Balancing Act: Dr. Lučka Bibič's Tips for Work-Life Harmony
Oct 19, 2023 by Vreny Blanco · 8 min read · Interviews
Meet Dr. Lučka Bibič, an exceptional pharmacist whose life story is marked by innovation, resilience, and a never-ending thirst for knowledge.
Throughout her career, Lučka has received numerous awards and recognitions for her scientific contributions. Additionally, she is a radio producer, a writer, and a captivating TEDx speaker. Lučka has also created a virtual reality game called “Bug Off Pain” to engage and educate the public about science. Currently, she works as a product manager in the scientific publishing industry.
Despite her busy schedule, Lučka still finds time to enjoy nature as a long-distance runner! In today’s interview, as part of our Ask the Expert article series, Lučka shares some valuable advice on work-life balance, time management, focus, and motivation. Her tips can help you flourish in both your personal and professional life.
Get ready to be inspired!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Lučka, and I think of myself as a friendly multitasker! I call the Netherlands home, but my roots are in Slovenia. I’ve got a thing for science, product management, and writing. Somewhere along the way, I got my Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia in the U.K., produced radio shows, and founded two ventures. When I’m not trying to be a spider-woman, you’ll catch me chasing horizons in the mountains.
How do you manage to adjust to living in various countries?
I have to keep an open mind, learn the lingo, and make friends. But at the same time, I am trying hard not to lose myself in the process. It’s like blending in while staying true to who I am – this way, I create a mix that’s uniquely “me” wherever I go.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working within the scientific publishing industry, where I help on the article pipeline management front to help academics publish quicker.
What’s a past achievement you’re proud of?
There were a few achievements I am proud of, such as – I was internationally selected as CAS Future Leader in 2018, won national biotech entrepreneurship competition in the U.K., and gave a TEDx talk about how gamification is revolutionizing science education.
What is gamification?
Gamification is like adding a dose of fun to learning. It takes educational content and turns it into a game, complete with challenges, rewards, and interactivity. In science education, this approach sparks engagement and curiosity. Students become eager problem solvers, exploring concepts through interactive quests and challenges.
What do you do for fun?
I am a long-distance runner, and I enjoy trail running across beautiful scenery – mountain views are the best! Usually, I enjoy running races longer than 21k, and I do at least 3 races longer than 50k per year. Apart from that, in my free time, I also write, everything from science to non-fiction.
What is the secret to crafting good writing?
It’s like cooking a gourmet meal with words! Stir in clarity, simmer with brevity, and season with relevance. Don’t forget the grammar garnish and a dash of wit – voilà, you’ve got yourself a delectable dish of authentic, entertaining, and smart prose.
What do you do to clear your mind and improve your focus?
I enjoy running long distances in the mountains. I feel running, especially trail running, is a game-changer for my concentration. It’s like a mental refresh button. Breathing in fresh mountain air while surrounded by nature’s beauty clears my mind.
What steps do you take to prevent burnout and ensure your well-being?
I laugh a lot, prioritize “me moments”, and indulge myself in occasional Netflix binges.
Why do you think work-life balance is important?
I tend to think about life-work balance as the yin and yang of life; if one dominates, the other suffers. Most importantly, if done right, it nurtures relationships, protects mental and physical health, and allows personal growth.
How do you manage unexpected work situations during scheduled time off?
I think I go in my ‘ninja’ mode. I assess the situation, see if it’s truly urgent, and delegate when possible. If I need to dive in, I carve out specific time slots to tackle it, while still protecting some precious “me time”.
How do you stay focused and avoid digital distractions?
Staying focused in the digital age can be a challenge! I turn off non-essential notifications and keep my workspace tidy. Setting clear goals and taking short breaks helps maintain concentration. It’s a daily practice, but it pays off!
Do you use any time management techniques?
I have this fun approach I use to manage my time. It usually works, but not always! I call it “calendar jenga.” It’s like a Tetris game with my schedule. I color-code tasks, assign them funky emojis, and even give them quirky names.
Do you have a morning routine?
I usually start my day with a Turkish coffee, and sometimes go for my morning runs. But I don’t have a morning routine breakdown; I tend to go with a flow.
How do you manage to work when you are unmotivated?
I usually go for a run or do some sports to get my hormones flying. Then, the motivation comes naturally for me.
How do you overcome doubts and fears?
Well, I try to talk it out with friends or family. They often offer a fresh perspective and reassurance. Breaking big challenges into smaller, doable tasks makes it less intimidating. Plus, I remind myself that even setbacks are steps toward growth.
Do you have any advice for the readers?
Stay intentionally curious, be open to learning, and never stop exploring. Embrace change, seek diverse perspectives, and keep challenging yourself.
Where can I find out more about you?
Tips to Remember
Embrace change, explore new perspectives, and continually challenge yourself to foster personal growth. Don’t forget to make time for yourself, your hobbies, and your well-being in order to achieve a good work-life balance.
Stay True to Yourself
When embarking on a journey to a new country, embrace the adventure with an open mind, immerse yourself in the local language and culture, and cultivate meaningful relationships with those around you while staying true to your authentic self.
Turn Learning Into a Game
Turn your learning challenges into opportunities by gamifying the process. Make it fun, interactive, and enjoyable!
Stay active and energized by discovering and incorporating sports you enjoy into your routine. Your mind and body will thank you!
Find Work-Life Balance
It is essential to strike a balance between work and personal life. Take some time out, engage in activities you enjoy, and focus on your well-being.
Handle Unexpected Work Situations
When faced with unexpected work situations, it’s important to assess their urgency, delegate tasks when possible, and prioritize your personal time.
Turn off unnecessary notifications, keep your workspace organized, set clear goals, and take short breaks to prevent exhaustion.
Use an app and website blocker like 1Focus to eliminate distractions and time-consuming content (social media, YouTube, Netflix, Twitter, etc).
Manage Your Time Effectively
Transform your days into productive routines by managing your time with a customized, fun calendar.
Boost Your Motivation
When feeling low on energy, find motivation by walking in nature, listening to music, or exercising. Break big tasks into smaller steps and embrace challenges as opportunities to grow.
Build a Support System
Find strength in sharing your dreams, fears, and doubts with those closest to you. Let positive support uplift your spirit and guide you towards the path of achieving your goals.
We thank Dr. Lučka Bibič for her inspiring and educational insights on work-life balance, motivation and success.
Dr. Lučka Bibič, Honors & Awards
- TEDx Speaker.
- International 70th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting Honour.
- Finalist for the Zukerman Research Fellowship in Science Communication.
- Local UEA Engagement Award.
- Global CAS Future Leaders Award.
- National BioTech YES2017 Entrepreneurship Award (UK).
- UEA Alumni Grant Holder.
- Best “3MT PhD thesis”.
- ShRDS Scholarship.
- AE Studies Grant Australia.
- Eureka Grant.
- PHARMA Krka, d.d. Novo mesto Scholarship for Young Talents.
- Pregl Chemistry Bronze Award.