Caroline Guillemain-Brunne is the Founder of Organise.Curate.Design (OCD), a lifestyle management company that helps busy Aussies organise their lives and tick tasks off their to do list.
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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I think I’ve been a natural organiser all of my life. I come from a really big extended family – I have 28 first cousins! Coordinating people has always been a skill of mine. I officially commenced my career as an Event Manager in my early twenties and have spent most of my life in the events industry.
Fast forward to 2017, working as the General Manager of an event services company I knew people needed support and organisation in their day to day lives. They needed a Life Assistant. I founded Organise.Curate.Design. and now two years on we are a thriving business assisting our clients to outsource their to-do list and reduce their mental load.
2) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
No two days are ever the same. I have a mix of working on the business and working in the business. I focus on keeping us on track with our strategy and also implementing our sales and marketing plans.
When working in the business, I work with our clients to action task on their to-do list. It could be something as simple as planning their meals and ordering their groceries to help them brainstorm goals and mapping out the milestones to achieve those goals. Every day is different and that’s one thing I love about what I do.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Yes, I have built the business around flexible and remote working to encourage a ‘life-friendly’ working environment.
The team and I can work from anywhere – to be honest, right now I’m doing this interview from Cambodia as I’m on a trip with a charity group called Project Gen Z. We’ve been working with the kids of Sunrise teaching them business and entrepreneurial skills.
I’ve been working on Organise.Curate.Design. around our time with the kids at Sunrise to ensure my responsibilities are met whilst fulfilling my passion to give back and share my skills with others. My team are back in Melbourne and work from home or the office, whatever suits them best at the time.
4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you manage your workload and schedule?
Write it down and make a plan, don’t trust that you’ll remember. Have a master list to see your progress and ensure nothing is missed.
Value your time! Don’t spend it doing things you’re not good at or don’t like doing. Delegate those tasks to others and focus on what you do best.
5) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I’m very realistic when it comes to work-life balance. Some days I’ll have to work a longer day and catch up on tasks in the evening and other days I’ll go home early. It’s all about flow.
Getting worked up about the idea of work-life balance can cause unnecessary stress. Being open and flexible, working when needed and then taking time to rest and spend with loved ones is how I achieve this goal.
6) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?
I’m very specific about how I spend my time, it’s an asset and a precious one at that. So, things that take up my time have to be 100% worthwhile to make it on my list. I’m also very comfortable with saying ‘no’.
We can fall into a trap of saying yes to too many things. This can be to please others because saying no makes us uncomfortable or simply because we have a fear of missing out. Saying ‘no’ with confidence, minus the unnecessary long-winded reasoning I believe is a skill everyone should practice.
7) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?
I’m a big fan of a really good autobiography. Having insight into a person’s story and their life learnings can be priceless. I find it inspiring and take as many lessons as I can from others to enable me to learn from their mistakes and successes. The most recent autobiography I’ve enjoyed is Michelle Obama’s Becoming.
8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?
I use my calendar religiously, it’s my go-to and my guide for every minute of my day. If it’s not in my calendar it won’t likely happen, it’s the plan for the day and I like to stick to the plan.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
All of these tips and strategies are great, but the key focus is ensuring you are kind to yourself, life is tricky and full of unexpected moments. If today felt out of balance and things didn’t go to plan there is always tomorrow. Being conscious of the improvements you want to make is the first step, then be kind to yourself along the journey.
If you found the above conversation helpful and inspiring, be sure to check out Balance the Grind’s guide to achieving a healthy work-life balance.