Lyndal Frazier-Cairns is the director and head writer at No Pants Consulting, a content marketing agency based in Portland, OR.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am the Director and head writer for content marketing agency No Pants Consulting. We specialize in marketing and sales enablement content for startups and software companies.
I began my career as a journalist and spent ten years in newspapers and online news before moving into marketing and later specializing in technology.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
We have two clients with big product launches this month so it’s been hectic lately! Many of my days have two defined shifts with a gap in the middle. I start early – around 7am PT – to take care of pitches and anything that’s on fire for my East Coast clients.
The morning is usually spent in meetings and Slack conversations, or planning. I usually take a big break in the middle of the day to spend time with my partner, get some exercise, or spend some time in the garden.
I start again around 4pm with a shift that is production-oriented. I write, edit copy, and produce project descriptions and scopes of work.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Until recently, we had an office in a startup incubator co-working space. I enjoyed the ritual of going to work and it was advantageous to be in a building with many potential clients.
Like almost everyone right now, I’m working from home. I miss interacting with people in person but it’s worth it. I’m lucky to have a fairly quiet space.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
If I’m honest, I have a long way to go toward a healthy work-life balance. When you run your own business, there’s a temptation to just push through. Every hour you spend on the business is an hour invested in your own thing so it doesn’t feel like work in the same way.
That means I have to be even more vigilant to the signs that my body or brain has had enough. There are days, I admit, where it takes a stabbing pain in my side for me to realize I’ve been sitting and typing for six hours straight.
The pandemic has been a useful salve for me in this way. With their kids at home, no 9-5 commute, and their social calendar in chaos, many of my clients and partners are embracing a more flexible way of working and a more considerate set of expectations for each other. That can only be a good thing.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
Mate, what haven’t I changed? I am the Queen of Iteration. Just in the past month, I have changed my time-management strategy, task and workflow routines, note-taking methods, and sales process! That happens a lot. We’re all about experimentation and trying out better ways to do things.
However, two habits have really made a difference for me personally: The realization that saying yes to something invariably means saying no to something else, and the understanding that you can’t do it all and do it well.
Some things have got to go – the hard part is figuring out what’s important to you and making sure you keep that at the top of the pile. If you want strong prioritization muscles, you need to habitually tone them.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Book: Charlie Gilkey’s Start Finishing is a practical, smart guide for anyone trying to finish a big thing, especially a side hustle.
Podcast: Reset by Arielle Duhaime-Ross and Vox is about the technologies that impact our lives.
Newsletter: The Hustle by TheHustle.co is a tech newsletter out of San Francisco. It’s really well-written, even the ads, and it’s probably the only email I routinely read to the end.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Asana. It keeps me honest.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Dr Anthony Fauci. I wonder how he does it.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
There’s no switch you can turn on to get work-life balance. It’s a process. Some days will be better than others. Don’t get discouraged, you’re building a muscle that will serve you your whole career. You’re worth it, so keep going.
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