Cristina Black is a Lifestyle Brand Strategist that has mastered the craft of the brand voice. She started her own agency, C Black Content, in 2014 after working with several lifestyle and entertainment magazines. In 5 years, she has grown her business into a premium service with several top clients.

Cristina has a very busy and fast-paced life, and in my interview with her she shares her top tips on how to slow things down.

What are your biggest distress tips?

The main thing is avoiding stressful people and situations. Yes, there are days when you will need to work hard, and things will be painfully uncertain, but you should realize that is part of the process. It is important to understand that these trying times are making you better.

However, if something consistently sets off a stress response,you need to take steps to remove it from your sphere. You’re a human with a finite amount of energy, and you need to conserve it as much as possible.

How do you avoid burnout and a stressful day?

Burnout is like credit card debt. You’re borrowing energy and vitality from the future to serve today’s urgencies, but there is no free lunch. It’s all going to come back to you sooner or later. Quit distracting yourself with the myth of productivity and listen to what your body and soul need right now. If you’re tired, take a nap. If you’re uninspired, take a vacation. If you’re sick, visit your favorite healer. If your employer frowns upon self-care, get a new job. If you can’t find a job that allows you to fortify yourself, start your own company.

What are your main tips for a successful habit?

Don’t procrastinate. When you’re working, work diligently. When you’re resting, check out completely. You can not multitask without losing focus. If you find yourself procrastinating a lot, you’re probably in the wrong line of work or you’re tired. Take a day off and come back to it.

How will you continue to grow and succeed?

I like to stay a little bit scared as much as I can.

I think a healthy amount of anxiety means you’re growing and taking risks.

Cristina Black, on Growth and Success

I’m always looking for that “oh no” feeling. It’s my friend.

What keeps you motivated?

If you’re really doing what you want to do, you don’t need motivation. I try to do the projects I’m interested in most of the time—or tasks that will lead to me doing the projects I’m interested in—so the drive is intrinsic to the work. I keep my eye on the prize, and the prize is getting to do more of what excites me. Money is also a nice thing to have.