Work Life Balance

A Day in the Life of 31 CEOs, Startup Founders & Business Leaders

Have you ever wondered what a day in the life of a CEO of a healthcare app looks like? How about what it’s like managing the marketing for three recruitment brands?

Balance the Grind has had the pleasure of interviewing a wide range of people, from CEOs, startup founders, company directors to managers and more business leaders about how they balance the grind.

Below are 31 examples of a day in the life of high performing individuals.

We’re looking to partner with companies that share our passion to promote healthy work-life balance around the world. Get in touch with us!

A day in the life of Garreth Dorey, Co-Founder & Director at NTWRK

It’s hard for me to describe a ‘typical day’ being a business owner and dad.

On Monday or Tuesday you might find me riding to or on the train into the office. Wednesday and Thursday I am usually up at 6am to get a couple of hours on the computer before getting my daughter ready for school.

Let’s be honest, coffee is the first thing I do once I get into the office though. I endeavour to my admin like emails and the action item list while I’m on the train. I generally get internal meetings completed in the first half of the day along with following up on any client actions.

My day might also be taken up running Customer Strategy workshops in the middle of the week, for a full or half day. Other than that, I focus on client proposals, strategy delivery and project action items. Friday for me is all about finishing any outstanding actions and planning for the next week.

Read more about how Garreth balances the grind.

A day in the life of Danny Newman, International Client Director at YourStudio – Experience Design Agency

Being based in Europe, my mornings always start with Australia, checking and responding to emails and having a conference call with the team.

I speak with our Creative Director there 2/3 times per week and look to support them where possible. I’ll then typically check-in to see what’s happening in London before moving into my tasks for the day.

The typical workday tasks can include any of the following; putting together proposals, pitches, managing creative projects creating marketing content, sector research, writing sector specific thought pieces for LinkedIn, client calls/meetings, internal calls/meetings and new business calls/meetings.

Depending on the time of year, the day can start as early as 7.30am (currently its 8.30am) and finishes around 6pm.

Read more about how Danny balances the grind.

A day in the life of Renae Smith, Founder & Director at The Atticism

As I am based in the UK at the moment, my usual day looks a little different as my company is in Australia.

I wake up around 6am (which is 3pm in Sydney) and check my Slack for any urgent messages. Whilst I am making myself a coffee, I respond to anything urgent.

I then sit at the home office and put in a solid 2 – 3 hours of work, catching up on emails and speaking with my staff or with clients before the work day in Australia ends.

Once it’s hit around 9.30am here, I break and get myself out of my pyjamas and prepare for phase two of the day.

The first thing I do is write a to-do list. I have a pretty in-depth email system which means I rarely miss tasks that are needed, so I work through and get a to do list done.

I write proposals, I pitch client materials, I work with clients on interviews or events, etc. I work solidly until about 1pm and then I break for lunch for a few hours.

After my kids get home from school at about 3.30pm, I help them with homework and take the afternoon as family time.

Depending on the workload, I either go to bed at about 9pm, or if I need to stay up to speak to staff etc – I will wait until 10pm (7am in Sydney) to chat to them if I need something urgent!

It’s a busy day – but my structure is really flexible which really works for me!

Read more about how Renae balances the grind.

A day in the life of Jaime Nelson is the Managing Director – Strategy & Marketing Services at Hotwire

A typical day in my life involves waking up at 5am and heading to the gym . Exercise allows me to take the time to reflect and set myself up for the day ahead. I then drive my two kids to school which is an absolute priority. This time is spent connecting with the humans who love me unconditionally and keep me up to date with pop culture!

I travel one hour each way for work so in the car I am usually listening to a podcast or making phone calls. I’m definitely a morning person so I try to plan super brain-intensive activities at the beginning of my day.

For example, these may include business strategy meetings, client proposals, staff 1:1 catch-ups and client meetings. By the afternoon, I am starting to slow down a little and spend my time focusing on keeping the agency ‘machine’ up and running.

Read more about how Jaime balances the grind.

A day in the life of Dr. Karen Sutherland, Social Media Educator, Author, Researcher & Consultant

On a usual working day, I wake up between 4am – 5am. I check what has happened overnight in terms of email and social media. I make coffee. Then, I have regular yoga practice that involves chanting, asana, pranayama and meditation. I do this every day no matter what my schedule is although on some days I can spend more time on it than others.

