Work Life Balance

24 Working Mums Share their Daily Routine

For Balance the Grind’s Daily Routine series, we explore the daily routines, habits and rituals of successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and business executives.

But if there’s one group of people who should be getting more shine, we think it’s working mums. Juggling work obligations with home life, hopping back on the laptop after the kids are asleep, balancing morning coffees with family breakfasts, it’s a busy life!

We spoke to 24 working mums about their daily routine and how they balance it all.

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Rebecca Jefferd // Co-Founder of Ultra Violette

Rebecca Jefferd is the Co-Founder of skinscreen brand Ultra Violette, which she launched in 2019 with her co-founder Ava Matthews.

I’m based in Melbourne and at the moment and we are in Stage 4 lockdown due to COVID-19 meaning I’m working from home with my husband and 2 boys who are doing primary school from home also.

It’s pretty hectic but I’ve had a bit of time to refine what works as-best-as-it-can for me and us right now.

I’ll pick a Tuesday as these are my favourite days at the moment. I start with a walk with a girlfriend at 7am. The government allows us outside for 1 hour of exercise with one other person at a time.

We catch up on each other’s lives breathing through face masks taking in Port Phillip Bay and I grab a coffee on the way home to get my kids ready for homeschool. Whilst the restrictions are far from fun, I’m grateful for this much needed break from the house and this morning we were reflecting how good it was to be able to sleep in and exercise at 7am.

Before lockdown we would have to meet at 6am given the process of getting the kids organised and out the door. Small mercies!

My work day starts at 9am when everyone in my household is on a Zoom meeting at once. I prefer morning meetings, or tackling complex projects in the morning. I also have some help with my children on Tuesdays with a Nanny coming and keeping the household organised, making snacks and answering school questions so I can focus on work.

She is an absolute lifesaver, and allows me at least 2 days of productivity, otherwise I’m the one juggling work with hot chocolate preparation and algebra questions! We are clearly in “unprecedented times” (I’m so over that saying by the way) so I’m choosing to lower my expectations of what can be achieved in a typical day/week and survival is key.

That is survival of my business, my relationships with my family, and of course my own sanity.

As a business owner my days are really varied. At the moment they can be planning our summer marketing activations with Ava (fun), checking cash flow with my Financial Controller (less fun but super important), or implementing a new stock management system to help cope with new customers and new products as the business grows (the least fun, but again super important).

I wrap my day up at 5.30pm and the 30 second commute to the kitchen is another small mercy in the day. I get dinner organised, talk through the day with my boys, tidy up and break up any arguments.

We then have the evening together, or if I need to jump back into the office and finish work I do that, but given the survival mantra I’m adopting, it’s often TV on the couch with my boys and then either Netflix with my husband or a good book.

We also have a curfew in Melbourne during Stage 4, so there is no leaving the house after 8pm even if I wanted to!

Wendy Bezzina // CEO of Latrobe Valley Enterprises

Wendy Bezzina is a CEO, keynote speaker, and advocate, leading Latrobe Valley Enterprises, a not-for-profit providing meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

I’m a mum of 1 daughter, who is a swimmer, and my day generally starts out getting her to gym or swimming, which pre-COVID was a 4:45am start but currently is a more conventional 6am start until pools reopen.

My working day follows soon after and I’m fortunate enough to arrive to work with my team of supported workers waving at me as they see my car approach.

This not only overflows my cup of gratitude, but gives me the drive every day to keep growing our organisation so we can continue to provide employment opportunities for our 90 employees with disabilities but also look to employ even more from our community.

My job is challenging and rewarding and no 2-days are ever the same, from business development to strategy to operations to speaking at events, we work to raise our profile and help our employees thrive and shine.

After my work day ends my daughter and I spend time together exercising – I look forward to this each day. Then it’s spending time with my amazing husband, he makes me laugh every day.

Ursula Lepporoli // Director at KPMG Australia

Ursula Lepporoli is the Director at KPMG Australia, a global network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services.

I am an early bird, so I am usually awake before the sun. The quiet time before my 5-year-old son Markus and my husband rise are the golden hours of ‘me’ time. I use this time to exercise.

This is usually an in-home workout with weights although walking, cycling, and running are also great year-round outdoor options. I love living in beautiful SE Sydney.

