Monday Productive #21 with Dagnija Lejiņa
Published on: November 28, 2021

It’s Monday again and it’s time to start the week with a good energy! 🏄‍♂️

Monday Productive is a weekly interview format, featuring peak-performers from my network, who share 5 ideas on how to boost your productivity and stay at the top of your game.

Today’s guest is Dagnija Lejiņa. Dagnija is a Co-Founder and CEO of one of the biggest tech and lifestyle community festivals in the Baltic countries – Digital Freedom Festival, which this year will be held Nov 14-15 in Riga. She is also leading a boutique reputation management company Lejina & Sleiers and is a co-founder of public speaking platform Oratore, which focuses on empowering more women to be on stage).


1. You are a co-founder and CEO of Digital Freedom Festival, and a senior partner at a PR agency. How do you prioritise your time? How often do you plan, and do you have an exact method, process or set of tools that you use? 

▶ I am planning addictive, but I focus mostly on planning the outcome. I am not a detailed person, so planning every minute of the day kills my joy of life. I am managing people, not processes, so, I should be available for my team and clients, which means that I don’t plan at least 50% of my time. 

I know what I need to accomplish that day – this is how I plan my day and my week. Every morning I write down my three missions to be accomplished that day and a long list of “things to get done” in a rather wishful thinking mode. Writing down all my missions is as the same importance as drinking black coffee in the morning. I am an early bird, usually waking up at 5 am, so, this is part of my morning routine.

My daily planning survival kit is black MoleskineParker ballpoint and some bright stickers. I have tried different online tools and still do – for example, evernotegoogle notesasana and many others – but for a “big picture” and reflections – nothing can kill my offline tool-kit.

2. One of the areas of the #perform framework is “Purpose & Values”. From 1 to 10 how important is having healthy team culture, with respect to productivity? What exact practices helped you at #DFF to align better and become a better team? 

Result oriented and dedicated team is part of the success of the DFF.  Festival is one of the most challenging projects we have – statistics says that events’ organisation in  general is one of the most stressful jobs. No surprise that one of our values is – Having Fun. We remind about it from time to time, especially when closer  to event things get too “hard core” and messy. We strive for strong work ethics, this is also what makes our team professionals. However, there should always be balance of “working hard”, but also “partying hard”.

3. Mindfulness, self-reflection and personal growth seems to be quite important for you. How did you get into that at the first place? What do you do today to be more present?

▶ I am a morning person and believe that “How you start your day is how you live your day”. Mornings are those moments which belong only to me. In an ideal world, I do some exercise, read books, do some meditation or write down in my “gratitude” diary (this is something new I started just a couple of months ago and I do really suggest! It has a very positive and empowering effect!). Regular everyday reconnection to myself actually is my energy source. Apparently I don’t have to search too far. It is in myself.

4. Achievement vs Fulfilment? Is it possible to have both? How does one find their own balance, their own “sweet spot” of living a meaningful and productive life? 

▶ “Change your attitude and you change your life” – this is what says Seneca. It is very close to my philosophy of life. Achievement is an external concept, however Fulfilment comes to oneself inner satisfaction. Sweet-spot of course is the balance – but I believe, if the goal is happiness then “fulfilment” is the most important thing. Easy to say, hard to do. We live in a very tense time driven by enormous speed, 24/7 rat race, information overload, overachievement, perfectionism & “you can always do better” affirmations. It is a very big pressure – therefore we have to work very hard to get rid of all these external layovers and find what really suits us. I guess, it is a lifelong work. 

5. In the last 24 months – what habit or belief have you acquired, that helps you to be more productive today?

▶ I am taking off one to two month sabbaticals every year, when I travel around the world with 8 kg backpack with no set route and plan, when I do rely on adventure and serendipity. This keeps my creativity, energy and curiosity in shape. 

Trekking in the woods or mountains is one of my biggest sources of happiness. I try to have a long 20 km walk at least once per month; this summer I did 100 km solo trekking along Baltic coast and I wish to repeat it again. Himalaya mountains are also where I do feel at home – I can never get enough of them.

I think that we are creatures of habit, therefore we should be very careful what habits we pick. During the last two years my new habits are super simple – drinking fresh smoothies every morning with different food supplements, taking Fridays as meetings-free-days and lately also – doing exercises two or three weeks a day. I am also following “biohacking” hacks and taking some on a very moderate level. In a healthy body, there is a healthy soul – I guess this is my focus lately. 

[BONUS] Name one to three books that helped you to become a better leader? 

Henry David Thoreau – Walden (Life in the Woods)

Tim Ferriss – The 4 Hour Weekweek

Alaistar Campbell – The Winners


If you have any questions to Dagnija, please leave your comment below!

To connect with Dagnija: 




Thank you for reading. 

Tag someone to nominate them to be my next guest! 

Happy Monday! 


#MondayProductive #perform #productivity #DFF #mindfulness 

Published by: Stoyan Yankov


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