Elke Govertsen

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Elke Govertsen, CEO and founder of Mamalode, and consultant at MyVillage.

What is one habit of yours that helps you be productive?

Compartmentalization. I have learned (the hard way!) that when I let the lines blur too much I get stressed and sloppy. If I can keep jobs, activities and focus really defined I am very productive. Also I am getting much better at not letting other’s stress impact mine.

What is your morning routine and how does it help you get the most out of your day?

First I get the kids out the door! Then I focus on myself. I try to have less than 3 specific things each day that I want done, since much of the day is spent responding to others.

In the last few years, what lifestyle, habit or behavior change has had the biggest positive impact on your life?

I took a break. A big, no-emails even break. It really helped me reset and realign my goals and what I wanted from my life, time and health.

When you feel unfocused, what do you do?

Again, walk away, for an hour, a day. I am super productive when I am on, so I trust that the break will yield the results. Sometimes I just reset and take a shower, brush my teeth as if I was starting the day over again.

What is one piece of software or a web service that you get immense value out of? How do you use it?

Google Docs, Slack, Asana and Zoom (video meetings)– anything that allows me and my teams to work remotely and at times that are most productive.

If I had to pick one I would say Zoom since it allows me such flexibility.

What is the one book you recommend most often and why?

Non Fiction: “The Body Keeps The Score” and also “Being Mortal.”

Fiction: “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury– it is a reminder to slow it down, go analogue and pay attention to details.

What advice would you give a smart and ambitious recent college graduate? What advice should they ignore?

Give yourself time– it is one of the precious windows in your life where you could go anywhere and do anything– those times are few so take advantage of it.

What advice should they ignore? Anything that doesn’t sit right. Your intuition is really truly a valuable asset. You know you, don’t let anyone override that.

What is your favorite quote, one you aim to live by?

If there is even a slight chance at getting something that will make you happy, risk it. Life’s too short and happiness too rare.
— AR Lucas

I will make everything around me more beautiful. That will be my life’s work.
— Elsie de Wolfe