At about 7am my son rises and it’s time to get him ready for kindergarten. I take him to school and return home to start the day.

My workday is a blur of meetings, check-ins, emails and strategy. We are currently developing a work allocation tool which I am the product owner of which takes some of my focus along with other tech projects we have underway.

A great day at work would include a chat with one of our clients. Providing practical tax advice and connecting with people is a perk of my role.

My husband, Mark, picks up my son and makes dinner. We eat together and if it’s not my turn to read books to Markus and put him to bed I go for a night walk, scroll social media, catch up on my chapters for the book club or binge watch Netflix before my ~9pm bedtime.

Meg Harris // Director of Meg Harris Public Relations

Meg Harris is the founder and director of MHPR, a public relations and events consultancy based in Sydney that works with ethical and sustainable brands.

Balancing a multiple clients and motherhood means no two days are ever the same. The start of the day is always with my 15 month old twins, Bodhi and Willow.

They attend daycare two days per week and the other three weekdays we have a nanny come to the house to care for them in the morning while I work. On daycare days I drop them off then come straight home to get stuck into my work.

These are my most productive days and I am head down getting as much ticked off my list as I can. I think it’s important for productivity to take a lunch break away from your desk and so I always do a 20 minute meditation. On the days they’re not at daycare I spend the afternoon with the kids, usually going for a walk to the park or shops.

Life with twin toddlers is pretty hectic so my husband Beau and I have alternate evenings “off” to fit in some exercise while the other takes care of them. On these nights I’ll either do a workout in our home gym or my yoga practice.

Dinner is always as a family around the table, then it’s the bath and bed routine for the twins. Beau and I watch some Netflix together or if work is busy I jump back on my laptop. I always read a book before bed to unwind and help me drop off to sleep.

Stacey Bedford // CEO of Bandzoogle

Stacey Bedford is the CEO of Bandzoogle, a platform that helps independent and DIY musicians build websites and manage direct-to-fan marketing and sales.

My routine is what you would call agile, I waste no time. Since I work from home, I really hit the ground running and make time for my personal life throughout the day.

This is an important part of my balance, and the personal space mixed in with work time helps me to reflect and tackle complex issues.

Every morning I get up and make my bed. My partner gets our kids fed and dressed and heads to work, and I start work at 7am. For the first hour I scan and organize emails and get up to date on Basecamp (our project management tool).

At 8am I put my three young children on the bus for school and take my dog for a walk. I get back to work with a coffee and check in with my managers for about an hour. The next 2 hours are project specific meetings or check ins, where I act as product owner.

On my lunch hour every day either do HIIT, kickboxing or I go for a run. Once a week I will do beekeeping on my lunch hour.

Afternoons at Bandzoogle are free of internal meetings, so I spend an hour going over our metrics and adjusting our plans, read through member and staff feedback, plan out ways to enhance our staff happiness and support our workplace culture, and meet with other businesses.

At 3:45pm I get my kids from the bus, we play outside and then I make dinner and pack lunches for the next day. My partner and I put the kids to bed.

Every night me and my 3 kids pile into one of their beds and listen to 3 songs and talk about them. That is the best part of my day. Then, I always read for at least 2 hours; I don’t watch TV. I go to sleep around 10pm and start over.

Kayleigh Kahlefeldt // Founder of Cornerstone Content AU

Kayleigh Kahlefeldt is the founder of Cornerstone Content AU, where she works with companies to deliver high-performing content for programs, websites, blogs and business collateral.

I get up at 6am, feed the dog, make my daughter’s school lunch and then we have breakfast together as a family. I get ready for work and then take the short commute of a few steps to my office to start work at 8am when my US clients and contacts are still in their working hours.

At around 12pm I usually take a 30-minute break to walk the dog by the river, or go for a run – there are some incredible trails near my house in regional NSW. Then I work until 2.45pm when I pick my daughter up from school. Sometimes I jump back into my office between 4pm and 6pm.

More often I will spend time with my family and jump back onto the computer after dinner. I also work with people in the UK, which makes it a good time to catch them! I have the luxury of being able to work with the best people for each project now, no matter where in the world they’re located.

Katy Stevens // VP Asia Pacific at Culture Amp

Katy Stevens is the VP Asia Pacific at employee experience platform Culture Amp, where she leads the sales, customer success, people science and marketing teams.

