Balancing the Grind with Polina Marinova, Founder & Author at The Profile

Polina Marinova is the Founder & Author at The Profile, a weekly newsletter featuring the best long-form stories on successful people and companies.

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

I’ve been in journalism since I fell in love with reporting when I worked at my high school newspaper. I went on to become editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, and then I worked at CNN, USA Today, and OZY.

I spent the last five years as a writer and editor at Fortune Magazine. In March, I began working full time on The Profile, my weekly newsletter featuring longform profiles of the world’s most successful people and companies.

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

I wake up, I have coffee, and I get to work. I’m either working on the Sunday newsletter or the Wednesday Profile Dossier. Around noon, I take a lunch break, and shortly after, I make time for at least 30 minutes of exercise.

I usually go on a run with my husband or do yoga in my apartment. When I return, I start working again with a clear head. Breaks are really important so your brain can get to reset after staring at the computer all day.

I may end up working until 7 or 8 p.m, but I really don’t mind it because I’m genuinely doing what I love.

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

With COVID-19, everyone is learning how to work remotely. I initially thought I’d be doing most of my work from NYC coffee shops but the pandemic has erased that possibility. The majority of my work is done from the kitchen table or the couch.

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

I don’t approach my life from a mindset of achieving some elusive balance. I think balance is highly subjective, and it means different things to everyone. I have a really high capacity for work, so I don’t get easily overwhelmed because I’m meticulous about keeping a to-do list of priorities.

I do believe it’s important to make time for loved ones, and I do that by going on daily evening walks with my husband where we talk about our days and catch up. We also make it a point to have dinner together every night.

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

Yes, I’ve been doing 3 things religiously:

  1. Get 8 hours of sleep
  2. Eat healthy meals
  3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day

I’ve learned that if you get the basics right, everything else will fall into place. These habits have made me much more effective and have had a positive impact on my mental and physical well-being.

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

I really like the book, Geography of Bliss, a travel memoir in which the author travels to the “happiest countries in the world.” His reflections are humorous, but they also make us realize that happiness is what you make it.

I also recently read, All These Wonders, a book that compiles the true, captivating stories told on stage at The Moth. It’s really great, and I wasn’t able to put it down.

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

I’ve become somewhat addicted to my Apple Watch. I love the sense of closing my activity rings every day because it’s so important to stay active even in a time when we’re not allowed to leave our homes. I also really like the SWEAT app by Kayla Itsines because it offers exercises you can do from anywhere.

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

I would love to read one by Melinda Gates. I think it’s so admirable what she and Bill have done together, and I’d love to see exactly how she spends her 24 hours.

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

I think “work-life” balance comes down to answering the question, “What are your priorities?” That’s what determines a happy balance. Be specific and identify the top 3 priorities you have in life, and strive to dedicate time to all three each day.

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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.