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Balancing the Grind with Michal Pecánek, Marketer at Ahrefs

Michal Pecánek is a Marketer at SEO startup, Ahrefs, headquartered in Singapore, where he teaches people SEO and marketing through the company blog.

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

I got into marketing during my second year of university and never looked back since. I’ve been involved in global SaaS businesses as a marketing manager and head of marketing but I stepped down for my current position.

Nowadays, I take care of content and SEO for Ahrefs, one of the most popular SEO tools.

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

I wake up without using any alarm clock. I start working ASAP for 2-4h depending on the time I wake up as I eat lunch around 1pm. I only eat within a 4-6h window which fits between 1 and 7pm.

I never work after lunch for at least 2 hours. That’s when the energy levels are the lowest so I relax, watch videos, go for a walk and read, preferably in a park. My eating window is also when I fit in resistance bands/TRX workout every other day.

I then either do another 2h working session before dinner or just keep doing my things and make up for it in the evening and night. That’s when I feel like I focus the most anyway.

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

I’m a full-time remote worker. Our main office is in Singapore but half of our team works remotely all over the world and it’s always been like that.

I had a flexible role before so I was used to working from home and I’m a fan of it. I don’t like alarm clocks and the concept of 9-5 just doesn’t reflect how our bodies work throughout the day. Nations with siestas after lunch are a bit ahead.

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

Work-life balance is about being able to achieve both personal and career goals while still having time to relax. I really like to devote time to marketing even when I’m not working but I think everyone should have at least 2 or 3 hobbies that are not related to work.

I also currently live alone so I have a lot of time for myself. I’ll definitely have to readjust my approach once I move in with someone.

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?

  • Learning from the best
  • Learn how to focus (high energy, throw away my phone, listen to brain.fm)
  • Do what you’re uncomfortable with if it’s for your personal growth
  • Regular workouts
  • Enough sleep, find what hours fit you the best

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

Books:

Podcasts:

  • Duolingo – to practice Spanish.
  • Sinica – everything about current affairs in China.
  • Abroad in Japan – anything about life in Japan in a laid back format.
  • Deep Talks – originally in Czech, my native language, but there are also episodes in English from time to time.

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Have a sleep schedule that fits you.

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

Basically anyone who considers themselves successful and goes against the general guidelines of work-life balance.

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

Always experiment, find what fits you the most and adjust your life accordingly. I still have a long way to go myself.

For example, I’m currently living the classic digital nomad lifestyle and it doesn’t work that well for me. But I’ll still give it a try under different circumstances after the pandemic is over.

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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.