I live in Melbourne, so Stage 4 lockdown is a very particular experience that is currently challenging everyone in their own way. I am supporting my 6 year old daughter with remote learning, while juggling work, which is really tough. I am personally fortunate in that Culture Amp is very supportive in using flexibility and personal leave to ease some of those pressures.

A typical day working (while parenting) right now usually involves an early meeting (from about 6am) with colleagues in the US or UK, followed by an hour or so trying to get myself and my daughter dressed and fed for the day ahead. At Culture Amp we use Slack and Zoom for our communication and collaboration, so much of my time is spent juggling my time between those, and supporting my daughter.

Lately, I’ve tried to do more 1-on-1s over the phone – including a walk, if I can time it with the 1 hour exercise that’s permitted. Those conversations are much more enjoyable – and often creative – than those spent in front of a screen for hours on end.

I try my best to switch off from work by 6pm so I can be present with my family and recharge before it starts all over again, early the next morning.

Meredith Cranmer // Co-Founder & Managing Director of Because ANZ

Meredith Cranmer is the co-founder and managing director of Because ANZ, a creative experiences and brand activation agency with offices around the world.

I’m an early riser, part biology but mainly because I have two young children. My husband and I both have big jobs and no family support in the country so our diaries are very planned!

I usually head to the gym or my outdoor bootcamp before heading back home for breakfast with the kids, assisting with sight words and negotiating outfit choices (the toddler’s not mine!).

We’re splitting our time as a team between the office and home, I’m usually out the door by 730/8 grabbing coffee in our local café whilst listening to a podcast – loving Tim Ferriss and Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place.

Our team huddles religiously at 915am and it always ends with a mantra from Lisa Messenger’s Purpose book. Sounds woo woo, but it does help set your intention as a team and personally for what you day could be. It’s also been scarily prophetic during COVID or maybe it’s a bit like horoscopes!

I’m then usually on calls, writing proposals, pitching concepts and supporting the team and our clients navigate the day to day. Depending on what day it is, my ‘work’ day ends around 6-7pm and then its family time, before a few late night calls to our UK office a couple of days a week.

Kate Thompson // Marketing Strategist & Co-GM at littleBIG Marketing & PR

Kate Thompson is a marketing strategist and the Co-GM at Melbourne-based boutique marketing agency littleBIG Marketing & PR.

Pre-COVID, it was an insane rush to drop the kids at school and daycare, rewarded with a joyous, podcast filled car ride to our beautiful office by the Yarra and then coffee with the team.

From there it was usually a mix of reviewing client social content and the team’s execution plans, a client WIP, a brainstorm with our team for a new project, a client strategy session, a management meeting and then some time to write up a strategy or new business plan.

I try to take 5 min out to eat lunch and read the paper as I find you can only come up with good ideas and understand consumer behaviour if you’re constantly reading and keeping up with the real world.

I also try to prioritise time for informal office chat and laughs – at the end of the day enjoying what you do and having a good laugh is really important.

I plan out my day and to do lists the night before as I work part time and I need to hit the ground running. I can’t walk into the office and not be up to date with what’s going on.

At 2.45pm I hit the road and try to take care of any phone calls or loose ends as I drive to school pick up (on bluetooth of course)! Then it’s kid time until about 8pm when I’ll finish off any work that I couldn’t get done during the day.

In the past six (yes six!) months of COVID lockdown it’s looked reasonably similar, but on a screen and interspersed with homeschooling and 10 million interruptions from my kids for snacks, iPad codes, slime in the hair, full body texta tattoos, a pigeon flying in the kitchen (that happened) and more.

My best COVID hack is that I get up and leave the house by 7am at the latest and work in the comfort of my car with a strong coffee. This means I get about 2 -3 hours uninterrupted, quality thinking time and I know no matter what crazy gets thrown my way during the day, I’ve done the most important “thinking” tasks and it will be ok.

Camilla Thompson // Managing Director of Select Wellness

Camilla Thompson is an executive coach and managing director of Select Wellness, specialists in tailoring effective wellbeing programs for employees, teams and organisations.

My #1 rule is to never look at my phone when I wake up, I take at least 15 minutes to look outside, breathe and meditate before I go online. I wake up early so I can enjoy a tea in bed and ease into my day.