If I can fit in a gym session too I do, otherwise I am at the computer usually by around 8am to begin my day.

If I have classes I will be on-campus for most of the day. If not I will work from home on course preparation, writing, research projects, funding applications and preparing social media workshops and coaching sessions for the community and my clients.

My days are long, but I try to stop working by 9.30pm. I always finish the day with meditation even if it is brief.

Read more about how Dr. Karen balances the grind.

A day in the life of Lisa Cugnetto, Freelance Writer, Editor & Content Producer

I try to keep my work hours between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm. However the nature of my workload tends to ebb and flow, moving quickly from a quiet week to a busy one with a moment’s notice, so it tends to change based on that.

My day usually starts with reading and responding to emails, then tucking into whatever tasks I have allocated for that day.

This may include writing web copy, blogs, articles, proofing or editing content, researching and pitching stories, undertaking or transcribing interviews, putting together content calendars, style guides or strategies, meeting with clients or general business-related admin.

Read more about how Lisa balances the grind.

A day in the life of Laura Wright, Marketing & Incentive Experience Manager at EVT Incentive Marketing

A typical day for me begins at 5.30am, for me morning exercise is key. It has not always been the case however due to my busy lifestyle and love for exercise and fear of missing out on a workout I identified that the only way I could assure I could squeeze it into my day was to get it out of the way first thing in the morning.

Getting your body moving and releasing endorphins in the morning is amazing. I can absolutely feel it on the days (rare occasion) I don’t make it to the gym before work.

I arrive into the office at roughly 8.00am and review my task list and calendar. I religiously enter all required tasks, reminders and project deadlines into my calendar whilst eating breakfast.

I find that to set a productive tone for the day my first 3-5 tasks for the days I make the smaller and ‘easier’ tasks so I can tick them off the list. This is absolutely mind over matter however ticking those initial things off your list in the AM calls for the remainder of the day to be super productive as well of course!

I’ll never skip lunch – it’s my afternoon fuel and most days will step out more a mid-afternoon pick me up walk. My daily goal is to hit 10,000 steps – being in an office job this is quite hard to achieve unless you make a conscious effort however it’s amazing how fantastic a couple of steps and fresh air in the afternoon can make you feel.

My day doesn’t end there, after traveling 1 hour to get home and fuelling up on a healthy home cooked dinner, I open the laptop again to continue working on Sand Society.

This includes building and maintaining the website, fulfilling orders, feeding back to designers/photographers and continuing to work on our overarching marketing strategies and business plan and strategic rollout for the coming months. I try to wrap this up by 10.00pm however that depends on how carried away we get. It’s an exciting time!

Read more about how Laura balances the grind.

A day in the life of Bahar Ansari is the Co-Founder of

I usually wake up between 6 and 6.30am. I take a couple of calls because we work internationally and that’s a good time to be on a different time zone. I get to the gym at 8, I work out for an hour, go home and work another 1-2 hours from home, get ready, take a couple more calls (either client or sales calls), I get to the office around 11 and work from there.

Usually do online zoom meetings. I always forget to eat lunch, unless somebody takes me with them, which is not good. My afternoons are my own productive time, between 3-6 is my prime time, since everyone at the office is almost done and ready to go home, so I am much less distracted, there is no calls, no interruptions, so this is the time for my responsibilities.

I get home between 6 and 8, eat dinner and after that those 2 hours is my creative time- I meditate, I think of ideas, I build things and catch up with my personal emails and social media.

Read more about how Bahar balances the grind.

A day in the life of Carolyn Hyams, Marketing Director of Firebrand, Aquent and Vitamin T

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.

Read more about how Carolyn balances the grind.

A day in the life of Emily Trenouth, Client Partner at TRIBE

7:00 am: 30min gym session (I follow workouts from Nike Training Club to maximise my time)

9:00am: coffee catchup with a potential client that I met at an event last week

11:00am: quick visit to General Assembly’s NYC HQ to checkout event space for an event we’re co-hosting together on ‘How to measure ROI in Influencer Marketing’

3pm: meeting with an agency we’re working with to discuss a brief for one of their clients and potential strategies for how we can support their needs

4pm: dialled into a huddle with our US team, to share our weekly initiatives, key wins, challenges and what we’re looking forward to in the next week

5pm: brainstorm with my colleagues on some new initiatives we’re planning for US events in Q4

6pm: head home to do some admin and follow-up from my meetings that day

Read more about how Emily balances the grind.

