Susannah Davda

Wellness Tip:
 

Identify Your Joy Triggers

It’s cliché, but it really is true: the little things make a big difference in life. That’s why identifying your joy triggers can be such a game-changer.

“Incorporating small moments of joy into your daily life can have a profound impact on your overall well-being,” says Ness Labs. “By identifying your joy triggers and making a conscious effort to experience them regularly, you can create a powerful tool for managing stress, boosting your mood, and finding happiness in the present moment.”

The process is simple. Pay attention to the little things that bring you joy and write them down. When you feel stressed or anxious, choose an activity from your joy list and focus on it completely. It’s not a magic pill for your problems, but it can help you get through tough days and manage negative feelings.

What little things bring you joy?

Routine Breakdown
 

Susannah Davda, The Shoe Consultant

How a Shoe Expert Stays Ahead of the Game

Susannah Davda

Susannah Davda, founder of The Shoe Consultant, starts her day at 6:20 AM with the help of an alarm clock, as her phone stays in the kitchen overnight. She:

The Routine:

  • Wakes her 8-year-old son with a touch of humor (e.g. pretends his soft toys are being cheeky). 
  • Prepares breakfast for her son and then herself. “I usually eat seeded sourdough toast with peanut butter sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, with water and a cup of Earl Grey or matcha. I find if I don’t eat protein for breakfast, I get hungry within a couple of hours.”
  • Gets her son ready for school, then heads to a gym class or cycles to the woods for some alone time. “I always feel calmer after a workout.”
  • Showers and tackles the most pressing item on her work to-do list. “I am most alert and creative in the mornings, so tackling a challenging task first makes the rest of my day feel easier.”
  • At night, she switches her phone off after dinner at about 7pm. “That way, my work brain switches off. I always read in bed and only switch the light off when I’m getting sleepy.”

 

Why it works:

  • Humor in the morning can set a positive tone for the day, especially with children.
  • A balanced breakfast with protein helps maintain energy levels and concentration.
  • Physical exercise is known to reduce stress and improve mood—it’s a great way to set yourself up for a productive day!
  • Tackling challenging tasks when most alert ensures that important work gets done.
  • Limiting screen time in the evening promotes relaxation and better sleep.

 

Strategically planning tasks around peak productivity times can really make a difference to your day. When are you most alert?

Kierra Lee Conover

Productivity Tip:
 

Close Open Loops in Your Head

Open loops are the unfinished tasks and unresolved thoughts that keep floating around in your head. Yep, we naturally fixate on things that are unresolved (it’s called the Zeigarnik Effect)—that’s why closing the loops is so important for our ability to focus! Try this:

  • Jot down tasks and ideas as soon as they come up. 
  • Use the 2-minute rule: If a task will take less than 2 mins to complete, do it now.
  • For bigger projects, schedule in time to break them down and plan them out.

The simple act of jotting things down or making a brief plan for how to tackle them is enough to free up your cognitive load and allow you to focus better on what’s at hand. Give it a try today!

Routine Breakdown
 

Kierra Lee Conover, Founder & CEO of KLC The Studio

How a Girlboss Makes the Gym Her Office

Kierra Lee Conover

Kierra Conover, founder of KLC The Studio, wakes naturally at around 5:30 AM. “Over the years, I have trained myself to be a morning person,” she says. She:

The Routine:

  • Puts on a podcast and plays a puzzle on her phone. “It may seem weird, but it’s just my way of waking my body up. I get to choose how that happens—I want to control what gets put into my body first, so I like the podcast and puzzle routine.”
  • Gets up and puts on gym clothes. “I call my mom every morning on the way to the gym. It’s our little 10-minute catch me up.”
  • Works on her business while on the treadmill. “I do my BEST work on the treadmill. I come up with the best content ideas, etc. When I was working full time, the gym was the only time I ever had to work on my business so now it’s like my little habit.”
  • After her warm-up, runs and lifts weights.
  • Showers, heads home, and sits on her sofa to work. “I’ve found that I don’t like working in a traditional office setting. I prefer to do all my work from either the couch or the bed. I only use my office when I have a meeting.”

Why it works:

  • Podcasts and puzzles are both ways of engaging the brain, and brain games may also boost short-term attention.
  • There’s literally nothing more important than keeping in touch with the people who matter to us—so regular chats with Mom are a must!
  • A Stanford study found that walking increases creative output by 60%. Whether it’s a treadmill or walking outside, movement is good for both brain and body.
  • Strength training has a bunch of long-term health benefits. Get lifting!