Depending on school drop off or work, a walk or yoga to start the day. I plan out my week so that some days I’m coaching and other days I’m doing more operational or new business work. I make sure I take breaks, get some fresh air and sunshine when I feel my energy levels dropping.

I also like to take a walk, if I can, after I finish to help transition out of work mode. For fun, I have a rebounder that I like to bounce on during the day to help boost my energy and get my body moving.

I’m also trying to do less video coaching as it can be quite draining, I only book a few sessions a day, I make sure my first session is always video on we can build rapport then follow up with calls.

Brooke Hill // Founder & Director of The Content(ed) Copywriter

Brooke Hill is the Founder & Director of content and copywriting agency The Content(ed) Copywriter.

I’ve always structured my working days to maximise as much time with my kids as possible.

For me – and I’m highly conscious work-life balance means something different for everyone – that means shorter days in care and pre-school, and working during nap times when the kids are at home.

I have to admit, COVID-19 has presented challenges. At the moment, a typical day involves spending the morning with my kids. When my bub goes down for his first nap, I’ll work intensively.

My Zoom calls are scheduled during that time, and I’m incredibly disciplined with using that time effectively. When bub wakes, I’m on mum duty again until the next nap. It’s intense – and I’ll be relieved when our local daycare re-opens.

Sarah Galletly // Managing Partner at Orchard

Sarah Galletly is the Managing Partner at Orchard, a marketing agency with offices in Sydney and New York, which she founded with three partners in 2006.

I always get up early so I start the day with either a gym session at Orange Theory (now that the gyms are back open, hurrah), or a walk to the beach and a short online pilates class. I’m usually back home by 7:30 to get my two boys up and ready for school.

My workday is usually a mix of internal team meetings, client meetings, some focus time and some time spent keeping my inbox under control. I usually have my meetings in the morning, starting with short team meetings to talk about what we each have on for the day and to sort out any roadblocks.

I’ll try and block out time in the afternoon for any tasks that need concentration as I find that I focus best in the afternoon. I also try not to leave the team or clients hanging too long so I’ll check my emails and messages every couple of hours to make sure there’s nothing urgent.

Working from home during COVID has made it harder to differentiate between work and home life, so I try to leave the study after my workday finishes and take the dog for a walk around the block, have a glass of wine or hang out with the kids. I’ll usually log back on later in the evening to plan out the following day.

Nicola Swankie // Founder & Lead Consultant at Swankie & Partners

Nicola Swankie is the Founder & Lead Consultant at Swankie & Partners, a training partnership specializing in helping companies embrace new technologies for better business performance.

As I juggle a couple of businesses, a 2.5 year old, 2 big dogs and living regionally days can all look quite different! However, they are ALL well planned.

If I am here in the Sunny Coast I will squeeze in some exercise early with an outdoor trainer by the ocean because I thrive on being out near the coastline. I find it sets me up for the day if I get that time for my soul to “wag its tail”!

I usually do drop off at daycare and then work at our co-working space where I stay in touch with my clients and team through a combination of phone, Basecamp, GMeet video calls, GDrive and Zoom.

We have a vibrant and buzzy community in our space, which is filled with parents of young children, most of which have moved from Sydney or Melbourne recently all trying to live regionally and work flexibly around families.

If I am travelling, I usually head to Sydney on the 6.30am flight, get all my meetings and workshops in and jump on the 5.30 flight back, which means I can usually be home before my little boy goes to sleep. I love how easy and fast it is to move through our regional airport. I can be home in 15 minutes of landing.

Carolyn Hyams // Marketing Director for Aquent, Firebrand Talent & Vitamin T

Carolyn Hyams is the Australian Marketing Director Firebrand, Aquent and Vitamin T, recruitment brands all owned by Aquent.

I work from 8.45am to 4pm from Mondays to Fridays as I am a mum and I need to leave early in order to pick up my daughter and take her to various after school activities.

After going through my emails, flagging the important stuff and writing a list of tasks for the day, the first thing I do is to check through any online notifications on all our brand social platforms and well as my own social accounts and respond to any comments.

Then I’ll allocate any leads that have come in overnight to our teams in Sydney and Melbourne.

After this, I’ll check the marketing schedule to see what emails and blog posts are being published that day so that I can support or promote them online.

