Anna Schafer on Why the First 20 Minutes of Her Day Are ‘Everything’

Plus, why she and her husband keep their phones in a closet.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?

Anna Schafer: I get my daughter and take her back into my bed for some quiet cuddle time. My days can be so busy and those 20 minutes of lying in bed silently face to face with my three year old are everything.

TG: What gives you energy?

AS: Besides coffee? Meditation.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?

AS: Very detailed “To Do” lists – they keep me organized and sane.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.

AS: “Buddhism Plain and Simple” by Steve Hagen.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?

AS: It’s a Love/Hate relationship. My phone actually does not sleep with me as of a few months ago. My husband and I agreed to keep our phones in the closet and no phones at meal time or in our daughters play room or bedroom. It’s a very addicting device and we are working on setting boundaries because I don’t want my daughter (or anyone I’m with) to ever think that something on my phone is more important than what is happening right in front of me. I do love it though – I’m not a computer girl so all my email correspondence and work are done on my phone. And let’s be honest I am a little bit of an Instagram addict.

TG: How do you deal with email?

AS: I set 30 minutes to an hour every day to read, respond or delete emails and set my schedule for the following week.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?

AS: Meditate or watch a show. Depends on my mood.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?

AS: Whenever I have to travel and be away from my family, I feel burned out. I try not to be away from them as much as possible.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?

AS: Probably yesterday.

Any time I feel like I failed I try to put things into perspective. I ask myself, does this really matter in the grand scheme of things? And how do I know this failure isn’t for the best? Even if it seems like the biggest defeat, rejection or fail, it may actually be a blessing in disguise.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.

AS: I always turn to this prayer when I’m in need of strength and peace.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

and the Wisdom to know the difference.

Anna Schafer stars in the indie film “Elizabeth Blue,” for which she has received critical acclaim for her lead role. She currently has two films in post-production, including a supporting role in Cuba Gooding Jr.’s directorial debut, “Louisiana Caviar.”

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


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