Our top takeaway from Kierra’s routine? You do you. Whether it’s creative thinking on the treadmill or making a couch your workspace instead of a desk, what matters is that it works for you.

Chase Jarvis

Wellness Tip:
 

Get Some Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR)

You can’t give your best without getting enough rest. So, why not give Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) a try?

NSDR includes practices like yoga nidra, meditation, and breathwork, guiding your brain into a state of deep relaxation while keeping you awake. Even a quick 10-minute session can reduce stress and sharpen your mind.

For a quick way to get into it, just head to YouTube and type in “NSDR 10 minutes”—you’ll find plenty of results. Then, lie back, relax, and let one of the tracks guide you.

Routine Breakdown
 

Chase Jarvis, Photographer, Director, Artist & Entrepreneur

Chase Jarvis’ 7-Step Routine for Body & Mind

Chase Jarvis

Award-winning photographer, director, fine artist and entrepreneur Chase Jarvis says his 7-step routine is the “secret to a productive day.” He:

 

The Routine:

  • Does a 15-min meditation in bed. “It’s about closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing, giving yourself a moment of tranquility before the day’s chaos ensues.”
  • Reflects on three specific things he’s grateful for. “Starting the day with a positive mindset can make all the difference.”
  • Does a short visualization exercise where he considers goals and dreams as if already achieved, to motivate and inspire daily actions. “This practice serves as a powerful motivator, encouraging me to chase down those dreams.”
  • Takes a cold shower or plunge to wake up and invigorate. “The cold water serves as a surefire wake-up call and boasts numerous health benefits.”
  • Goes for a 20-min walk, often with coffee and the dog, to enjoy fresh air and natural light. 
  • Eats a protein-heavy breakfast (around 30 grams of protein) to stay fueled and satiated. 
  • Tackles the day’s primary task. “Taking on the biggest task first not only provides a sense of accomplishment but also ensures it gets done.”

 

Why it works:

  • Chase’s routine covers both mental and physical health. Meditation, gratitude, and visualization all have huge research-backed benefits in everything from stress reduction to achieving goals. Protein really does increase satiety (and boost focus!) while exercise and natural light are both crucial for fitness and health. Lastly, research suggests making progress on tasks keeps us motivated—so, eat that frog

 

If you want to dip your toe into cold plunges, Chase suggests an easy way to start: turn the last few moments of your shower cold. “Let’s be honest, cold water is intentionally uncomfortable. That means you’ll likely not want to do it,” he says. “Challenge yourself to invite a little discomfort in your life.”

Stuart Davis

Productivity Tip:
 

Avoid Shiny Toy Syndrome

New tools and technologies are all around us. Sure—they present us with unprecedented opportunities, but they can also be a huge distraction. 

If you’re grappling with shiny toy syndrome, where the allure of new ideas constantly distracts you, here’s a tip. Begin by recognizing the signs: maybe you’re always switching tools, chasing the latest tech trends, or hopping between projects without giving things time to grow.

This pursuit of novelty is driven by dopamine, making new ventures feel irresistibly exciting. But there are ways to stay on track, like using a decision matrix, limiting media consumption, and implementing a cooling-off period before jumping into something new. 

Get some more strategies here and here, and avoid the FOMO of that next shiny new thing.

Routine Breakdown
 

Stuart Davis, Co-Founder of Dubs Universe

A Footwear Innovator’s Daily Ritual

Stuart Davis

Stuart Davis, co-founder of sustainable kids footwear brand Dubs, loves rising at 5:30am. “Getting up early makes the day seem so much longer. And I love the feeling of having done a load of work or being in the gym before some people have even woken up.”

 

The Routine:

  • Grabs his gym kit and is at the gym by 6. “I need the exercise—it’s good for my brain and really kicks my day off.”
  • Gets home and gets his 6-year-old daughter ready for school. 
  • Has coffee and makes breakfast for the family.
  • Sits down and starts working through his to-do list from the night before. “At the end of each day, I go through my list and highlight all the urgent things I need to do tomorrow in red, and all the things I want to complete tomorrow in yellow. So each morning, I have a sense of order to them.”

 

Why it works:

  • Morning exercise can boost your energy levels, focus, mood, and more.
  • Family time is not only crucial for the child’s development—it’s also important for adults’ mental health!
  • Keeping tasks organized and prioritized keeps you focused on what most matters to your long-term goals.