A day in the life of Tammy Collins, Founder & Marketing Director of New Media Moguls

Okay, so typical isn’t really a thing for me, but this is what my Friday looks looked like:

4:30am: Quietly crept into the lounge room, made a tea and sit down to the emails I didn’t have time to get to yesterday

6:00am: Daughter wakes up so I’m on mum duty

8:00am: Drop daughter at daycare and walk to the office

9:00am: Arrive, make tea, write my day’s to do list.

9:15 – 10am: Do a stocktake of a digital workbook I am creating for an upcoming keynote address.

10:00 – 10:45am: Have a WIP meeting for a current Site Build.

11:00am: Crack on with completing the workbook

12:00pm: It’s Friday and it’s 29 degrees in Sydney. Pub lunch with the office and my dog Monte who is very lucky that Newtown is so pup friendly

1:30pm: A supplier meeting to discuss gaps in workflow

2:30 – 5:30pm: Back to the digital workbook. It’s due Monday.

6pm: Hometime and back on to Mum duty

9pm: Bub is in bed, I do a quick stocktake of the days emails to make sure nothing vital is missed.

But doing days like this, means I can have days like last Monday, where I took my daughter to the zoo. It really is a balancing act.

Read more about how Tammy balances the grind.

A day in the life of Stacey Bedford is the CEO of Bandzoogle

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.

Read more about how Stacey balances the grind.

A day in the life of Alex Bundock is the Digital Experience Director at Spark Foundry Australia

It’s about as varied as the clients and people I work with! My responsibilities cover client and team leadership as well as product development and agency new business.

Here’s today to give you a flavour:

0600-0700 – Club Bike Ride

0745-0830 – Industry reading (Make a conscious effort to try and not read emails before 0830)

0830-0930 – Planning. Catch up on emails and check in with team

0930-1130 – Meeting with other Publicis agencies to discuss opportunities, knowledge sharing and ways of working

1200-1245 – Lunch

1245-1400 – Internal developer session on leveraging Google’s Natural Language API

1400-1500 – Prepping presentation content for client sessions in Melbourne on Tuesday

1500-1600 – Client WIP

1600-1630 – People workshop

1630-1730 – Internal team WIP. Discuss the latest news, client performance, product roadmap and run through team workshop

That’s what my calendar says anyway – in reality it’s never quite that neat.

No one in the building has a partitioned working space of separate office so it’s a constant stream of conversation and discussion.

Read more about how Alex balances the grind.

A day in the life of Ashleigh McInnes, Founder & Director of Papermill Media

I used to be more of a night owl by habit but recently I’ve been trialling a new way to work, which sees me try to wake up anywhere between 6am – 6.30am and get straight onto my computer to get the jump on the day ahead. I use the time to reply to emails, clear out the inbox and write up a clear plan for what I need to achieve throughout the day.

Then it’s into the office to start the day in earnest. That usually means catching up with my senior team and providing guidance, strategic oversight and suggestions for their current projects, and getting status reports on the campaigns that are currently live.

As the director I’m heavily involved new business and the strategic side of our clients’ campaigns, so I might be out of the office for large parts of the day attending new business meetings, strategy workshops, client meetings and the like.

Then it’s usually back to my desk to work collaboratively with my project teams to craft strategic media plans, campaign proposals or pitches as a result of the meetings throughout the day.

As PR and media consultants, a lot of our work can be reactive based on how our clients are being reported in the media or perceived by various stakeholders, so we may get briefed on an urgent issue that requires the full attention of our director team.

If that happens, we are sometimes in lock down for days, maybe even weeks at a time, monitoring media and social media sentiment live, addressing any incoming media requests, helping to craft key message responses based on our client’s position, and working to minimise any long term reputational damage as the result of the issue at hand.

Those days are intense but exhilarating – you have to be ‘on’ all the time and ready for any outcome.

Read more about how Ashleigh balances the grind.

A day in the life of Damien Pashby, Group Account Director at Ogilvy

Generally, I’m up at 5am for breakfast and to check in on emails from overnight then into the gym by 5:30am. From there it’s off to office and starting work between 7:30 and 8am with coffee in hand.

