In our “One Habit” series, Bright speaks with incredibly busy individuals about something they have found helps them keep their balance. We share this because, if they can find balance in their busy lives, we certainly can too, right? In this episode, we speak to Dep Magazine Creative Director, Hà Đỗ.

Hà, we’re sure that life was already busy for you, but as a new mom, it must be even crazier! How are you managing?
It’s almost a job in its own! A very rewarding job, but I wouldn’t mind a quick nap right now, ha. Between organizing and preparing shoots for Đep, running my own production company and being a mom, there really don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

And moreover, the pressure is always on: because this industry really runs on personal connections and reputation, I’m always worried that something could go wrong, leaving those I work with unhappy with the end result. So, you’ll often see me staying long after the shoot has finished, going through the photos in detail, making sure we have everything we’d need… and then some.

Wow. It sounds like you spend a lot of time away from home.
What really helps is that even though I manage a large team, no one really expects me to sit in the office all day. It’s also why I try and squeeze my meetings into one day a week, freeing me up to spend much more time with baby Leon. And, almost everything I need to do ahead of big shoots can be done over the phone. The phone, that really never stops ringing…

That truly sounds like a lot. What’s your secret in managing all of this?
Funnily enough, my phone is also my saving grace. I absolutely love keeping to-do lists on it. These lists really have become part of my daily routine. Every night, I take a moment to list out everything that needs to be done the next day, clearing my head while doing it.

I believe that the best way never to stress out (too much) is by just mapping out what needs to be done. Once you’re organized in your head, the days just flow so much easier.

You know Aria from Games of Thrones? Kind of like that, but with production jobs to do instead of people to kill.

We’re very happy to hear that last bit. So, this list habit, was it your German husband that inspired it? We know they tend to be pretty organized…
You’d think so, but no, this is something that I’ve always been doing. Actually, I sometimes feel he’s like more Vietnamese than me in a sense really, always begging me to stay home with the baby rather than going out to work. But with my “list” habit, I feel like I’m able to manage both pretty damn well.


Author Daan van Rossum Daan is Bright’s founder and a certified Life Coach. Having lived on 3 continents, he’s been studying cross-cultural happiness for a number of years. Daan’s speciality is around positivity, understanding your life goals, entrepreneurship and creativity. Daan lives between Da Lat and Saigon, but his heart is always in the mountains. Besides his Bright jobs and his work as a freelance brand strategist, his most important job is that of husband to his wife My.