 

Stuart tries to keep his weekend mornings work-free. “This is sort of ‘my time.’ Usually I get about an hour to myself before my daughter wakes.” He adds that she has started joining him at around 6.30 to play a kid-friendly Xbox game together. “I love that—she appears in her dressing down, barely awake, and snuggles down next to me all warm. It’s lovely,” he says.


How do you make family time a part of your regular routine?

Liz Roberta

Wellness Tip:
 

Give Out Compliments

How do you feel when someone gives you a glowing compliment? Pretty good, right? But here’s something really cool: the person giving the praise also benefits. 

How does that work? Well, giving out compliments is a way to focus on the positives and thus become more grateful and optimistic. And having more positive emotions is good for your health. 

So, here’s a challenge: try giving out five compliments today. Tell the barista they have a nice smile or compliment a co-worker’s shoes. To level up, go beyond the physical: compliment someone’s behavior or character in a genuine way. Here are some ideas—give them a try!

Routine Breakdown
 

Liz Roberta, Coach, Mentor & Author

How a Business Coach Finds Guidance & Gratitude

Liz Roberta

Coach, mentor, and author Liz Roberta wakes naturally at 5am and starts the day by pulling a guidance card from her Pass Around The Smile oracle deck. “This gives me a theme for the day ahead. It always ends up being right!” she says. Then she:

 

The Routine 

  • Plays Wordle. “I start the day with a little win when I crack the word puzzle.”
  • Listens to audio hypnoses/meditations. “Rewiring my subconscious mind has truly been a game-changer. I also have a 1-minute voice note I’ve recorded where I’m talking about my future life as though I have it now.”
  • Reads a few pages of a book. “Mostly business books with a few spiritual/self-help.”
  • Does gratitude journaling. “I say what I’m grateful for, what I need help with and how I’m feeling. I keep my gratitude journals and read back over all the pages once I’ve finished each one.”
  • Makes a to-do list. “Simple but so effective that I have a structure each day.”
  • Makes a cappuccino at 8am. “I focus on hydration first and try to keep my cortisol levels stable by having caffeine a few hours after I wake up.”

 

Why it works:

  • There’s limited evidence for brain games for long-term cognitive health, but starting the day with a win can definitely be motivating.  
  • Hypnotherapy and meditation both have research-backed benefits. 
  • Gratitude journaling is linked to better sleep, resilience, life satisfaction, and more!
  • Drinking coffee on waking can disrupt your natural flow of cortisol, so waiting a few hours is probably best

 

Liz says she’s been gratitude journaling for years. “I really noticed a dip in my mood and well-being when I stopped for 6 months,” she says. That’s why gratitude is an integral part of Panda Planner—it really is that powerful. Do you give thanks daily?

Mark Hewlett

Productivity Tip:
 

Do a Time Audit

Ever feel like the hours just disappear to who-knows-where? Here’s an idea: use a time-tracking app to do a time audit.

For a week or two, log everything you do, from work tasks to coffee breaks. Then analyze the data for patterns. Maybe you’re spending more time on low-priority tasks than you thought, or frequent meetings are eating into your deep work periods.

Use these insights when you plan your days. Prioritize high-impact work, limit less critical activities, and schedule focused work for when you’re naturally most alert. 

Want to give it a shot? Here are some time-tracking apps you can try.

Routine Breakdown
 

Mark Hewlett, Founder and CEO of Soul Padel

A CEO’s All-In-One Weighted Walks

Mark Hewlett

Mark Hewlett, Founder and CEO of Soul Padel, wakes at 5-6am every day—weekends included (it’s true that consistency is good for our circadian rhythms!). Here’s his routine.

 

The Routine 

  • Goes for a walk with his energetic Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Mabel. “This year I’m doing it wearing a 10kg vest,” says Mark. “Mabel and I walk between 7-10kms most mornings with the weighted vest adding to my workout.”
  • Uses his walk to plan and reflect. “The walk, which is over fields and down country lanes, is also my thinking space. I use this time to map out the day, to ponder and think before everything else kicks off.”
  • Goes home for a shower, coffee, and “super-smoothie” of his own making before starting his work day.

 

Why it works:

  • Rucking (weighted walking), says Mark, is great for leg strength, core stability, bone density and, of course aerobic fitness. And he’s right.
  • Walking boosts creative thinking. Doing it out in nature has the added benefit of improving mental health. 

 

Mark says he borrowed the idea of using a weighted vest from longevity expert Peter Attia. “I highly recommend his book, Outlive,” he tells us. Have you ever tried rucking?