I’ll check the results of any Facebook ads, including looking at the conversion rate in case I need to make any tweaks to the ads.

If we have any events to organise (which is often), I’ll check in with my colleague Anneke to see if we’re on track and offer support where necessary.

I’ll add more content (owned and curated) to our employee advocacy platform Bambu so that our teams have valuable and relevant content that they can share with their connections.

I’ll also schedule some content (curated and owned) on our various social channels.

We’re currently surveying professionals on about future transformation of the digital workforce which we’ll be turning into a printed report that we can deliver to our clients. This will help them with their hiring strategy for their future workforce.

So I’ll check in on survey numbers, promote it on various channels and also look at the planning schedule to see what needs to be implemented next.

Later on I may write some email copy, research some subject lines and look at some analytics on how previous, similar campaigns have performed.

And I’ll spend some time updating the copy on our three websites which reflect the “brand on the outside” work we’ve collectively done to better define who we are, what we do, how we do it, and importantly why we do it (our purpose).

Every day is different and there’s a lot of variety in my role. What’s really important is that I really put my head down and focus whilst I’m at work because my hours are shorter than most and I like to be really productive.

Angie Stavros // Group Sales Manager – PodcastOne at Southern Cross Austereo

Angie Stavros is the Group Sales Manager – PodcastOne at Southern Cross Austereo, an Australian media company operating 80 radio stations and 21 commercial television licenses.

As cliché as it sounds, every day is different. Although it is frowned upon by many, I always check my emails before I get out of bed in the morning. I find it’s important to help me prioritise my day and prepare for anything new that may change the course of my day.

Once I’m up, my morning is dedicated to calming (or at times contributing to) the chaos in the house – getting two teenagers off to two different schools on time has its challenges.

Driving into the office, I always listen to a podcast; sometimes one of our own, and other times one of our competitor’s.

Once I’m in the office, I review my day and do-to list. As a priority, I make sure I am fully prepared for meetings I have scheduled on the day. Following that, I check in with my colleagues, read trade press and tend to urgent email requests.

A regular day can look something like this: external meetings, internal meetings, proposal writing, schedule building, talking to clients and collaborating with radio sales team on a client’s integrated audio strategy.

In my “spare” time, I am usually re-evaluating my sales strategy and pipeline which needs to flexible depending on what the market dictates (i.e. reactive or pro-active).

My drive home is often in silence as I reflect on my day and mentally prepare for the evening ahead. Sometimes I use this time to call family and friends and get into a more relaxed headspace.

Lija Wilson // Founder & CEO of Puffling

Lija Wilson is the Founder & CEO of flexible work platform Puffling, helping businesses source senior off-market talent, delivering flexible work options and promoting gender diversity.

Most days I try to exercise before the chaos kicks in. I live on Sydney’s northern beaches so head to CrossFit for the sun rise at 5.45am.

I’ve always been one to catch the worms but since having kids, I no longer hit the emails at 7:30. After ticking off exercise, I coordinate kids with my husband (we have three under 6 who are at different drop offs) and now start work around 9:30am.

A few days a week, I’ll meet with clients, present flexible work solutions to attract or retain talent and often speak on panels or at events. I have an office space close to home and the kids schools, so a few days a week, I’ll have non-meeting days from there and focus on growth plans, strategy, product planning and having contact with talent.

Aura Chan Gonzalez, Digital Marketing Specialist at AgriWebb

Aura Chan Gonzalez is the Digital Marketing Specialist at AgriWebb, a livestock farm management software, and also the Founder of Go Spanish.

I am currently working Mon-Tue. Our days at home during the days I work are hectic and locked into routines for our 4-year-old daughter (Elizabeth) and 7-month old baby boy (Gabriel). I have long nights; early starts and I am usually in bed by 10:00 pm if not before that.

On a typical working day I wake up around 6:30 am to feed Gabriel. Then, take a shower – by then my husband has given breakfast to Elizabeth. After breakfast I am off to drop Eli at childcare while my mum looks after Gabriel.

I start work at 9:00 am. The team kick off the week with morning meetings where we find out what other team members are up to for the week. My work life’s happens between Google, Asana and Slack.

Between working hours I feed Gabriel. When I finish work around 5:00 pm. I go to pick up Eli. Then, I come home to get dinner ready.

