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These successful women share their morning routines at the office with An Organised Life…

Advice & Career · March 12, 2017

Everyone has a different routine when it comes to getting physically & mentally prepared for the day ahead. There is no secret or perfect formula - but creating a routine that is stress-free, efficient & organised can definitely help. I had the pleasure of chatting to x3 successful women including international designer Bella Freud, stylist Emma Kalfus & founder of Steele, Jessica Reid about how they prepare for the day, how they stay organised & what they spend their first 30 minutes doing when they get to the office...



Bella Freud is the founder & creative talent behind the eponymous fashion label that has gained a cult following internationally. Established in 1990, Bella Freud is renowned for her signature jumpers Je t’aime Jane, Ginsberg is God and 1970. Fans of the label include an array of inspiring women such as Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Kate Moss and Alison Mosshart. Find out how Bella prepares for her day & stays organised...

1. How do you prepare for the day?

I am quite a slow starter to the day so I have to build in time to go at a snail’s pace. I wake up to the alarm at 6:50 am and snooze for 10 minutes. Then I get up and make a cup of hot water and lemon juice and do seven minutes of shoulder exercises to stop me from having terrible tension headaches and migraines. I do the exercises to a song, my current fave is Get up Offa that Thing by James Brown – so cheering. Then I have a shower which ends with one minute of freezing cold, which weirdly puts me in a good mood.

I get dressed quickly, usually I wear one of my jumpers. I feel the cold so right now I wear one of my men’s zip ups on top, my green corduroy coat and another fur lined coat on top, I love layers. Before the coat stage I start coaxing my teenage son out of bed around 7:30 am, make him porridge or whatever he wants. The highlight of my morning is making myself strong expresso coffee in an Italian pewter thing and sipping it boiling hot from a small glass, the buzz is so good. Just before I leave I spritz myself with my 1970 eau de parfum then out of the door to drive Jimmy to school. He listens to music on his phone and I listen to Radio 4 news programs, rather gloomy these days.

2. What does your morning routine look like & how do you spend your first 30 mins at the office?

When I get to the office I usually make myself more coffee and sometimes a piece of rye toast if I haven't eaten yet. My studio is one big lovely sun filled room, the only place to hide is the kitchen so if I have to concentrate I go in there, usually with my two right hand colleagues Lilian and Lucy. We talk about how to push the collection forward, there’s always a collection or collaboration on the go. If I have ideas waiting to come out I'll start drawing immediately, I'm always so pleased if this happens as everyone else is happy with me then. 

3. What are the top 3 ways you organise your life?

I make lists. I mostly write them in my sketch book or on a scrap of paper, I don’t like computer calendars, I like writing out what I want to do, it triggers my memory. I write myself messages on my hand too. Then if I'm overwhelmed I get my pa to text me so I don't forget. I try and get away from the office in order to open my mind and keep stimulated. My job is to have ideas and that needs a certain feeling of freedom – even if it’s quite disciplined.

Photography by Mary McCartney / Shop Bella Freud at MECCA



Emma Kalfus is a Sydney based stylist & the contributing fashion editor at Elle Australia. With a background in magazine editorial, this talented & stylish beauty is one organised lady. Find out more below...

1. How do you prepare for the day?

Right now I try and get a swim in every morning, be it after a jog or just a quick dip if the day is hot enough.

2. What does your morning routine look like & how do you spend your first 30mins at the office?

My morning routine is very quick and simple. After my swim I head home and shower, dress, do h&mu (more often than not whilst in the car) and swing past Shuk for my morning coffee and (sometimes) breakfast…

When I arrive in the office I fill up my water jug, arrange my desk and to do list for the day!

3. What are the top 3 ways you organise your life?

I have always been a list maker. I try to start a fresh page in my AOL notebook every morning and EOD.

I also like to keep my calendar itemised and up to date with absolutely EVERYTHING!

I cross check apple i-cal with my hard copy diary religiously. My AOL diary is also full of eraser shavings as I try and use lead pencil for all the ongoing changes…




Jessica Reid is the founder behind Melbourne based fashion label s t e e l e. Renowned for its take on tough luxe glamour for the modern boheme, s t e e l e ' s vision is to inspire strength through femininity. Read more below about how Jessica stays organised & prepares for the day...

How do you prepare for the day?

I start the night before by making a list of ‘to do’s’ for the next day, this prepares me for the morning and stops my mind ticking overnight. Each morning, I make a point of always have a healthy and substantial breakfast. This sets me up for the busy day to come, I have one coffee a day in the morning.

What does your morning routine look like & how do you spend your first 30mins at the office?

My days start with a crazy hour of fun & madness with my daughter, Asher, before our daily walk together to daycare. She scooters and I run. After that I return home, change and whip into the studio. The first 30 mins are used to reply to urgent emails received overnight, usually from the USA, I seize the window to communicate with them during their office hours.

What are the top 3 ways you organise your life?

1. A shared calendar with my husband, Ben. Our schedules are busy between two separate businesses and our daughter, we use this calendar to forward plan and support each other and our family.

2. I forward plan my travels meticulously, this way I can schedule in design windows and time for business strategy in advance.

3. A weekly work schedule. My schedule breaks down who I meet with in my team each day, and what my focus will be. Some days are dedicated to business development and strategy, whilst others are more creative and centre around design.


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