Sunday with The Scribes - #39 (Interview Edition)

For the second consecutive week of Sunday with The Scribes - Interview Edition, we are joined by a great friend of The Scribes, Dr. Maria Bruce!

Maria is a licensed psychotherapist and performance coach practicing in New York City, working to help individuals, teams, and companies optimize performance, manage stress, boost productivity, and enhance relationship interactions. In the field of productivity and mental health, Maria is no joke. Just ask Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Brides, Vogue, and Vice. (places where Maria has shared her thoughts).

We've had the pleasure of working with Maria in designing and creating The Optimalist - our take on a guided journal. The Optimalist serves as a cross between a white-board and a journal, making it the perfect tool for optimizing productivity and keeping tabs on your well-being. For a limited time, take 15% your purchase of The Optimalist with promo code SUNDAY.

Now, on to this weeks Q&A with Dr. Maria Bruce!


This is Sunday with The Scribes, a newsletter that goes out every Sunday morning with the hopes to inspire the day and week ahead. Maria - What does your typical Sunday look like?

Sunday starts when I make my coffee and put on a tune, followed by breakfast with the family. If the weather is nice, I’ll go for a run - that is what helps me get energized, clear my head, and mentally get organized for the coming week. The rest of the day, we usually do a special activity with the kids that ranges from sports, to going to a museum, to meeting up with friends (socially distant, and in open air now!). The rest of the day is where we start winding down and start getting prepared for Monday. The day ends with me reflecting and writing in my journal three positive things that happened during the day, and three things that I’m setting as goals for the next day. When I wake up in the morning the next day, reading about the positive things puts me in a great mindset to start the day, and the goals are a great way to focus on what needs to be accomplished.

It's Monday morning and your calendar is booked with meetings from 9:00am to 6:00pm. A meeting gets cancelled and all of a sudden you have a free hour in the middle of your day. How are you going to spend this time?

The first thing that I will do is check my “to-do” list. I like to divide my list with “important” and “less important” tasks. This allows me to choose if I want to tackle some of the lower-priority items that I keep pushing off, or to only focus on the primary items that needs to get done. Either way, I’ll always allow at least the last 10-15 min to do something special for myself, reenergizing, stimulating, or relaxing. Some of my preferences are using a breathing pacer to help me re-balance and to “reset” my mind, a couple of yoga/stretching exercises, going for a small walk, reading a book, or listening to a podcast or one of my playlists.

What’s a habit or ritual that helps you be your most productive self?

I will start by writing down everything that comes to mind that needs to get done. I then rearrange the order. I usually start working on something easily accomplished first. This kick-starts my sense of productivity, and puts me in the right mindset to tackle something else that might be more complex.

Next week, we are stepping into the field of ath-leisure, where we'll share our conversation with a Founder/CEO who has built a thriving company in an intensely competitive industry. $5 gift card from us if you can guess who it is!

Happy Sunday,
- Mike, Pooja, and Alden