Ellina Astakhova

How Ellina, Founder & CEO of gooava incorporates healthy habits in her routine

In this article:
  • Starting the day strong
  • Control your day
  • Going Digital

My name is Ellina, and I'm the founder of gooava. At gooava, we're helping socially-conscious employed professionals help values-driven small organizations – both, businesses & nonprofits – with their core skills & knowledge.

Starting the day strong

I wish I could tell you that I get up, go for a run/swim, have a smoothie, and then get to work, but that is not at all what happens…

I wake up, make a coffee, approach my laptop, and get to work. The setup is quite different to what I'm used to from when I was employed and would exercise before a commute to the office. However, it’s one that’s worked quite well for me so far as a solo founder, especially during lockdown.

Control your day

The upside of owning your own time is that you can take a break whenever you want to, and for me, that’s been in the middle of the day. I typically work nonstop from, say, 8/9am to 1/2pm, and then I go for either a walk or a run while listening to a podcast/audiobook. I can then return to what feels like a separate workday.

I absolutely love routines and structure, yet also believe that a mind aiming for creativity needs the space to shake up a routine (however begrudgingly!) and do something different once in a while. So, for instance, if a friend would like to meet up on a weekday morning, I push myself to accommodate.

Related post: Calendar Benefits

How do you feel when you don't include healthy habits in your day?

Honestly, pretty awful. I think that anyone attempting to work 12 hours a day straight without any breaks is not doing themselves any favors.

I’ve certainly done this before! The result is typically that I get super tired early in the day or in the week and fail to complete the tasks that I've set out for myself (at least to the quality level I’m after). As such, for me, bypassing healthy habits implies compromising target outcomes.

Going Digital

I like lists a lot and used to use my (analogue) notebook to write to-do lists every Sunday for the week ahead and then again, every evening for the day after. Now, however, I’m relying on Notion more-and-more because I like that I'm saving paper and that many processes are automated and formats prebuilt, which creates much-welcome additional structure in my mind. I use no health stack - the only app that remotely falls into this category is the Apple “Health” app, which I use to check how much I’ve walked or ran that week. I don't really look at anything else…and I probably should.

Overall, I would like to better understand which of my habits could be adjusted to unlock additional well-being and productivity. However, at the moment, I use no tool (other than my brain!) to come up with areas for optimization. I’ve heard over and over again that founders need to challenge themselves to outsource whenever possible, so perhaps “identifying areas for additional productivity” is a task that I should outsource.

To learn more about what Ellina is building, visit https://www.gooava.co/

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