Tim Cincotta is an Enterprise Transformation Consultant at CoachHub, a leading global talent development platform.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
Currently I am working for a business called CoachHub which is a digital coaching platform based out of Berlin. I started with the business in March as one of the first people on the ground in APAC with the task of building a customer base in the region which has been really exciting.
My background over the past 10 years has been sales in the HR Tech space mostly in start-up or pre-IPO stage. It is one of those areas that once you get into it, you tend to stay in it. A lot of my current team are people I have worked with in the past.
Before HR Tech I started my own business in the tech space with limited success. If I had the knowledge I had back then, I would probably be quite a wealthy tech entrepreneur now – it is a part of why I like working for startups so much.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
It’s a tricky one at the moment with lockdowns in Melbourne. Given we will be out of lockdown again soon, I will focus on a day in the life of when things are normal.
It would consist of getting up at around 8am and dragging my three kids out of bed and making sure that they and my two dogs have breakfast.
Most importantly I also need to make coffee for my wife and I. I will then do a school dropoff and get stuck into my day in my home office. I am really trying to focus on blocking my day for maximum productivity – so arrange a block of time for admin, block of time for calls etc.
The morning is focused for me on catching up on emails and outstanding tasks and I try to keep meetings to the afternoons as much as possible. At lunch time, I like to get to the gym. I find it breaks my day up well, but also gives a boost of energy to take on the afternoon.
My afternoon is typically a mix of calls and meetings – either discovery calls with companies interested in coaching solutions or demonstrations. At 3.20 I will quickly do school pickup before getting back to calls through until 5.30-6 and cooking dinner.
I try to spend this time between 6.30 and 8.30 with my wife and kids at dinner. Once the kids are in bed, I will either relax and stream TV shows on the couch, or some nights I will get some extra work done – not because I have to, more so because I want to.
With the head office in Berlin, this is a good time for me to catch up with people in the head office. I tend to get to bed at around midnight – hence the 8am start.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, my role has primarily been to work from home while we grow a presence in APAC. We will soon have an office in Melbourne which I am really looking forward to as well. Working from home though has been quite handy on a few levels.
I live a fair way out of the city, so for me, I get 2.5 hours a day back in travel. It has also meant I can do more with my kids and be there for school pick up. I can also do things like coach my kids basketball teams which has been great. So I can get a few extra things done throughout the day with the extra time I have.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
It means for me that I don’t ever get to a point in life where I feel like I have missed out on seeing my kids grow up. It means I can cook every night and it also means having some time to myself – so I make a habit of getting to the gym 4 times a week to clear my head and keep fit.
I am in a fortunate position too though that I am really passionate about what I am doing at the moment, so the extra work I do is because I want to do it, not because I have to.
This means working a couple of nights a week on top of my work during the day doesn’t feel like I am overdoing it because I really enjoy doing it – I don’t get to Sunday night and feel like ugh, tomorrow is Monday.
I think if you can get to that point where you get a good amount of time with your family, good amount of time for yourself and aren’t pushing yourself to exhaustion with work, and look forward to starting work during the day, you are doing well.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I am lucky that working for CoachHub means I get a business coach myself. So when I am selling digital coaching, I am speaking from the point of view of someone experiencing it which is really great.
As part of my routine, every 2 weeks I am meeting my coach online and we work through areas of focus, and different behaviours and habits I can work on. One of my favourite habits I have picked up is a whiteboard by my desk to map out each day. It has really helped me keep on top of everything and stay productive.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Yes, for me I listen to the Rich Roll podcast. He is an ultra-endurance athlete who is also vegan. At about my age he burnt out from working to hard and being an alcoholic. Now in his 50’s, he is regularly competing in ultra-endurance races, writing books and hosting a great podcast.
I went vegan myself 2 years ago with a view to getting healthier in mind and body (though I will still have a beer here and there).
Along the way, I have found his podcasts really insightful and uplifting (I should point out that while there is some vegan content in his podcast, it isn’t the primary focus – it is really about mind and body wellness).
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I use GymKeeper a lot. To make sure I get to the gym on a regular basis, I need to keep track of progress of what I am doing at the gym and make sure I am pushing forward everytime I go there.
If I don’t I find it really easy to lose the habit and before you know it, I have gone three weeks without working out. During the many lockdowns we have had in Melbourne where the gyms are closed, I had also been using Strava to monitor the bush walks I was going on for that exact reason too.
My coffee machine too. I am one of those Melbourne coffee snobs who can’t handle instant coffee, so I have a proper machine and grinder to make fresh coffee 2-3 times a day.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
It would be hard to go past Richard Branson. Someone who works hard but really enjoys life too.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
It is really important to draw a clear line between the two. One of the biggest challenges I have found during the pandemic and being in what feels like a never ending lockdown in Melbourne is drawing a clear line between work time and home time.
It is so easy to see a message pop up on my phone, run to my laptop in the other room to reply, and an hour later find myself still working. Moving forward, working from home more frequently will no doubt stay quite common, even as offices reopen.
So the days you are at home, one thing I have tried is a fake commute. Go for a quick walk before starting work for the day or dropping the kids to school, don’t get out of bed and jump straight on your computer. The same goes at the end of the day – a short walk, or shooting hoops with the kids, something that breaks up work time from home time.
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