A Day in the Life of a Change Manager, NLP Practitioner and Career Change Coach
Updated: Mar 16, 2019
Hi, I’m Lata Hamilton. I’m an accredited Change Manager and I work with some of Australia’s biggest companies on their organisational changes. And I wear another hat over my curly hair - I lead a (not-so-secret) double life! I’m an NLP Practitioner and Career Change Coach with my own change management consultancy - Passion Pioneers. We focus on supporting staff through restructures, by helping teams find their feet and find their futures with training programs.
A few weeks ago, I finally made it to a brunch that’s been held monthly for almost a year. And someone said: “Of course you haven’t made it before, you’re so busy!” I get this a lot - people are always asking how I “do it all”. They can’t grasp how I have the energy, the effort, the time to work in employed work, run a side business and training programs, go to industry and networking events, speak at conferences, keep fit, spend time with family, friends and my partner, and travel.
If you’ve ever read or seen “I Don’t Know How She Does It”, you’d know it can be a constant juggling act to fit it all in and avoid burnout. And I’ve seen the entrepreneurs who run themselves into the ground, the ones whose relationships slowly wither as they invest their whole body and soul into their business. Then there’s many employed people in jobs and careers who do the same thing too. Building your business or career at the expense of yourself - how sustainable is that really?
For me, I believe in balance and I feel pretty great and comfortable with how I go about enjoying my life. So I thought I’d share a day of my life, what I do, and how I do it, for anyone thinking of running a side hustle (or Change Management!). Because if I can live a balanced life, then of course, you can too!
MY DAY: Sunday 17th February 2019
I wake up at 5.00am most mornings so I try and sleep in a bit longer on weekends. My body clock often won’t let me, so knowing I’ve got a big business day ahead, I listen to a free meditation on Insight Timer that’s long enough to put me to sleep again and give me some motivation and good vibes. This morning it’s Kenneth Soares’ “Let Go of Fear & Align with Authenticity”.
I wake up. My extra sleep was great and now I’m drowsy, plus I had a crazy negative dream which woke me up - it was probably my mind processing what the meditation released. I need waking up and shaking up, so I throw on my favourite feel-good song at the moment (Robin Schulz's “Shed a Light”) and do a solo dance off on the balcony. I love the idea of priming for 20 min each morning, but I don’t often have the time so I dance to a pop or upbeat song some days, and I commit to priming once a week instead. Now I feel really pumped and positive to start my day. Next it’s stretches and a running program. I used to do long distance running and my knees, shins and feet started giving me pain so I’ve been seeing a fantastic physio and slowly building up - I’m very committed to getting back to running so I do my running programs twice a week, and my physio exercises twice a day. After my run, I stretch and shower.
I make the banana smoothies, and my partner makes the coffees. We head out to enjoy these on the balcony in the fresh air. We chat for a bit about our wedding invitations, then I pop inside and unpack the dishwasher. I make sure to have my multi-vitamin and a Vitamin D supplement - I recently started taking Vitamin D again as my dark skin tone makes me more likely to being deficient and I’ve struggled with low energy for the last few years. Along with spending a bit more time in the sun, my energy has increased tenfold in the past month and I’m starting to feel like my old self!
Time to start on my business work. I work 2 days a week on my business, regularly on Sundays and Wednesdays, and I chop and change here and there depending on my projects at work and my client meetings and programs with my business. Today is important because the next 2 weeks will be irregular - I have the HR Leaders Forum for 2 days this week, then from Saturday to Tuesday my sister is coming to stay with me. She lives in China, so it’s important that I have quality time with her and put my business on hold while she’s in Sydney.
I start off by writing my Daily RPM Plan, which is a process I learnt doing Tony Robbins’ Time of Your Life audio program last year. I do a Weekly RPM Plan, but on my business days I also do an RPM Daily Plan that helps me get focused on what I want to do and why. It also helps me recognise just how much time I truly have. I put down the results I want to achieve by the end of the day, and the reasons why those results are important to me. Then I brainstorm the tasks that will get me those results. Any tasks that are “must-dos” I put an asterix beside, and I estimate how much time it will take. Then I add up only the must-do tasks, and slot out my day. It sounds like a lot of work but 10 minutes of planning at the start of the day means I usually pump through each result early.
