For our Day in the Life series, we look at the daily work habits, schedules and routines from people in a variety of roles and careers around the world.
Elena Connolly, Founder at 23 Wise Words
Elena Connolly is the founder at 23 Wise Words, where she workshops with businesses to define their brand positioning and write brand messaging.
I started my career in PR, back when publications were all still in print! Then I moved into corporate events and after that ‘suit’ side in a creative agency, before starting my copywriting business, 23 Wise Words around 5 years ago.
My role now mainly involves a lot of strategy work for clients, to help them develop memorable brand messaging and of course, writing. My focus is very heavily on the psychology behind brand and effective copywriting that drives more sales, so I incorporate a lot of behavioural psychology techniques into my work.
I’m definitely a morning person so I get a lot done pre-7:30am. I usually get up around 5:30am and spend an hour on my ‘Miracle Morning’ (based on the book by Hal Elrod). It’s a morning routine involving mediation and journing amongst other things.
This helps me reset and focus for the day. I then try to squeeze in a run and get ready before the kids get up and it’s all hands on deck to get out of the door for about 8am.
I work from a lovely little co-working space in Surry Hills, Sydney and a typical day will usually involve a strategy call with a client, briefing in some copy work to one of my team, or quite often writing myself. I still love to write, so am fairly hands-on when it comes to executing client work.
I always try to carve out time in my day to work on my business. I am a course junkie. I usually have 2 or 3 on the go, either to upskill myself for work, or for personal development. That all usually happens in the evenings once the kids are in bed.
Patrick Stafford, UX Writer & Senior Digital Copywriter
I started as a business journalist fresh out of uni at SmartCompany.com.au. I started a few weeks before the GFC kicked off when Lehman Brothers collapsed. Over the next 5.5 years I interviewed hundreds (thousands, probably) of small business owners and focused on topics important to SMEs. It was a real crash course in business, I suppose.
After SmartCompany I worked in PwC’s digital consultancy as a content producer. There I was exposed to working in agile frameworks with design thinking, and begin providing some expertise to UX projects. Following that, I left to work at MYOB as a digital copywriter. I’m currently a Senior Digital Copywriter in MYOB’s online team.
I’m also a co-founder of the UX Writers Collective, run a content/UX writing business Stafford Content, host a podcast Writers of Silicon Valley, and teach a UX writing workshop at Academy Xi a few times a year.
I’m up early, about 5.30am or 6am. Immediately check my emails and messages. My UX Writers Collective team is based in the States, so I always want to catch up on what we’ve been doing.
If I’m not getting my son ready for kindergarten, then I head straight into work. Twice a week I have a UXWC meeting on the way to keep check in on what we’ve been doing.
Before work, I often work on UXWC. Developing new courses, writing blogs, etc. At MYOB, projects are full-on so I give that my all. It’s complex enough!
When I get home, I often delve back into UXWC or freelance work after spending some time with my wife and son. Occasionally I get a free night where I just veg out.
Brooke Hill, Founder & Director of The Content(ed) Copywriter
Brooke Hill is the Founder & Director of content and copywriting agency The Content(ed) Copywriter. Her 20-year background includes working at Australia’s top magazines and leading agencies.
I’m the founder of The Content(ed) Copywriter, a content and copywriting agency that helps businesses craft their stories, from brand strategy and content strategy through to execution of content.
In the last 20 years, I’ve worked for Australia’s top magazines, in leading communications agencies across the globe, and headed up brand and content teams for leading Australian businesses.
When it comes to a typical day in my life, 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.
Corissa Nunn, Messaging Strategist, Copywriter & Writing Coach
Corissa Nunn is a messaging strategist with a background in copywriting. Now self-employed, she’s been working in or with startups and SMEs since 2010, helping them turn their expertise into effective customer communication. She’s also the creator of the Email Teardown Club newsletter.
Here’s what a typical day looks like in the post-covid era:
7.45am: Rise ‘n’ shine! Or as a minimum, rise ‘n’ grumble. As a self-employed person working from home without an employer’s schedule to hold yourself to, it’s dangerously tempting not to bother to get up at all. If I didn’t have a partner with a job, I’d have to get a dog instead.
7.50-8.50am: We head out and march round the park for an hour, come rain or shine. This is our “commute”. We initiated it after a few weeks of going bonkers stuck in the flat the whole time.
8.50am: COFFEE. Ground fresh. Another ritual that enables us to cling on to sanity.
9.30am: Journaling. I’d be lying if I said I do this religiously every day, but I always feel better the days I *do* do it. I use a website called 750words.com. Sometimes I use it for drafting purposes (I’m using it to write this right now).
Sometimes I use it to offload worries from my brain’s hamster wheel. Sometimes I use it as a gratitude diary. Sometimes it’s just garbage, pure and simple, but hey ho, it gets the juices flowing. I really recommend it, it’s been transformative.
10am-12pm: Focused work. Normally this would be client work, but since May it’s been working on my own stuff, whether that’s the Email Teardown Club (my mailing list), improving my website, doing a favour for a friend, or making Bootstrap Briefs (the step-by-step copy briefing Q&A).
12-1pm: I don’t eat lunch or breakfast. Just one outrageously large meal in the evening. So instead I’ll take a break by cleaning or doing laundry. Funny what counts as a “break” these days isn’t it?
1-2pm: Catching up with a friend or family member, on the phone or in person. Again, a sanity measure. Self-employed life gets horribly lonely, even when you have lovely clients who you really like working with.
2-2.30pm: Yoga. OK OK, I admit it, I’d be lying if I said I do this every day too.
2.30-6pm: More focused work.
6pm: Tools down! Evenings revolve around making dinner. On a good day I find the motivation to do some kind of “activity”, whether that’s making a crap piece of art and/or playing frisbee and/or reading and/or drinking wine. Not necessarily in that order. The wine comes first, obviously.