Balancing the Grind with Mark Acheson, Co-founder of Crisis Heroes

Mark Acheson is the marketing and communications manager at The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania, and co-founder of online volunteer platform, Crisis Heroes.

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

Bachelor of Arts at University of Tasmania (Journalism Major), 2.5 years as a journalist with Fairfax Media, Master of Marketing Management, marketing roles with Blundstone Australia and Huon Aquaculture.

I’m now the marketing and communications manager at The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania, an NFP supporting people living with brain injury. I’m also the co-founder of Crisis Heroes, an online volunteer platform empowering everyday people to lend or request a hand.

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

I start my morning at around 7 am with a few coffees at my local cafe and work on Crisis Heroes (doing this as we speak!).

I find it best to put the wheels in motion at this time so I can get most of the leg work done on PR, marketing, and social media, and then answer any questions or queries as they arise throughout the day.

Come 9 am it’s a full day of work with The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania. This is a very rewarding and fulfilling job. I am so very lucky to have a boss that supports my startup endeavors.

While I give BIAT a full day’s work, if Crisis Heroes matters pop up, I’m able to address these. I make up for any lost time in the evening. I sneak in a workout and then it’s home to my partner for hangs. I’m also very lucky to have her support.

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

Extremely flexible. So much so that I’m actually able to work one day a week at a coworking space in the heart of Hobart, Tasmania. It’s called Enterprize.

There are dozens of like-minded individuals working on their startups, so it’s nice to bounce ideas off people and have a bit of a laugh. I think it’s important to break up the working week by working in a different space.

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

The work-life balance is still something I’m trying to finesse, but I find the work I do at Crisis Heroes to be very rewarding and fulfilling. I get to see the fruits of my labour every day with the thousands of Australians helping one another during a very weird and difficult time.

I choose to look at it as my hobby. Some people might not think that’s healthy, but I think everybody should have an activity outside of work that keeps them sane. Without one, you are just drifting.

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

I’m smarter with my time. You find the small changes to be the most beneficial. Instead of a car trip home listening to music, I’ll call my mates to catch up. If I’m on the exercise bike, I’ll watch an episode at the same time.

I’ve also lessened the amount of alcohol I consume. Weddings and 30ths are the exceptions (yes I’m a 91 baby). There’s too much time lost feeling sorry for myself if I have a big night. I’m no Mark Wahlberg in terms of routine, but I’m certainly a lot smarter with my time and priorities.

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

Slack – my other two co-founders are in Melbourne, I’m in Hobart. Also Whereby for video calls. Much easier than Zoom.

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

Probably anyone with children. If I find myself thinking I’m sleep-deprived or without time to myself, I just chat with my friends that have little ones and get a reality check.

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

Be smart about your time to ensure you still can prioritise the things in life that are important to you, outside of your job/jobs.

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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.