourself in a way that suits you best.

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

Understand what that balance truly means to you and what sacrifices you’re willing to make. You can’t have it all, but you can have the things that are most important to you. You just need to know what those things are. And they will most likely change over time too, so make sure you re-evaluate from time to time.

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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.