Result = Set myself up for the week: 2.00pm-3.00pm and 6.30pm to 8.30pm
Result = Inspire coaching clients: 10.30am-11.00am and 5.30pm to 6.30pm
Result = Make the most of conferences and events: 11.00am-2.00pm and 3.00pm-5.30pm
Result = Focus on good health: 8.30pm-9.30pm
My business work actually starts and I focus on the RPM block I’ve allocated for 11.00am - “Make the most of conferences and events”. My other sister who lives in Western Australia calls, so I take some time to talk to her and grab some quick scrambled tofu and avocado. I draft the proposal and abstract for a conference, and read it out to my partner several times as I’m drafting it. Then I send it through to the event organiser.
The proposal took a bit longer than expected - I’m really happy with it and so I take a quick break and make myself an “iced chocolate” with raw cacao, coconut sugar, soy milk and ice. I play a practical joke on my partner and hide his lunch in a drawer. Then while he’s eating his lunch, I start brainstorming on my outcomes for the HR Leaders Forum I’m attending on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. It’s the first conference I’ve attended where I haven’t been a speaker and I’m really excited to be able to just absorb the knowledge, insights and experiences of the high-calibre speakers lined up and meet some experienced HR Leaders from all different industries. As a Change Manager, I often work closely with HR teams and Internal Comms teams, and Change Management does partner really nicely with other functions in the business that are focused on the employee experience and engagement.
I brainstorm out loud and put my top 3 outcomes on my whiteboard, how I will introduce myself to such senior delegates, and some emotional insights to help me write my goal.
I then start writing my goal - which is something that I obviously do with clients in my Reimagine You Program, and in my one-on-one career coaching. I also do it with myself for all major career and business events - training at work, project launches, the programs I run, conferences I attend, and even for life events like holidays, and at the start of each year. It helps me tap into the emotions I want to experience, the results I want to get, and the positive value it will bring in my life. I truly practice what I preach.
It’s time for a lunch break. Working from home either for employment or my business is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because it saves on commuting, preparing packed food, and I can be comfortable and at ease. It’s a curse because it’s so easy to work through breaks! I always make sure I stop for lunch and today I have a spelt bread ham, cheese and dijon toastie with leftovers from Valentine’s Day breakfast, and a salad with homemade pickled vegetables.
I watch Tidying Up with Marie Kwondo on Netflix whilst I eat. My partner and I watched the first episode together a couple of weeks ago, and neither of us really enjoyed it. However, we had a heated debate about the “spark joy” concept. He says without it, it’s just a decluttering method. And I say the whole premise and principle of the method is the “spark joy” so you can’t actually remove it - it would be removing the essence. Since that first episode, I’ve been folding my clothes in the style taught on the show and I’ve been surprised that it’s taken a lot of the stress away from laundry - I actually feel quite peaceful folding! I’ve changed my tune on the whole thing. So yesterday I watched a few more episodes whilst throwing out old receipts and organising my ribbons box. When she comes to stay, I’m thinking of roping in my sister to help me with “Lesson 1: Clothing”! (Shhh, don’t tell her!). After lunch, I handwash my woollens. Housework and laundry are the things I find hardest to keep on top of. My partner and I share all the chores, but he’s not feeling well today so I step up.
I buy lots of synthetics and silks because I loathe ironing, but the flip side is they need to be handwashed and hung dry so I have to do handwashing each week or it piles up. Yesterday I did dresses; today woollens. With the afternoon sunshine they should dry fast and I can put them away tomorrow night, so our apartment is tidy and clean and neat before I head to the conference. I confirm mine and my partner’s massages tomorrow night with our sports massage therapist by text. I’ve got many more tasks to do to “Set myself up for the week” but it has hit 3.00pm so I leave that RPM block and start on the next.
