Balancing the Grind with Tom Redden, Head of Business APAC at Foods Connected

Tom Redden is the Head of Business of APAC at Foods Connected, a software company transforming food supply processes.

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

I was born and raised on a mixed family farm in Coonabarabran which we still operate today. Agriculture and business are both big passions of mine. My current role is Head of Business for APAC at Foods Connected.

At Foods Connected we innovate & transform food supply chain processes through our one-stop shop software solution that gives our customers the control to ensure that they have the right supplier, the right product and the right quality at the best price possible.

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

5:15 – 5:35am: Begin the day with 10 minutes of meditation using the waking up app, followed by bodyweight exercises and core.

5:35am-7am: Uninterrupted work.

7am – 8am: Typically a run or bike workout. Aiming to complete a half ironman and a 3 marathons this year.

8am – 12pm: Internal meetings, meetings with stakeholders, providing customer demos.

1pm – 4pm: Onsite with a customer reviewing their current software systems.

4:30 – 6:30pm: Conference call with our leadership team in Northern Ireland.

7pm – 8pm: Dinner with my partner Millie, and catching up on both of our days

9pm: Read and Bed

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

Being a software company that is based in Ireland our Australia and NZ team are very used to remote working. We use a variety of tools and metrics to allow remote working (Microsoft teams for communication, Teamwork for project plans, Web HR for human resources and Hubspot for sales.)

I find that working remotely allows our team to structure there days to work in with their own schedules. Despite the challenges of COVID I have enjoyed the time working from my family farm in Coonabarabran.

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

Work life balance for me is incorporating all your goals into daily life. A perfect day for me is looking after myself through meditation and exercise, connecting with friends and family whilst also executing on my daily responsibilities at work.

Each year I plan out my goals for the big categories in my life: relationship & family, business, wealth management, fitness, travel and adventure. I then chunk these down into 90-day sprints and look to incorporate these into my weekly routine.

There is a lot to be said on work life balance but through thorough planning and execution I believe you can achieve a happy medium.

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

It sounds cliché but prioritising sleep. I have found it is the biggest hack to getting more done and also performing at a high level. I try not to look at my phone for the first hour of my day which in turn allows me to control my mornings. Lastly planning out my entire week on a Sunday has been a game changer for me.

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

Favourite books: The Alchemist, Ego is the Enemy, Kerry Stokes The Boy from Nowhere, Grit, Tools of Titans, Man’s Search for Meaning, Mindset.

Podcast: Tim Ferris, Joe Rogan, Purple Patch, GaryVee.

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

Garmin watch, Hoka shoes, Waking up (App) , Kindle ,

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

For me it would be someone who has all the major components of their life in order across Friends/family, health, fitness and financial. Some people I try to model my life off are Jesse Itzler, Jocko Willink and Ryan Holiday.

A quick story, recently I read an interview in the AFR about Paul Hameister who is a well-known property developer in Melbourne. Paul has not only achieved incredible business success but has scaled all seven of the world’s highest peaks and does crazy physical pursuits with his children.

I wrote a note to Paul asking some of his secrets and we are due to catch-up next time I am in Melbourne. So, in short seek out people who are living the life you want to live and ask them for advice.

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

Control the controllable and realise that work life balance is something that is never perfect. Take time to look after yourself, work hard and enjoy the journey.

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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.