Simple Secrets To Work-Life Nirvana

Take it from someone with one of the world’s most unpredictable schedules

When it comes to work schedules, few of us have it as tough as CNN International correspondent Anna Coren. She spills on how to cope with the unpredictability and strike a balance between work and life.

What’s an average workweek like for you?

There’s no such thing as an average workweek for me. I can be sent anywhere around the world at a moment’s notice. I’m based in Hong Kong and cover all of Asia, but last year I covered news events in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iraq. Every day is so different — I think that’s the best part of my job. It can be challenging but very rewarding.  

What do you do to help yourself make efficient use of time?

I make lots of lists and when I cross off a job, I always feel like I’ve accomplished something. As a journalist, I always carry a notepad and pen with me so it’s easy to stay on top of what needs to be done. It stops me from feeling overwhelmed. There are yellow Post-it notes around my house, reminding me of things I have to do. 

What else do you do to keep your cool? 

I always make time to contact my partner and family every day when I’m on the road, travelling for work. It’s really important I stay connected. On returning, I reconnect with friends and spend time with the people I love — those relationships nourish your soul.

Exercise is essential — it keeps me sane! I take my dogs hiking to get away from the city and also try to go for yoga at least once a week. I also make time just for me — which is easier said than done! Don’t overload your weekends with social events. Factor in time to sit on the couch and just hang out, or get a massage.

Read more in the September issue of ELLE Singapore.

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