Passion Pioneers has recently launched a video series called the “Reimagine Restructures Video Series”. Knowing that this week’s Wednesday and next week’s business days will be taken up with conferences and my sister’s visit, I plan on nailing 2-3 videos today so they are ready to post.
I finished 2 videos and am 90% through the third. It’s now time for 2 coaching calls with some new clients that will take me to 6.30pm. I don’t know whether the clients are looking for help just with writing their CV, or if they also want career coaching, so I let the calls take their own course. Technical difficulties cause the first call to run over, so it’s almost 7.00pm before the second call finishes. I send off the follow up emails and then work is officially done for the day!
I’m running half an hour behind to do the groceries. My partner and I often share or alternate the cleaning, laundry and groceries but he isn’t feeling well so I dash to the supermarket. I throw some clothes in the charity bin (I love op shopping, so it’s only fair to get rid of some!), and wander inside to start the grocery shopping. My partner beelines to specific things while I float aisle-to-aisle to shop in season and on special, and sometimes be reminded of things not on the list. I have to make a call to my parents to ask which aisle to find “Draino”, or if only hardware stores stock it. I’m a pretty self-sufficient Gen Y but there’s so much “house” stuff I never did or knew of growing up because my parents were so handy at fixing things. I am, however, proud of the bench stools I’m in the process of repairing with wood putty! I finish up the groceries and head home.
I enjoy cooking when I have a lot of time or an event with guests. I cook once a week as a gift of love to my partner, who loves my cooking. I also like having 1-2 meals and a salad done so I have home-cooked meals for the week ready. I can afford to buy lunch every day, but I don’t like all the additives and the quality of lunch dishes. I put on fast pasta of ravioli - comfort food my partner loves when he’s unwell, and a lamb panang curry with potatoes, beans and steamed rice. I’m starting to get tired so I play pumped up music to keep me company while I cook. I usually minimise wheat but the curry isn’t ready so I sit on the couch with my partner eat a small serve of ravioli as I’m not a huge fan of it. My partner isn’t a huge fan of Marie Kwondo but watches an episode while we eat. Relationships are about flexibility and compromise, after all! Whilst finishing the episode, I start folding the dry clothes in the KonMari style.
It’s time to clean. I loathe cleaning and usually leave it to my partner but he’s unwell, I’m in conferences and events all week, and my sister comes on Saturday. Plus a clean home relaxes me and helps me start the week right. I wash the dishes, do a quick vacuum, empty the vacuum on the balcony, sweeping up the leaves from last week’s storm and taking the bin out to the garbage chute. The buzzer goes. I had put the drain cleaner in the bathroom sink during dinner and now investigate the finishing touches. It doesn’t seem to work - so 9.00pm on a Sunday night is me ramming a wooden stick down my plug trying to dislodge gunk. It’s moments like this that make me laugh - Ellen Degeneres’ comedy show Relatable. This is relatable, alright! I finish cleaning the toilet, sink and mirrors and jump in the shower.
I usually go to bed by 10pm each night, but today I’ve been writing this blog post. I sit down to do my weekly RPM planning. I reflect on my Achievements and Magic Moments from the past week, and plan out my RPM blocks for the upcoming week, plotting in tasks in my Wunderlist app. I think about the things that could prevent me from achieving what I want this week, and mitigations to stay on track. I listen to some pumped music, and realise I should wind down so switch to my Chillout playlist with a scented candle lit. I feed my fish and finish this post. I’m very ready for bed and tomorrow will wake up a bit later. I usually swim on Monday mornings but I want to wash my hair Tuesday (I have a lot of hair! It requires planning!) so I’ll do HIIT tomorrow instead. I’m also running a Sustainability Workshop tomorrow afternoon at work so I want to be rested for it. Out of 27 tasks on my list today, I have done 21, and all but 2 of my must-dos are complete. I’ll prime in the car on the way to work, and goal drop the conference goal I wrote tomorrow night before bed. A very productive (and balanced) day.
Bedtime! Thanks for coming on my day with me. I hope you found it enlightening and inspiring, and follow some of the links to the things that help me live the way I do!