Sinead Phadraig is a personal trainer and owner of Assthetiwear, a retail clothe brand that she launched during last year’s COVID-19 lock-down.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I am a primary school teacher for 11 years currently and a personal trainer for seven years running. I teach by day and train clients in the evenings and online around my busy work schedule.
Last year in 2020 I dropped part time in my teaching role to three days a week. I made this decision as life was too hectic and my schedule jam packed and it started to take its toll on me physically and mentally.
In addition to this I found myself becoming increasingly dissatisfied in my teaching career as there were so many other things that I wanted to pursue and I had a wide range of interests, one of them being the launch of my own clothing brand Asstheticwear. This was born during lockdown 2020 when I finally had more time.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
A day in the life of me:
7:00-8:00am – Gym/swim or run depending on my training schedule.
8:30- 5:00pm – Teaching my grade 6 students in the classroom.
7:00-8:00pm- Outdoor bootcamp class where another personal trainer friend and I train up to 30 clients.
8:30pm- Home, eat, meal prep and bed.
My days very much resemble this except for Thursday and Friday where I now have more time to work on other side projects and train myself which is my passion.
I am currently training for the Half Ironman in Geelong so these days away from the classroom are devoted to long bike rides, swims, runs and gym. I also train some clients one-on-one on these days too.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
Monday to Wednesday I am on site in the classroom at my school so I do not have flexibility here. Thursday and Friday I am free to work on other things.
This drop to part time teaching has been amazing and has allowed me to pursue other passions and interests. I am in a much better place physically and mentally and I finally feel like I have some ownership over my days.
The drop to part time came with a cost and big 40% drop in wages but I am no worse off than I was working full time because of other opportunities that have come my way with the extra time.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
One thing I have learned this past year is just how much more important TIME is, over money. You can get back money but you can’t get back time. My work-life balance is so much better now that I have 2 ‘free’ days in my week to call my own.
I also find I am far more productive and alert and I am not as mentally or physically fatigued in my teaching/ PT roles. I am also a lot more present with those around me and I am able to enjoy time with friends and family.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have stopped saying yes to everything and worrying about pleasing others and I have become a lot more savvy with my time and the energy that I give out.
I have downsized my friendship circles and only focus on the people who mean a lot to me and who support me no matter what. I started gratitude journaling where I spend a few minutes each day writing down 3 things I am grateful for.
I have also started swimming in the sea 2-3 times per week at sunrise which has had huge mental health rewards and makes me feel more connected, grounded and alive.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
Favourite book so far is Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. I really took a lot from him and his attitude around physical and mental resilience, and pushing beyond your limitations.
Other ones I love are the books Atomic Habits by James Clear, The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.
My go to podcasts are usually health and fitness related so to help me stay in the loop with knowledge around fitness and training. I like to be learning while driving, exercising, etc. A couple of podcasts I listen to are Sigma Nutrition Radio, The Fitness and Lifestyle Podcast and The Joe Rogan Experience.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
Instagram and Facebook are necessary tools I need for my business. I can’t live without my Fitbit as I like to track my activity and sleep each day.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I think it is very important to find your passion in life and not just settle for a job that simply just pays the bills but brings you zero satisfaction or fulfillment. Yes we need money to survive and live a decent life but it should not be the primary focus.
Life is about making memories and experiencing the extraordinary as well as spending quality time with those that you love. Search for the things in life that feed your soul and spend your time wisely because you will never get it back.
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