My Morning Routine: Canna Campbell - The Grace Tales

My Morning Routine: Canna Campbell

Spend a little time with the chic financial planner Canna Campbell and you’ll want to get out of bed at 5am, de-clutter your home and take charge of your finances. She has a lasting effect on people. Which is why her new You Tube channel Sugar Mamma has in four shorts months attracted over 30,000 subscribers. To call Campbell a high achiever is an understatement. How does she do it? It all starts with a great morning routine. We asked her to give us the low down on how she starts her day, sleep secrets and tips for time management…



Can you take us through your morning routine?
“Our morning routine is sacred, and something I really enjoy doing with Rocco before heading off to work. I naturally wake up early around 5am, and use the morning peace to plan my day, clear my emails and check any market reports or technical papers that have come in overnight. Sometimes I do all of this from the comfort of my bed. It seems a bit extreme and self-torturous getting up so early, but it is such a magic part of the day, with so much calm and minimal distractions, I couldn’t image doing it any differently. It is definitely worth trying, you will be amazed how much you can pack in with an early start. Once Rocco is awake we have morning cuddles back in bed, (I actually think he loves my bed more than me), we make a green smoothie and then we take the dogs for a walk together to the park but always stop in for an almond milk cappuccino at French Press Organic Café. The owners Janey and Matt adore Rocco and he gets a morning cuddle with them and sneaks behind the counter to pinch a marshmallow. It took me a while to understand that it takes a community to raise a child, and we are lucky to have such lovely and caring people as part of our lives and morning routine.

Canna looking at Sleepmaker's comfort selector tool

What are your top tips for getting a good night’s sleep?
Being a single mother, I now realise that when it comes to sleep, quality is more important than quantity. Even if I have been up trying to settle Rocco, I need to wake up feeling refreshed, recharged and ready to take on the day, so when my head does get the opportunity to hit the pillow, it has got to be high quality, restorative sleep, which benefits my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and is about as essential as oxygen to me right now. As tempting as it is, I try staying off social media and emails at least 30 minutes before going to bed (the social media part is really hard for me). I also set a timer for 10 minutes and do a quick tidy of the house as mess is a stress trigger for me. Or if I am exhausted, I just pick up and put away 10 items – it makes a big difference. In particular, my bedroom has to have minimal distractions, so that when I jump into bed there is a sense of tranquility and peace, so that I can allow myself to switch off. I also use a scented body oil/lotion, which is really calming and sometimes like to burn a scented candle to help me wind down from my busy days.

Canna-5 Canna-6

What are your top 6 time management tips?
1. Go to bed early
I know a lot of mothers who work late into the night. Try and switch your routine so you go to bed early and get up an hour or two before your children and use that time to work or do things around the house. You’ll find you're far more focused first thing in the morning. Some researchers even feel that every hour of sleep before midnight is equal to two hours of sleep after midnight.
2. Switch off all notifications on your phone
Facebook, Instagram, and most importantly your email – these are massive distractions and time wasters. If I have a deadline or need to get a large amount of work done in a small amount of time, I will close down my outlook, switch my phone onto flight mode and put head phones on with mediation music playing. It gets me into a zone where I can power through my work with amazing focus and efficiency. Also I unsubscribe from most websites and retail stores (only keeping a few favourites).
3. Use lunch breaks
My office is based in the city, so I make sure that when I can grab a lunch break I don’t waste it wandering around the shops, I use the time to get myself fit and healthy, which means heading to the gym. It is the only real opportunity I get to exercise, and it restores my energy and sanity, so I try and make the most of the time.
4. Turn off the TV
I don’t really watch TV, I find that when I watch TV, suddenly two hours have passed and nothing has really been achieved.
5. Keep a tidy home
I believe in ‘happy mess’ and seeing Rocco’s toys spread across the house at the end of the day makes me joyful knowing that he has been using his imagination and creativity, but I do value a tidy home. It makes cleaning so much quicker and easier, I don’t loose things, I feel more organised and I feel more inspired and motivated when my house feels in order.
6. Plan your outfit for the day the night before 
When I have an outfit prepared and ready to go, I don’t waste time with that morning ‘fashion freeze’ of deciding what to wear, which can sometimes give me an excuse to stay in bed for a bit longer. I get dressed and ready really quickly and because I have spent time and effort thinking about my outfit the night before, the outfit tends to work a lot better than throwing something spontaneously together.


