Meet Brittany Berger, a content marketing consultant, mental health advocate, and highly positive human. Some years ago I discovered her brilliant writing and learned a ton about content marketing, freelancing and productivity.
Here’s my interview with Brittany Berger sharing her most influential habits, morning routines and creative process.
Who's Brittany Berger?
Brittany Berger is the founder of Work Brighter, a digital media company that helps productive unicorns go beyond working smarter to a version of productivity that makes room for “unproductive” things like rest, self-care, and fun.
She started Work Brighter after 5 years of working in high-stress startups that prioritized hustle, growth, and scaling over self-care and mental health. Now that she's changed her own mindset around work and productivity, she spends her time helping other high achievers define balance for themselves, advocating for mental health awareness, and dancing.
What Are the Most Influential Habits in Your Life?
My most important habits are journaling, blocking off mornings for self-care, and taking a dance class.
Journaling is really influential for me and is what Charles Duhigg calls a keystone habit. For me, everything else in my life is easier when I'm journaling consistently since I mainly use it as a processing tool to keep my mental health in check.
And since I have a few chronic illnesses, all of which have the worst symptoms in the morning, deciding to not work mornings and instead block it out to take care of myself – whatever that means that day, has helped me manage my energy and do work when I'm feeling better without guilt.
And dancing is my fun, creative outlet. I always feel so revitalized, reenergized, and inspired after a good hip hop or jazz class.
How Do You Manage Time?
I've created my own time management suited to me more than I strictly follow any of the popular ones, but I have tried a lot of things and pull what works for me from them into my own system. I use aspects of 12-Week Year for quarterly planning, Getting Things Done for planning, and bullet journaling for reflecting on and tracking progress.
What's Your Work Process and Thinking Behind It?
When it comes to any creative project, I start out brainstorming on paper. I'm a big fan of dot grid notebooks since they're less structured than lined paper so you can draw or map things out, but I can still make neat lists easily.
Then I usually go through my ideas and start putting a plan into place. Once I know what I want to do, I look to my calendar and project management tool to figure out when to do it.
Then I implement by taking things one baby step at a time. I'm big at breaking down projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
I don't outsource on the regular, so if I bring in a contractor for the project, that's something I do during the implementation process.
How Do You Train Your Body and Mind?
The best thing I do for my brain and body is to take the prescribed medications and treatments for my different physical and mental illnesses. I know there's a stigma around that vs. alternative options, but for me, no amount of internal work is enough when I'm not taking my medications.
On top of that, I do have a lot of complementary practices. I journal and read a lot, go to therapy, dance, craft, and am very interested in personal development.
How Do You Meet and Connect with People?
I'm a big fan of starting relationships online and then taking them IRL. Most of my best friendships these days have started on social media or in online communities around shared interests. Then there's nothing like hanging out in-person with someone you've talked with online for ages. I love when you meet someone face-to-face and even though it's the first time, you feel totally comfortable together.
What Are Your Sleeping Rituals?
I'm a night owl who's stopped trying to fight that about myself. I go to bed around 1 am so that I can get in a block of creative writing at night after everyone around me has gone to bed. Then I sleep for 7-8 hours and wake up between 8 and 9.
I'm also a big fan of naps, especially for dealing with chronic or mental illness. So often when I feel awful enough to lie down, I wake up an hour later feeling totally renewed. It's such a great way to press reset on your day and give yourself another chance to wake up on the right side of the bed.
What Are Your Investing Habits?
Right now I'm more focused on paying off debt from my education and medical treatments than investing, but I do have a small amount automatically transferred into an Acorns account every week to invest. Outside of that, I invest a lot in my current wellness and health, since it's such a priority for me.
What's One Question That Helped You Understand the World Better?
"Why?" Just always questioning things and asking "why" and "so what?" helps in any scenario.
What Books, People, Experiences Shaped Your Thinking?
Getting Things Done by David Allen – changed how I processed information.
Bossypants by Tina Fey – changed how I felt about success.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler – shaped my professional relationships with other women.
Quiet by Susan Cain – helped me shake my introvert shame.
The Body Is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor – made me realize my physical and mental illnesses, when managed right, can be superpowers instead of weaknesses.
Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang – helped me understand how my work habits played into my health.