Daily Routines

Melanie Perkins: Daily Routine

On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.

Running a $6 billion startup can be a grueling task, but for Melanie Perkins, co-founder & CEO of graphic design platform Canva, it seems to come naturally to her.

The 31-year old Australian startup founder was been waking up for 4.30am competitive ice skating training sessions between the ages of nine to 15. “It was really good grounding for discipline and practice and trying something over and over again. Falling down and getting back up again,” she said in a 2018 Vogue profile.

These days, Perkins may not be training for ice skating competitions, but the fire and discipline is still there, “It’s world domination, with a long way to go yet,” she told Smart Company. Her passion is something that keeps her up at night and more recently, Perkins become conscious about getting more sleep.

I’ve always found it difficult to stop whatever I’m working on and go to sleep. I’m making an extra effort this year. I have a physical calendar keeping me on track and I tick off the days when I get at least 8 hours sleep a night.

She Was Told ‘No’ 100 Times. Now This 31-Year-Old Female Founder Runs a $1 Billion Business | Entrepreneur

Perkins likes to start her day off with coffee (piccolo with one sugar), and logging onto Canva’s social media channels to see what their community is talking about — a huge source of motivation for her. “Just recently we heard about a person who had a Canva design broadcasted on a digital billboard without any previous design training,” she told Entrepreneur. “That’s what makes all of the work worth it.”

After that, Perkins will do some journalling. In an interview with Thrive Global last year, she talked about using the Five Minute Journal every day, “It’s a lovely way to start the day and helps to ensure I’m proactively shaping my day ahead. I’ve only been doing it for a couple of weeks — but hope to keep it up!”

At Canva, Perkins is focused on checking in on her team (they have offices in Sydney, San Francisco, Austin, Manilla, and Beijing) deveoping the product vision and working on the company’s marketing. She’s not a fan of email, preferring to use Slack, Zoom, or talk face-to-face.

Despite the company growing from three founders in the early days, to over 1,000 employees, Canva employees still have lunch together. “Having lunch together is one of strongest things you can do for culture,” Perkins said to Smart Company. “We used to have lunch around mum’s living table. Now we have a chef who comes in and cooks.”

We are what we repeatedly do, and being consistent with perseverance and hardwork have seen me from being a 14-year-old starting my first business of selling handmade scarves, to a 19-year-old starting Fusion Books, to where I am with Canva is today.


Before you go…

Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.

About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.