My days in the office are quite varied with no two days same. Working hours are generally spent in meetings – it’s an unfortunate reality of the industry and especially being a suit.

Either taking a brief or presenting creative work to clients, briefing or reviewing work with our creative teams, workshops, production reviews, project status meetings or simply catching up with our client leads to discuss the state of their business.

There’s a fair bit of travel throughout the day from office to office, so time spent in Ubers is really just a chance to catch up on the most urgent emails (and checking in on NBA scores).

When 5pm or 5:30pm hits, my focus shifts onto the rest of the emails that have stacked up throughout the day.

Whilst this can easily drag into the night, I really try to be out of the office by 6:30 or 7pm and straight home to my wife so we can walk our little Staffy, Luther together at a decent hour.

Evenings are generally spent with a bit of dual screening, Netflix on the TV and scanning emails on the phone and a worn-out dog encroaching on my personal space.

Read more about how Damien balances the grind.

A day in the life of Nick Randall, Co-Founder at Ranieri & Co

I am a very early riser so my day starts at 4am for reading, journaling and meditation before hitting the gym at 5. I check emails from 6 – 7am as Wondery’s HQ is in LA and their international division operates out of the UK.

I’m in the office by 8:30 and the first thing Rob and I do is run a daily huddle checking in on our OKR’s before we prioritise the day ahead.

As I mentioned earlier, this usually includes preparation for a client presentation, outbound sales calls, reviewing the treatment for a new podcast series, responding to a sales brief, and communicating with our teams responsible for an original series.

We have a ritual where Rob and I eat lunch together everyday which we’ve found really valuable for our working relationship. I’m home by 6 and I’m usually in bed by 8:30 or 9 at the latest.

Read more about how Nick balances the grind.

A day in the life of Tobi Skovron is the Co-Founder & CEO of CreativeCubes.Co

I’m awake at 4:44am every day.

Kick off my day with a session at OrangeTheory Fitness

I’m showered and at my Mac or on conference calls by 7:30am

I am super-efficient with my time (because I have a lot to do and never enough time to get it all done) and super disciplined.

Lunch is always scheduled for 12pm and I take 30 mins to get the right food into my system to ensure I’m well powered for the rest of the day (think about a pro athlete and how they optimise their nutrition. I do the same only my sport is entrepreneurship and business)

12-5pm I get through my schedule and execute without distractions. I have a team that block people / unsolicited emails + calls so I can stay hyper focused.

5pm on last conference call of the day, typically done from the car.

5:30pm home with my wife and kids to be the best father I can be.

8pm my wife and I have downtime, we catchup and by 9pm I’m in bed reading for the last hour of the day ready to get enough sleep to attack the next day at 4:44am.

Read more about how Tobi balances the grind.

A day in the life of Laura Robbie, General Manager ANZ of Lightspeed Research

I have a 2 year old at home and so the day starts early. I get up at 5am to start the day and my daughter follows about 6am. We have breakfast and read a book before daycare drop off at 7am.

I am lucky to drive to work and I have the ability to work flexibly, so I start in the office before 8am and finish at 4.30pm to get home for play, bath and bedtime. The day is typically spent in Sydney city, with client meetings close to the office or North of the city.

As the week is so busy and time to sleep is limited, we power through Monday to Friday and then collapse into bed exhausted at 8pm on a Friday night.

Read more about how Laura balances the grind.

A day in the life of Vlado Bosanac, CEO & Founder of MyFiziq

I normally rise around 5.30am depending on which part of the world I am in. I like to first deal with any emails and communications that need immediate attention.

I am a little fussy with my suits and shirts so I always re-press my own clothes from the cleaners (OCD I know!). I’m a firm believer in having all of my dominos in a straight line, white shirt starched and a crisp, pressed suit, crease free, and shoes polished every time you wear them.

I apply the same discipline to my work environment and surroundings. I like to be in the office by 7am. I think it is important to set a good example for my staff whom are a big part of our success to say the least.

I engage with every staff member every morning when I walk around the office as they are all important. I want them to feel I am part of the team with them.

The rest of the day will be a mix of interactions between me and my key management on the outcomes they are driving, as well as understanding where I can be part of the solution.

I don’t micromanage as my team are very capable and I give them ownership of their deliverables.

