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Balancing the Grind with Justine Bracegirdle, Freelance Producer

Justine Bracegirdle is a freelance producer, with a background in television journalism. She has reported for several TV stations around Australia, including Seven and Nine News.

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

My career is grounded firmly in television journalism. I got my start before I’d graduated from University, after landing a job as a video journalist and news presenter a few hours from the city, so I quickly packed up and moved to the country to cut my teeth as a regional TV reporter while finishing my degree online.

After years spent working for various television stations around Australia, eventually I found my way back home to Adelaide where I began reporting for Seven and Nine News.

After almost a decade of storytelling, I decided it was time to develop some additional skills so took a career change into B2B marketing.

Funnily enough, this led me towards my current role as a Producer, which is really the ultimate combination for me – video journalism, communications and marketing all rolled into one.

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

Every day is different, and really busy! Some days I’m in the office planning video shoots or working on written media material / press releases, while other days I’m out shooting, editing videos from my office, or liaising with film production companies on bigger shoots and marketing campaigns.

Currently, I’ve been working from home quite a bit which means waking up, making myself a coffee, checking all the batteries are charged for the camera gear and equipment – then heading into the kitchen to eat brekkie and check emails.

From there I’ll sign in the group Teams chat for an update on where things are at before hitting the road to get to a video shoot. In the afternoon I’ll upload the footage and edit away!

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

In terms of shoots, there is always a need to be onsite, so there is not much compromise there. However, I’m set up to produce scripts and edit videos from home, which means greater flexibility.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

My current role, although perhaps not quite as demanding as my TV journalist days (knocking on doors at 6am on a Sunday) is still quite action-packed and filled with deadlines.

Sometimes there are chaotic and long hours involved while trying to cater to the demands of multiple stakeholders simultaneously, so I try to prioritise work-life balance wherever possible.

For me, I find my greatest balance in nature and I’m fortunate to live close to the beach so I walk there at every opportunity. I also love doing exercise and aerial silks, which is great for clearing the mind. And travel (when it’s back on the cards again) is one of my favourite things in the world.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

This year I’ve made it my mission to turn my phone to flight mode before bed – to stop myself checking emails after hours. It’s quite a simple strategy, but it makes a huge difference being able to just switch-off mentally.

This year I’ve also set up a designated home office, which has really helped minimise distractions when working from home.

I treat this space in the same way I’d treat setting foot in a traditional workplace, and I find it really helps being able to close the door at the end of the day and completely shut off from that room in the house.

I believe it’s so important being able to separate your work space from your relaxing space, or else you feel you’ve never really left work for the day.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I enjoy reading but find I don’t often make the time to do so. I’m more often caught-up following news cycles and reading news articles, which is probably a side-effect of my journalism days.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

I’m not a die-hard gadget or app type of person. But if we are talking about workflow, I’m a big fan of Monday.com. The layout, colours and features can really help to organise a busy schedule, and it allows other team members to be constantly updated at the same time.

Also, my Breville Baristamax coffee machine, of course 😊

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Jacinda Ardern. She somehow manages to effortlessly juggle it all – while staying confident, focussed, down-to-earth and managing to enact positive change in the world.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Take your annual leave – it’s there for a reason! Or if you work for yourself, remember to pencil some time off for yourself every now and then. There’s nothing better than a mini break to help you recharge your mind and body, and stay inspired in all that you do.

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This conversation is brought to you by marketing data consultancy Venntifact, helping organisations build and enable high-performance digital teams to harness data and technology assets, empowering digital innovation.

About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.