Freelancers, Interviews, Journalists, Marketing & Comms

Balancing the Grind With Eve Zaidan, Content Marketer, Music Journalist & Educator

July 10, 2019

Eve Zaidan is a Content Lead with over seven years’ experience as a professional Content Producer working across multi-platform storytelling, SEO copywriting, feature writing, premium website copy, blogging, social media strategy and digital marketing.

Balance the Grind spoke to Eve about her early storytelling influences, juggling full-time writing with freelance content marketing and music journalism, a day in her life, developing habits for success and more.

This conversation is brought to you by HelloFresh, delivering delicious ingredients and simple recipes straight to your doorstep each week.

1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

As a child, I apparently used to fill out blank books with lines and lines before I even knew how to speak properly. For as long as I can remember, storytelling has been my absolute passion; sharing stories, hearing stories and of course, writing them.

I grew up watching classic films from Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Francis Ford Coppola, while listening to the classic sounds of Sade, Gipsy Kings, and Guns N’ Roses to name a few, and that’s where I believe my boundless love for film and music first began; I can’t remember a time at home when we weren’t playing music somewhere in the background.

I graduated in Media (Communications & Journalism), and have been working as a freelance Content Producer for over 7 years now. I currently work as a full-time Content Writer in the marketing department of an innovative software company.

In addition to writing full-time within the tech space and freelance content marketing for clientele across various industries, everywhere from information media to retail, I’m also a Music Journalist; a contributor at Audible Hustle, a hip hop label based in Atlanta, USA.

Further to this, I provide one-one-one tutorials for those who need help with writing, reading, business projects or overall marketing strategies.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

At present, I work full-time as a Content Writer in the marketing department of an innovative software company.

When I’m not staying up-to-date with the latest tech trends, news and updates, I’m planning our upcoming content schedule, interviewing clients, writing case studies, blogs and EDMs, preparing sales materials, event planning and running campaigns across social.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I wake up at 6am to the soulful sounds of The Isley Brothers, which for me, means starting my day on the right note (literally). I then prepare two bags: one for work, and one for the gym. I leave home around 7am to ensure enough time to grab a coffee before heading into work at 8:30am.

When I arrive to work, I greet my team, set up my tools and go through my emails and correspondence.

Following this, I’ll then write a to-do list for the day in accordance with my Google and HubSpot Calendars; this allows me to properly scope out my priorities, approaching deadlines and upcoming meetings for the week.

After I’ve scoped out my list of to-dos, I then commence work accordingly. I think it’s safe to say that when you’re a writer, working in marketing, or both, no two days are ever the same, which is why ideation is so important. Here, I make sure that I’m continually adding ideas whenever they come to mind.

For lunch, I leave the office and go for a walk through a nearby park to recharge. I usually prefer to eat while I’m walking to get in some exercise and clear my head before returning to my desk.

After returning from lunch, I make a hot cup of green tea to drink at my desk and resume my duties as per usual. I leave work at 5:30pm for the day, and make my way to the gym or local dance studio for a workout.

When I arrive home, I dedicate a solid hour to working on my freelance projects or scheduled tutorials, before having dinner and preparing for the next day.

After this, I turn my phone on airplane mode to officially “switch off” for the day. I then unwind with an episode before finally going to sleep by 10:30pm (at the latest).

4) Do you have any tips, tricks or shortcuts to help you prioritise your workload?

I sync my Google Calendar across all of my devices to prepare myself both in and out of the office, while ensuring I have a coherent to-do list to schedule each morning.

Instead of writing an impractical list of 50+ to-dos, I like to prioritise between 4-7 major items to action for the day (depending on the scope of each). Also, writing customised templates, snippets and responses saves a whole heap of time!

5) In between your job, life and all your other responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

I’m a big believer of the whole “work hard, play hard” mentality when striving for balance, which is why I find travelling, catching up with friends and having a night out so important.

To be able to do this however, means it’s imperative for me to stick to a schedule and get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night; being well-rested and organised makes all the difference.

6) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

I really enjoy reading, going to film festivals and concerts when I can (the perks of living in Melbourne).

I also swap out a gym workout for a dance class at least 1-2 times a week, which is absolute soul food for me (I’ve just started a Bollywood class).

As I live near a beach, taking the occasional stroll by the ocean helps to clear my mind. It’s also very important to me to spend time with my loved ones; this keeps me grounded.

7) What do you think are some of the best habits you’ve developed over the years to help you strive for success and balance?

From starting work at 13-years-old, to solo travelling overseas and moving interstate, I think one of the most important things I’ve learned is how to let go and let be; to accept that everything has its own course. This is a driving factor in how to “ride the wave” and maintain a solution-driven approach to the many challenges that come our way.

Furthermore, keeping with a “get s*%t done” framework has really helped me to actualise my ideas and better achieve my daily goals. I also ensure that I keep good energy around me; having the right support network means lifting and inspiring each other to keep reaching.

It’s this very combination of hard work, organisation and having a positive mindset that allows me to continually strive for success throughout all areas of my life.

8) Are there any books you’ve read that have helped you with work-life balance?

9) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I practice gratitude.

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