Then onto the follow up: we currently have over 200 companies engaged with our company on multiple fronts and keeping everything moving and current is in itself a complex part of each day.

There is a very fine line between keeping people engaged and annoying them. This is a skill in itself! Most days I would leave the office around 6-6.30pm subject to doing my duties as a father and keeping a work life-balance.

Read more about how Vlado balances the grind.

A day in the life of Wendy Zhang, Brand & Marketing Manager at Relationships Australia NSW

A typical work day would start with a cup of fresh aromatic mocha – I cannot function without my morning coffee!

On this particularly work day I arrived at the office early in the morning, and did some website reports when my mind was still fresh.

I then responded to my emails before stepping into a meeting with our team to plan for a launch campaign for a new service program.

After that, I headed to our digital agency headquarter in North Sydney, to meet with them and talk about our current campaigns – statistics, feedback and actions for the next month.

After lunch, I drafted a powerpoint presentation for a managers’ meeting coming up and looked at trends and updates on Google analytics.

We then had an afternoon tea to celebrate Harmony Day, where a lot of staff members brought in and shared food from their own cultures and it was always amazing to chat and bond over food!

After work, I would listen to my favourite Spotify soundtracks on my train ride home – currently playing the new Aladdin movie sound track.

Read more about how Wendy balances the grind.

A day in the life of JoJo Swords, Global Content Lead – Demand Marketing at ThoughtWorks

Step one is always a cup of tea in bed, looking out at the ocean.

A global role is not a 9-5 one, especially in an Australian timezone.

I wake up for a 6.30/7am call with my colleague in the US, so that we can talk through our to-do list, make plans and update each other on any conversations that we might have had since our last discussion.

My day will be full of conversations with stakeholders, connecting with other marketers, creating content, and social media campaigns.

If I know that I have late calls in the evening, I will take a break in the day, and meet friends for coffee, or a walk along the beach.

Read more about how JoJo balances the grind.

A day in the life of Alex Cook, Digital Programs Director at Commune Digital

5:44 – My 18 month old son yells at me from down the hallway, he’s awake but not quite ready to tackle his day yet as he normally gets up at 06:30.

We talk about life and how his sleep was, we contemplate life’s big questions like ‘does that block fit under the door’? This is our time with him before we face the real world.

6:35 – email time, but quickly. I get a grip on my day ahead, with numerous timezones I work across I cannot be at the helm all the time – but a quick email session lets me get on top of quick wins and readjust my load.

This is usually done with a long black and managing a starving child between my wife and I.

7:30-8:15 – office, luckily a 20min bus ride down the North Shore. I’m a list guy, on paper (yes, paper – yes, I work in digital). The day is planned and we’re away. Coffee number two, long black.

9:00 – client WIP. On track.

9:30 – task brief time, at least a 5 month build.

10:00 – welcome the work placement fella, top kid.

11:00 – business-wide WIP. Always a good alignment session.

12:14 – lunch, and it couldn’t come sooner. I’ve been on the intermittent fasting scheme, it’s working for me so no complaints – apart from missing bacon and eggs in the morning.

12:55 – admin time, heavy document writing and managing an array of unplanned calls. I’m on top of it.

15:30 – digital WIP. Lot’s of jargon, abbreviations and architecting. It’s always productive and calms the anxiety for the week ahead, Dan is a weapon.

17:20 – back up the North Shore on the bus, laptop with me and a few emails on the bus – but no calls. No one wants to hear that.

17:40 – home, hugs, feeding time, bath and send the little guy on his way. This is important time. I’m usually online as needed after here, because timezones.

Read more about how Alex balances the grind.

A day in the life of Jimmy Hyett, Managing Director & Founder at This Is Flow

A typical day is:

4am wake up from the little man rolling into our room and climbing onto the bed, followed by us taking him back to his room and then playing this game for the next 2 hours.

After that it’s up to get him set for the day, breakfast and taking him to day care. As soon as this is done, then its emails to set the day and then drive into the office.

The day is filled with clients, emails, meetings and work before escaping the office around 4pm. A quick gym session follows to then race home by 6pm to tuck the little man in.

Dinner with the partner (we have been making Hello Fresh meals to save time and find variety – highly recommended). Then after dinner its logging on again until around midnight to tick off the rest of the to do list.