Nicole Newman, Content Strategist at Southport Sharks

Nicole Newman is the Content Strategist at Southport Sharks, a premier dining and entertainment precinct located on the Gold Coast.

My day starts as mummy with cuddles from my son and eating breakfast together, before jumping in the car and listening to my seven-year old’s Spotify play list for a bit of singing before school drop off.

On the drive to work, I switch to my play list, or a podcast depending on my mood, to transition from mummy to work colleague. I’ll generally start my workday with emails and my Wrike dashboard, before checking how campaigns are tracking on Facebook and Google.

Digital marketing is a daily mix of creativity, data analysis and research, in a rapidly evolving medium. I’ll speak with different department on campaigns and design content based on the requirements. I touch base regularly with my team throughout the day to brainstorm and discuss concepts to deliver content.

Most days of the week, I transition back to mummy for school pick up and to take my son to his club sports.

Katrina McCarter // CEO of Marketing to Mums

Katrina McCarter is a marketing strategist, speaker, best-selling author, advisor and CEO of Marketing to Mums, a marketing and research consultancy.

My workdays are diverse. I have six core activities I engage in including:

  1. teaching Digital Marketing for ADMA
  2. speaking and running workshops at conferences around Australia and overseas
  3. consulting to clients
  4. undertaking market research about Australian mothers
  5. giving board briefings about the Mum landscape
  6. coaching business owners.

My work day typically kicks off around 8am after my kids head off to school. My work day tends to move to my car from around 4pm when the kids get back and need to go to their various sporting engagements (they all play lots of sport).

I’ll be in the car until around 7 or 8pm when we all regroup for dinner and then my husband will generally watch a Netflix episode at some stage before heading to bed.

Liana Dubois // Director of Powered at Nine

Liana Dubois is Director of Nine division, Powered, a marketing solutions team to help advertisers stand out across TV, digital, publishing, and radio.

It sounds like a bit of a cliché, but no two days are the same. Nine’s business is so diverse it means I find myself in all sorts of different, sometimes whacky, conversations and places.

Marketing and media touches so many areas, it’s vast and interesting. I find myself in things like a conversation to understand the strategic plans of a brand with a CMO, working with Nine’s content and commercial divisions, finding new and more effective advertising options for our clientele, and chatting with Nine’s talent on upcoming events or activities or other musings.

Or researching strategic alliances that can add value to our model and vice versa. I also have the pleasure of leading a brilliantly eclectic team of very talented people who make all the magic happen.

While there is difference every day, the bookends are consistent. Each morning, my husband and I negotiate attending school (whether that was home school or the return to physical school) with Mr 8 and Mr 5. At night they negotiate with us over the bedtime clock.

Victoria Butt // Founder & Managing Director of Parity Consulting

Victoria Butt is the Founder & Managing Director of Parity Consulting, a Sydney-based recruitment agency.

I’ll start by saying every day is different. So, let me talk you through my day yesterday.

Up and ready for the day at 6am, 30 minutes of at home fitness spent with my husband, fed my two 4 year old’s breakfast and got them dressed and off to daycare.

Online at 8am for a client call, then reviewed comms for our upcoming salary guide, logged onto our team stand up at 9am where we reconnect every morning and talk about our intent for the day, then worked on a distribution strategy for the next quarter.

Jumped onto a virtual personal training session at 11am, followed by a shower and between 12 – 2pm I multitasked and made big batches of veggie lasagna and dinner for the kids whilst on the phone to clients, checking in on processes and how they were executed – ultimately making sure they were happy.

In the afternoon I spoke to a senior candidate and conducted a post placement review, then spent 1 hour on my new tech business looking at the modules to roll out. Starting to wrap up the day (with my huge pot of English breakfast tea), I had one more VC with a client to talk about new roles.

Then at 5pm, I dialled in for a call with my sister over in the UK. My husband picked up the kids from daycare and dinner was on the table at 5.30pm so we could eat with the kids, then had play time, bath time and bed at 7pm.

I tend to then log back on between 7pm – 9pm to clear out my emails and do some work on the Diversity and Inclusion agenda for EO Sydney.

Anna MacIntosh // General Manager at Polkadot Communications

Anna MacIntosh is the General Manager at Sydney-based full-service marketing, communications & PR agency Polkadot Communications.