What has motherhood taught you?
I wish I could say patience, however I am still working on that one! I recently took Rocco on a spontaneous last minute trip to Paris and travelling with him made me realise that I need to slow down and live in the moment more. When I do this, I find a greater connection to myself and happiness and tend to laugh a lot more.

Do you exercise?
I am a member of Virgin Active and it is one of my best investments. The equipment and classes are state of art, with everything you need and possibly imagine under the one luxurious roof and designed with every members need in mind. I am a fan of Power plate and reformer Pilates, but to be honest, running on my treadmill is my favourite way to exercise, followed by a hot spa. It is one of my happy places!

Canna-20 Canna-21

What about your diet?
I have the best intensions to eat healthy, so I try and start the day on a ‘veganish’ note with green smoothies, almond milk cappuccinos, fruit and nut muffins and salad wraps for lunch. However as my day goes by – normally around 3pm – my sweet tooth kicks in and I go downhill. Plus Rocco and I both love our pasta dishes, so we eat a lot of Italian food. However as long as the day was spent eating mainly healthy food, I don’t waste my energy beating myself up. For me, all self-development and personal growth is a work in progress.

How do you focus?
I was lucky as a child to watch my parents work from home, and both did it with amazing self-discipline and focus. It isn’t easy for me, but simple things like making sure there is nothing on your desk (other than what you require), wearing headphones with mediation music on (I find this stop people chatting to me), and communicating to people that you have to focus for the next hour to try and get a task completed, all help. Also, I try and stay hydrated, as often when I am distracted or binging on food to procrastinate, I am actually just thirsty. So I always keep a big glass of water next to me whilst working. Again, my phone is switched off or left in another room and I shut down all social media and outlook, and make sure that I have had a good night sleep the night before.

Do you ever procrastinate?
Most definitely! Who doesn’t? If I find myself procrastinating, I don’t fight it. I give myself permission for a mental health break and then try and remind myself as to how good I will feel once my required task is finished. That is normally enough to make me return back to the project or task at hand. I also believe in having breaks, we aren’t machines that can operate all day. Sometimes a peek into my Instagram feed or Facebook account, a siesta or even a bit of chocolate (or for me at the moment a block of chocolate!) is a great recharge.


Can you tell us about your home?
The energy of my house is really important. I am a huge homebody and my home is where I need to feel safe, inspired and happy. I discovered the minimalism movement when Rocco was still a baby. Rocco wasn’t sleeping well and I myself was having trouble ‘sleeping through’. I felt so anxious and almost suffocated with so much stuff around me and things that ‘had to be done’, I felt like I was going crazy and felt completely overwhelmed with so much noise. Then I discovered The Minimalists on a Ted Talk and was captivated by their message and experiences. After watching dozens of videos on YouTube and reading through numerous blogs, I set about incorporating this into my own head, heart and home. The results were life changing. I gave my home a massive cleanse, and created so much space again, not to mention found more time, for not only my family but also for myself. Even my bank account has benefited as I only buy what I need, value, love and appreciate.

Canna-27 Canna-28 Canna-29

Can you tell us about the launch of your You Tube channel Sugar Mamma?
SugarMamma provides free financial information and education to everyday people, but specifically women. The key intension is to inspire and empower people to make better and more educated decisions around money but also realise that building financial security isn’t that hard and you don’t have to make major sacrifices. This message is so important as financial stress can have such a profound impact on our health, relationships and career paths. Also financial literacy isn’t really taught in school, so we pick up most of our financial habits from our parents or people around us while growing up. Which can mean that we pick up unhealthy or ill-informed behaviours or information. Plus a lot of people want to understand more about managing their money and getting it to work for them, yet seeing a financial planner is at times intimating, overwhelming and can be expensive. My client, Chloe Morello is a world famous makeup and beauty YouTuber and inspired me to launch the channel. I owe a lot to her as she (amongst other amazing friends) really catapulted me into the YouTube world by running a special video on her YouTube channel discussing her newfound financial enlightenment. It has had over 180,000 views already and she quadrupled my subscribers from 5,000 to 20,000 in less than 24 hours. We try and make the videos really easy to follow and understand, in bite-sized pieces and cover pretty much everything around personal finances. And even covering lifestyle subjects such as cost effective interior design and capsule wardrobes. In addition, we have started #the1000project – which is a financial movement where I save or ‘create’ parcels of $1,000 at a time, and invest the funds into long term passive income streams, all shares on the videos and on the SugarMamma.TV blog. This short-term goal is that by July 2016, the portfolio going forward makes enough passive income in order to be able to buy one designer handbag per year."

Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo Words: Georgie Abay In association with Sleepmaker