Read more about how Jimmy balances the grind.

A day in the life of Nancy McDonald, Founder & Lead Consultant at NMD PR

A typical day is a morning coffee at Salina’s coffee in Bronte Beach, Sydney followed by a Pilates session at The Well before heading into the office on 33 Hall Street, Bondi Beach with the crazy talented team at 33 Bondi and Bondi Advertising.

At least three times a week I’ll be pitching an exclusive story for one of my client’s, most recently it was for Australia’s fastest growing Ag-tech business DIT Technologies from Toowoomba who have just partnered with Australia’s largest export business Wellards with its doser machines and technology.

Then it will be creating a PR strategy for a client working out which media titles will be most relevant for their announcement.

At least everyday, I’m touching base with the Equitise team about the various client’s they’re working with as they’re constantly busy and launching new campaigns all the time.

Read more about how Nancy balances the grind.

A day in the life of Emma Green, Co-Founder of Your CEO Mentor

I wake up at 5:30am and get an hour to myself before everyone wakes up! I use this time to exercise, plan the day and walk my dog.

Then when my stepdaughters get up it’s making breakfast, lunches and doing school drop off before I get back to my office at around 9am. From there, I do a quick catch up with Marty (we live in different states) and we talk through the daily and weekly deliverables.

The rest of the day could be anything:

  • editing a podcast
  • organising Marty’s keynote speaking logistics
  • working with our Leadership Beyond the Theory students
  • writing marketing comms
  • designing proposals
  • editing videos
  • pitching and interviews with media
  • posting and talking with our community on social media
  • going to client meetings and development sessions

No two days are the same, but I like it that way!

Read more about how Emma balances the grind.

A day in the life of Tom Haynes, Director & Founder of Kudos Media

5:30am wake up, stumble to the coffee machine. Bless my girlfriend for already turning it on so caffeine arrives more quickly. Let in the dog who does her best to interrupt a quick 20 minute stretching session.

Head out the door at 6am and in the water for a sunrise surf. Dry by 7:30 and make the short commute to the office. At my desk for 8.

Check emails, and respond to anything urgent, flag anything else important. Check various ad performance for clients and for KM. Note any suggestions for the team to consider.

Review HubSpot tasks and Asana project timelines and ensure I have a clear picture of what needs to be achieved for the day. Have a WIP with the team, including client projects scope, tasks and priorities.

Respond to flagged important emails and make any associated calls. Check through and edit projects with team. Understand and discuss their methodology to help refine and crystallise the “why”, which also enables better client communications.

Client WIP – discussing campaign progress, KPIs and the future roadmap in reference to their strategy. Head for a lunchtime run around North Head followed by a quick lunch.

Work on the “content outreach” section of a new client strategy. Check in with HubSpot and follow up on any inbound leads, including running complimentary website audits which we use as a lead nurture tool.

Price up a new client proposal and work with Manuel, our graphic designer on its design. Stay at the office until all important outstanding emails are addressed and work delivered.

Head home and cook up a meal with my girlfriend. Take the dog for a burn and wear her out. Then if it’s not too late we will sit down to watch a movie or something on Netflix and invariably fall asleep before the opening credits finish.

Read more about how Tom balances the grind.

A day in the life of Nicola Swankie, Founder & Lead Consultant at Swankie & Partners

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.

Read more about how Nicola balances the grind.

A day in the life of Adam Wise, Co-Founder & Creative Director at Jack Nimble

For me, no two days are the same. One day I could be writing a script in my pyjamas at home, the next I could be on set directing a shoot or in the office coming up with ideas with the team (both in appropriate work attire, of course).

But let me take you through a recent day. I woke up at 8:30am (I like my sleep) and immediately worked on finalising a creative deck we were presenting to our client Gumtree later that morning.

Most of the work was already done the day before, but I like sleeping on ideas so that I can view them with fresh eyes the next day.

Once the deck was in a good place, I sent it over to my creative partner via Slack to get his final thoughts and feedback. At 11am, I travelled to Gumtree’s office in the city and presented our ideas to the client, which were very well received!

We had a little celebratory lunch in the city and then choofed off back to the office for a 1pm Google Hangout with a new client of ours, ClassPass.

We chatted through how we’re progressing with the social content we’re creating for them and any updates we need to be aware of from the client’s perspective for the week ahead.