As a competitive swimmer growing up, I have not been able to shake the early morning rise. I am generally up between 5.30am and 6am depending if I have Pilates or spin class.

However, if you had asked me this during lock down, I would have said all of this was out the window! But our team is transitioning back into the office now, so my old routine is coming back to life a little but with a lot more flexibility thrown in.

After exercise, I get home around 7.15am to wrangle my 14-year-old teenager out of bed to get him ready for school. Before exercise, I do a quick scan of the news and Twitter to see what’s trending then properly read the news between coffee and leaving the house around 8.30am.

If I have calls with some of my global clients, I will stay home to do those then head into the office later that morning.

My day is a diverse mix of client work, new business, and team discussions. I thrive on people and creativity and must admit, I am loving being back with my team and feeding off their energy from bouncing around ideas (social distancing style of course).

I am a newshound and have been given the nickname of Chief of Staff in the agency. I am always sharing news, politics, pop culture, reality shows, you name it, I am reading and sharing it.

I always make time during the day to get out of the office. Having worked from home the past three months, it has validated just how important it is to have a break.

If my son has sport, I take him to training and most nights I am out of the office around 5. I try not to log back on unless necessary (like a pitch). Nights are for cooking and family time as well as the dreaded high school homework, followed by TV, Netflix or Stan. I am not a night owl, so lights are out early.

Heaven Leigh // Vegan Entrepreneur & Owner of Bodhi Restaurant Bar

Heaven Leigh is a vegan entrepreneur, third generation female restaurateur, and owner of Bodhi Restaurant Bar in Sydney.

While every day is different, one thing that remains constant is my search for work-life, family balance – which I don’t always get right!

Each morning, I wake up before my two children and take 10 minutes to quietly do some journalling – or what I like to call written meditation. Journalling is an invaluable tool. It allows me to set my intentions for the day, to stay focused on my goals and to find gratitude in my life. (I’ve written more about how important journalling has been in my life in a blog here).

I then squeeze in a yoga or meditation practice.

Then it’s time to get the kids ready for the day. Even during lockdown, I’ve maintained the “get up, go to work” routine, which has helped me feel focused, professional and ready to tackle the day ahead.

Once everyone is ready, I check in with my EA and right-hand-woman Leticia who runs me through my agenda and keeps me on track with everything that I need to juggle.

I have always worked better with other people, so working collaboratively with her is incredibly helpful for me. Much of my day is spent bouncing from meeting to meeting, and ensuring I carve out time to action my to-do list

With both my kids currently home-schooling due to Coronavirus restrictions, I also make sure to schedule time in each day to spend with them, helping out with their school work or just focused on family time.

Belinda Pervan // Vice President, APJ Marketing at Veeam Software

6:00am: Up and out of the house for some morning exercise to wake me up and get me ready for the day ahead. It isn’t something I plan for every morning, but I definitely try to fit it in as much as I can!

8.00am Once my son & husband are out the door, I start work addressing anything urgent that’s come up overnight. I have a few hours before my American colleagues log off for their day, so I try to get back to them where possible.

8.30am – 12.00pm With a lot of my team across Asia, I find my mornings less meeting intense, so if none with the Aussies I try to put my head down and work on big-ticket items that need my full attention. I also block daily “work time” chunks in my calendar 2 weeks in advance – else I think I’d sit in calls all day every day! 

12:00pm – 12:30pm: Lunch. I do my best to step away from my laptop for 30 minutes a day –I know it should be a must and some weeks are better than others. Worst case, I try to switch one sit down call for a walk-around-the-block meeting. It helps me break up the day and get some much-needed vitamin D!

12.30pm – 5:30pm: Time to connect with my team! Because my team is across APJ, a lot of my calls fall in the afternoon and evening. These meetings can focus on anything from business or project updates to coaching calls. I try to balance being in and on the business – but a lot of these hours I’m going where my team needs me. 

5:30-7:30pm: This is my most precious time slot of the day, blocked in my calendar for “Mum time”.  

7.30pm – TBD:  I log back on most nights once my son is in bed – sometimes just for an hour in front of the TV, other nights for a series of calls or work. These on-off weeks come in waves depending on the time of the quarter, so I just ride the wave!

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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.