Workflow with Ishtar Schneider, Associate Director at Edelman London

In this edition of Workflow, we have Ishtar Schneider, Associate Director at Edelman London, talking about espressso martinis and comparing her working style to the Road Runner.

Workflow is an interview series by Balance the Grind to get a glimpse into people’s working styles and workspaces. If you’re interested in sharing your workflow, submit it here!

Describe what you do: I’m currently a word-nerd working in PR for Edelman London on a range of global and regional health clients focused on both people and pets. So it’s certainly been busy in this COVID-19 world.

Outside of that I also co-chair the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA)’s Health sector group and also spend a lot of time talking about mental health and diversity and inclusion in and out of the industry.

How do you like your coffee: In an espresso martini or not at all. I don’t love coffee so I stick to tea with a criminal amount of milk (my British colleagues shudder every time) – or an oat chai latte back when we were allowed to frequent cafes.

Device(s) you use: For work I’ve got an HP with a second screen that saves my eyes and back immensely. I keep my personal and work phones separate (I didn’t always but much prefer it this way now) and have a Kindle that I alternate with hard copy books.

Describe your working style in one sentence: Have you ever seen the roadrunner from Looney Tunes? Just kidding. But I do tend to keep a large number of plates spinning – and prefer to be consistently busy when I’m in “work” mode. I also have clients spanning the Singapore to Seattle timezones so there’s always something that needs attention.

As I’ve progressed in my career I’ve better understood the importance of carving time out each day for strategic thinking – something you probably just assume happens but like anything takes practice. So I block time in my calendar accordingly.

I also miss bouncing ideas off everyone in the office so I make a concerted effort to stay in contact with people from all our specialist teams – editorial, digital, research etc throughout the week – whether it’s work-related or not (hot tip: Pip from marketing has a fantastic baking IG @pipsbakes).

What does your workspace look like: Double. Screen. Life. Can’t say it enough! I also lift my laptop with a sweets box that’s the perfect height so my posture isn’t terrible and add a keyboard, mouse and Britney Spears style headset.

I live in a gorgeous townhouse in London so I tend to work in the kitchen with the skylight for natural sun close by. When I have pitches or presentations I’ll move to the living room for a more “fireside chat” style set up – if you’re curious you can see what this looks like from our recent COVID-19 webinar. I also prefer the analog taking notes on paper so always have a couple blue Edelman notebooks around and filled with my scribbling lying around.

How does your workspace affect your creative process: I think your space is super important but like most people I didn’t anticipate having to work from home everyday in the long term. I gravitate towards the areas with the most natural light and greenery (eg kitchen and back garden) as it keeps me from feeling so drained when I’m on calls most of the day.

I recommend avoiding working from your room so it can be a fully “restful” space if possible. Just helps to draw the lines between work and recovery so you can mentally switch off. I also spruce things up with some eucalyptus or a nice candle and take “walking meetings” either solo or with my housemate when possible to keep creatively stimulated. Just switching up the route you walk can really help.

Do you have a favourite playlist for work: Really enjoying the Chill Hits playlist at the moment. Sometimes I’ll put on NYT’s The Daily as it’s short eps so can be great for a little coffee break or walk around the block.

Who would you like to nominate for the next workflow interview: Tapping my old colleague Amy Palin who is currently working in PR and social at Babylon Health.

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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.