As a father of three, a health advocate and the CEO of a fast-growing international company, MitoQ’s Mahara Inglis knows a thing or two about trying to find balance within an extremely busy lifestyle. True, he does have the support of new cellular technology that exists to support human health and energy, but he’s also got his day-to-day routine down to a fine art.
“I think it’s worth pointing out that perfection in ‘work-life’ balance is near impossible – and I’m definitely not perfect. However, I do know that I cannot function effectively as a CEO if I have dropped the ball on my family time, my health and my fitness” tells Mahara
“Likewise, I know the more stressed I am, the more I need to exercise. That becomes a key thing for me. I know that if I haven’t exercised and I’m eating like crap – I just can’t function that well. Same with family. I know that if I don’t spend time with my fiancé and kids – then I can’t focus at work.”
So, how do you compartmentalize these essential elements into an achievable routine? Well, Mahara’s answer is as realistic as it comes.
“It is really hard to compartmentalize things and I’m not perfect at it. Particularly with working from home - it was easy before when there was a physical distance with working from home: there’s work mode and then there’s home. Now I have a desk in our lounge, so I’m sitting there with the kids and we’re playing on the ground but then I’ve got all the visual work cues on my desk right behind me. There is no one-stop solution. Everyone is different. Everyone’s got to find what works for them and figure out how parts of their life complement each other.
“Some great feedback I once got was: the workload varies – it goes up and it goes down. When it goes up, you’re going to have to meet it. If you take the down times, then you’re better able to hit the ups. If you fill the down times, you’ll burn yourself out. So, it’s important to find that balance throughout the course of a month or over the course of a year.”
Throughout the ups and downs of life’s demands, Mahara has a carefully crafted routine in place that ensures his health, his family and his career don’t fall through the cracks of his busy schedule.
“I wake up around 5:45 am and I try not to look at my phone. The first thing I do is take MitoQ with lots of water and then I’ll have a black coffee. I try to do some stretching and reading - usually I’ll prioritize reading a business book of some sort to give my eyes a break from technology. I love starting the day having learned something new. Then I’ll open my laptop and get started on some work for the day.”
“At 7 am, I wake up the kids and make breakfast and lunch with them. On days when I’m in the office, I’ll cycle to work. But on days when I’m working from home, I walk the kids to school – it's a really cool time, I love walking them to school. We’ll have a chat and they’ll take their scooters. Their school is next to a forested area, so I’ll drop them off at school and then I’ll go for a run in the bush. That, for me, is such a good time to clear my head."
“On Fridays, I sometimes pick the kids up from school for our “Frosty (ice cream) Fridays”. But if I’m in the office, I’ll cycle home at the end of the day. Anchoring the start and the end of the day with exercise really helps me clear my head. I’ll also listen to a podcast. In the morning, I’m more in tune with educational podcasts – HBR, Lean Startup, those sorts of things. At the end of the day, my brain is usually fried and I’ll listen to something a bit more random – a go-to favorite for me is Hardcore History by Dan Carlin.”
“Sometimes, I’ll do some more work when I get home - but I try to keep my mornings for work and my evenings for family time. It depends on how much I’ve got going on - the amount of night-time work I end up doing depends on the week and the month.”
“I try to keep weekends almost entirely clear so that I have some downtime. The most powerful analogy I’ve heard comes from rowing: the longer your rest and return stroke is the more powerful the forward stroke will be. And I think that applies to how we approach life.”
Falling off the wagon
“Whilst my routine has become relatively well ingrained, it's important to note it doesn’t always go to plan. To that end, I just try to mentally acknowledge that things have gone off track and just to try and reset for the next day or week.”