This week Hannah Hoskins has spoken to Bonnie Chung, founder and managing director of miso-focused food start-up,
My Mondays start earlier than they used to. I have always been a night owl, but have recently converted to being a morning person. After two years of running my start-up, Miso Tasty, I realized I needed to make more time for myself, otherwise my terrible work-life balance simply wasn’t going to be sustainable. I was working long days, 7 days a week, with no time to do anything for myself. I now get more “me time” by setting my alarm for 6am.
The day starts with a buzzing alarm, followed by a run around Hackney Downs park. I always lay out my running clothes the night before so that I can get dressed, pull my trainers on, and get out the front door on autopilot, without having time to talk myself out of an early workout! During my run, I try to keep my mind empty – I focus on just putting one foot in front of the other to the beat of my music, rather than thinking about the meetings and problems of the coming day.
By 7am I’m showered and getting ready for the day, while simultaneously checking my emails and reading the day’s news. Breakfast is typically a large cup of tea, and, on a good day where I have a few minutes to spare, a plate of scrambled eggs, eaten while I write my day’s to-do list.
During my 30 minute walk to work I’ll call one of my business partners to check-in and catch-up before the craziness of Monday really begins. This call is important: It’s when we make sure we’re aligned on any major issues we have coming up before the working week begins. My team doesn’t arrive at the office until 9am, so I normally have almost an hour to myself to get things settled and do the typical Monday morning housekeeping before they come in – I love this peaceful calm before the storm!
The rest of my Mondays never follow such a set routine: Every day is different. I could be pitching to a supermarket, directing a photoshoot for a series of blog posts, finance planning, working on product development, visiting a factory, discussing packaging design, or running recruitment interviews. Inevitably (this is a start-up!) nothing ever goes according to plan, so much of my days are spent fire-fighting. Laughing through the chaos has become a go-to coping mechanism for me and my team.
I always try to take a lunch break. A walk around the block and a few minutes buying something to eat in one of Hackney’s many cafés or restaurants gives me a blessed moment away from my computer screen. I’m trying to train myself to not check into social media during this short work-free time, but that’s slow progress!
I aim to leave the office by 6.30, and, if there are no events on that evening (which, typically there aren’t on a Monday), I’ll walk home and cook dinner for me and my flatmates. This is the one time where I actually take a proper break from my emails. I love chopping away in the kitchen with some music on – cooking is where my passion for miso first stemmed from.
After dinner I hop back on to my laptop, and will stay glued to the screen until midnight. I have an unhealthy habit of working from bed at night: it’s how I convince myself that I’m not really working, and am actually relaxing. This really isn’t true as, in all honesty, this is when I’m most productive – It’s the quiet time where there are no distractions or emails coming in.
Finally I’ll shut my laptop and have a long, warm bath before bed. I am currently obsessed with lavender oil so will spritz some all over my pillow before turning off the lights and falling straight to sleep.
Hannah Hoskins is Entertain/Holiday Editor at The Daily Meal
She blogs at http://honeyandricotta.blogspot.com