Once that call was over, I jumped straight into writing up a few content ideas that came to mind during the call whilst they were still fresh. By 3pm, it was time to reply to a few emails I’d been flagging intermittently throughout the day.

I try to dedicate set time to replying to emails in batches (unless they’re urgent) so that I don’t get distracted from the tasks at hand by constantly checking and replying. Once I’d fired off a few emails, I went for a walk around the block to clear my head and get some fresh air.

Then I spent the rest of the day sitting down with the team and going through some edits our content producer had been working on from an eBay shoot we did earlier that week.

Read more about how Adam balances the grind.

A day in the life of Amanda Terranova, Director of Marketing & Brand at Mirus Australia

Every workday starts with coffee. This is non-negotiable.

I ensure that my team has all arrived safely and everyone is smiling! I check my priority list for the day and a quick glance at emails to ensure meetings have not changed for the day or if any communication has arrived overnight from our European team.

We have standard meetings throughout the working week and month based around our operational goals and our client’s needs.

My day-to-day activities primarily consist of ensuring my direct team and indirect have what they need to deliver our products and services, check to see if or when they need help on a project and to answer any questions they may have.

My dominant leadership style is based on a Transformational style, that is, understand and support the co-founder’s strategy and creating an environment where people can do their best work.

My day is indispersed with client and internal meetings, phone calls and engaging with my online community across many channels.

I also like to walk, stretch and purchase coffee and hydrate with water.

Read more about how Amanda balances the grind.

A day in the life of Christopher Magick, Founder of Sustainable Valley

Today, I woke up at 5.30 am, played with my son, made breakfast granola with goats milk, and was on my way into the office by 7.30am.

I arrived at the coworking space and wrote out my goals and things that I needed to do in my notebook. I then had a meeting with my team to chat about what we have on for the week and how everything is tracking from last week.

By 9am I have usually caught up on any emails that I need to send from the day/evening before.

I then often spend an hour on just wandering on the internet, letting myself be led by curiosity or a topic I have been researching or trying to find more information about.

Today I read an article about Russia developing sci-fi like laser guns so I went on a 30minute search trying to find footage or photos of them being tested.

I often have at least one client meeting in the morning, today it was with a new bathroom hygiene brand.

I am in the middle of developing a campaign for the launch of a product, so we went over the concepts and discussed the details of a photoshoot that we have booked to do at Sustainable Valley later this week.

Lunch break: fish curry.

Sustainable Valley has daily meditation today Emily Toner was taking the class, so from 2pm-2.30pm I did a meditation.

Now I am answering this questionnaire for Balance the Grind which I promised to do last week.

Then I have to work on an animation project that needs the storyline adjusted after the regulations department came back and asked us to change some of the messaging.

Then I will be working on Sustainable Valley from approx. 4-5pm, currently I need to plan out our incubator activities for the next 12 months.

I will head off around 5pm, play with my son for an hour, help with dinner then hang out with my partner. Watch Game of Thrones then be in bed by 9.30pm.

Read more about how Christopher balances the grind.

A day in the life of Nadia Udalova is the UX Team Leader at XebiaLabs

Usually it’s a busy day. I wake up at 6 AM, and my day starts with healthy breakfast and a walk with my dog (best way to wake up!).

I arrive to office by 8:00-8:30 AM (I need to travel around 35 km from my home to office by train). I start my office day by having a cup of rooibos tea while checking email and design community chats, searching for interesting news and inspiring articles!

Starting from 9AM my team arrives to the office and we spend some time catching up on some personal news – I find that very important, as it helps keeping great connections at work.

Time from there and till 5 PM passes by very fast and is filled with stand-ups with Development teams, meetings with Product Managers or POs, talking and working with designers on my team, management and other folks.

I take a break of 30 minutes for lunch (never eat behind my computer) and sometimes trying to do a quick walk after.

My journey back home starts at 5PM, where I first walk my dog (last thing I do before leaving home and first thing I do upon arrival). Those who want to get a dog – think twice!

After the dog is walked and happy – I have a dinner/snack and go to gym. On day when there is no gym – I am getting busy with work for design communities or just having rest. I am in bed by 23:00 to be ready to get up at 6 AM again.

Read more about how Nadia balances the grind.

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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.