Hannah Udina currently manages Global Strategic Partnerships APAC at Worldpay, a payments processor and acquirer.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’ve had an interesting career path so far. Unconventional perhaps, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I started out in Law where I worked as a generalist lawyer at a few firms.
After working in the field for a select period of time, I decided to take a risk and go back to Uni, to upskill myself in a more business focused specialty. Hence I went back to Uni and did a Master in Commerce Management. From here, I began working in telecommunications.
I was fortunate enough to have exposure to a variety of emerging technologies – one being payment methods and networks, which led me to my current role as looking after strategic partnerships for APAC for Worldpay – a payments processor and acquirer.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
630am (more like snooze until 7am) I get up and I work out straight away.
7.30am: Time to get coffee! I try and go to a different coffee shop each day to support my locals!
8am – 10am: Call blitz #1! To adapt to time zones I usually find that my working hours are somewhat atypical. Hence I do most of my calls first thing in the morning and then for a few hours at the end of the day.
10am-10.30am – I have a small peppermint tea break. I’ve found that my routine has had to change since isolation. I’ll do shorter bursts of work with a ‘reward- aka coffee or peppermint tea’ at the end of each burst. I find that this keeps me productive.
10.30am -1pm – this is my most productive time hence I keep it for my strategy based work where I need the best of my brain power.
1pm-1.30pm food time (my favorite time of the day!)
1pm-5pm – email + client calls. This is the largest portion of the day that I dedicate to my clients getting back to emails and planning joint engagements & activations
5pm-7pm – call blitz #2! Time to speak to my boss in London and my fellow colleagues catching them up on my day and planning for tomorrow.
7pm-8pm – my time in the day for either reading, exercise, FaceTime-ing friends + family etc
8pm onwards – dinner time! I like to cook, this is one of my ‘me time’ activities.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’m in a global team with my boss and colleagues based all over the world hence I’m very lucky that I am set up to work remotely.
In fact, pre-COVID when we could travel, I was on the road a lot hence had to re-train the way I operate to be more mobile in nature. I work better with routine, which is not always synergistic with having a high-travel job. However, I believe routines can be made even in un-structured environments.
For me the first hurdle was getting past the concept of 9-5. Everyone’s ‘9-5’ is different so you need to work in the hours that work for you. The second is making sure you keep doing your ‘me time activities.’ A ‘me time activity’ is different for everyone; it’s about trialing what works for you.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I love my job hence, I could happily continue working. However, through experience, you are more productive if you find balance. I’ve learned to find those activities that I do every day which add to my balance. For me, I’m a very purpose driven person, so balance for me is about setting a goal and a reward and working towards that.
5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?
This isn’t easy (I am far from a master), but it’s about finding what works for you. A few things that I have picked up over the years that have helped me are the following;
- Find your prime time. I believe that everyone has their own rhythm with peaks and troughs in terms of their mental capacity. The best productivity advice I’ve been given is to find my prime time and complete the work which requires the bulk of my mental capacity during that time.
- Write a list. By far the best piece of productivity advice I can give. The trick is to make this list detailed enough so that you are regularly crossing things off the list. For example, if you just write ‘reply to emails’ on the list, this is too vague for you to be regularly crossing them off. Write down each email you have to reply back to and then as soon as you’re done cross it off. Human nature is to be satisfied at completion, hence the task of crossing something off a list is a small win that should feed that desire to keep on track.
- Finish a task before you move onto the next. I’m still working on this one myself however, someone once told me that starting and finishing one task before you begin the next is the most efficient use of your time.
- Have a plan Rome wasn’t built in a day and certainly wasn’t built without a plan. Make sure you have plan with goals. Doesn’t matter if you don’t stick to it completely, but some structure is better than no structure.
6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
- How to Win Friends and Influence People – I read this book when I was 19 because one of my professors told me to read it. It truly influenced the way I engaged with people which has paved my career path so far.
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – a great read that breaks down why we do what we do in life. I really believe that life is a mindset game, and this book really drills into that.
7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
You’ve probably get this answer a lot but exercise – it’s so important
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
A fellow Aussie business legend – Holly Ransom. I’ve been following her career for around 2 years now and I’m constantly blown away with her capacity for just doing more. I’d love to read more about her productivity tips and how she finds her balance.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I used to give lectures to high school students about productivity and finding your balance, but even still, I still haven’t truly found a balance. Don’t be hard on yourself and keep trying new things. What works for one, doesn’t work for another. Hence take the time to implement different practices and find what works for you.
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