Shine Interview Series #4: Salvador Tellez on the Power of Habits and Minimalism

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Hello and happy Wednesday!

Hope you “rose and shone” today. Have you “risen and… shin-en”? Okay, I’m done now.

It’s time for part four of my 3-week interview series in which I interview some inspirational freelancers, creatives, entrepreneurs, etc. to learn about the habits and routines that help them to stay at their most productive. My aim is to learn how they do it all and make magic happen.

If you want to learn more about the series and why I’ve named it “shine” (although you can probably guess from my intro), check out part 1, where I interviewed student and social media freelancer Maggie Zhou.

Whether you’re new here or need a refresher, don’t worry, here’s a quick rundown of how this series works:

  1. Part 1, where you’ll learn about the interviewee’s planning tips, habits, and routines, will be up on the blog, so bookmark or follow on Bloglovin’ to not miss out.

  2. Part 2, where you’ll find out how they get inspiration and maintain work-life balance, is delivered via the Bliss Bean newsletter, so join 500+ subscribers to get it!

  3. Finally, there’ll be a fun rapid-fire round of questions in Instagram Stories, so follow @theblissbean to see them.

For today’s interview I’m doing something a little bit different and I’m actually featuring a friend of mine, a high school student and aspiring filmmaker. Read on to find out why I thought he fit the bill for the Shine interview series.

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Salvador Tellez is the kind of friend who understands why I do crazy things like trying to wake up at 5AM for a week “for fun”, only because he’s been waking up at 4AM for months now. As I’ve gotten to know him, I’ve learned about other habits of his, like reading for 1-2 hours every day, that have made me wonder whether it’s him who should actually be writing this blog and not me.

In all seriousness, though, Salvador has actually developed an interest in filmmaking and hopes to be able to use the Internet to share his passion for living a creative and inspired life. I was really excited to read about what habits and routines Salvador implements into his daily life, and I hope his answer inspire and motivate you as well!

How do you manage your calendar?

I use Google Calendar, which is connected to both my work and personal email. I love using colors to see different events clearly, and how I can set reminders and notifications. Its simplicity really gets me. I’m still a student, so in the school year I also like using a planner because I like having something physical that I can carry around.

What is your system for task management?

I use an app called MinimaList It’s very simple and, well (it’s in the name of the app), minimal. It’s great for making categories for my different tasks and crossing them off once done.

What is one habit that makes you successful?

The habit I’m most proud of is waking up at 4:00am. That was very difficult to start, but was a gateway to a whole bunch of other habits like writing, meditation, and exercising in the morning.

Walk us through your morning routine.

I wake up at 4:00 in the morning and start with drinking water. I then put in my music, look my day over, and journal. I then work out and finish with meditating. I obviously have a good breakfast and take my dog out to get some early sun and peaceful nature.

Are there certain times of day you find you are most productive?

I’m definitely most productive in the morning. When everyone is still asleep I can get my work done calmly and without interruptions and I don’t have to worry about anyone asking me to do anything.

Do you have any weekly routines that help you to stay organized?

My weekly routine consists of me vacuuming and making sure my room is clean and ready for the week with my desk well equipped to stay on top of everything. I also plan my week every Sunday morning so that I have everything set and prepped for the week ahead.

Do you set goals? How do you keep your goals in sight?

I put my goals in Google Keep so that I can very quickly and easily see them in my phone and laptop. I put my goals in order of what’s most important and every day I remind myself of why I want to reach each one of them.

What is one piece of advice you would share for someone trying to find balance and organization?

Start with simple stuff and build up from there. Don’t just throw yourself into everything all at once because it’ll be too overwhelming.


While I haven’t tried Minimalist or Google Keep, and I don’t vacuum as often as I should, Salvador and I can definitely agree on 2 things: that a good planning system should be simple and that an effective Sunday routine is essential to getting your life together and starting your week on the right note.

Personally, I use TeuxDeux for daily and weekly planning, but you should try out different tools and find what works for you! I have a video on how exactly how I use TeuxDeux, as well as a video on my Sunday routine, if you’re interested *wink wink*.

Only one week left in this series! I would let my last 2 interview guests be a mystery except that I can’t really keep a secret when I’m excited, so I’ll just tell you now that I’m interviewing a food stylist who creates magical (and edible!) flatlays, and a digital marketer who is one of the most motivational content creators I know.

So stay tuned, and I’ll see you soon!
Beatrice x

P.S. As of putting out this interview, I am en route to Europe for a month-long trip with my family! You can follow along on Instagram for daily updates, as well as for blog posts and my YouTube channel, where I’ll be sharing some travel vlogs.