Annette Gionfriddo, senior director, digital experience at PetSmart, is a Women in Retail Leadership Circle board member, visionary digital marketing executive, and retail veteran. The below is a first-person account of a day in her life at PetSmart, giving us a glimpse into her world and the opportunity to get to know her better!

4:40 am: After moving to Arizona, I quickly learned to wake up before the sun rises to walk my dog Zeus. The summers can be brutal, and once the sun hits the pavement, Zeus’ paws can burn. We normally take a two-and-a-half mile walk every day, even on the weekend. I find that the peace and quiet during the early morning hours really helps clear my mind and prepares me for the day.

6:45 am: I do a quick email check before jumping in the shower. I love tea, so I will boil the water and let it brew while I finish dressing. I prepare many of my breakfasts and lunches on Sundays, so it’s easy for me to grab and go during the week. I try not to use disposable bags or plastic water bottles, so I pack up a LUG bag with everything I need for the day, including my water, and head to work.

7:30 am: My commute is about 20 minutes. I like to listen to something a little more zen, such as the Daily Calm for guided meditation (don’t worry, I don’t close my eyes, I just follow the breathing), or an audible book. My youngest daughter, a true millennial, is listening to “Thanks for the Feedback” by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, so I just started listening as well.

8:00 am: I do my best to preserve the first hour of the day for email, sales review, and connecting with my team as they arrive. My team is diverse: product managers, UX/UI designers, merchandising, site optimization, front-end development, and customer care. With so many moving parts, it’s important to stay connected and keep each other informed.

9:00 am: We like to have fun at PetSmart! My team’s favorite pastime is celebrating birthdays, which always include bagels and donuts!

9:15 am: Most mornings are spent with our IT, buying, and marketing partners, strategizing project and road map work to enhance our customers’ experience. I have the unique advantage of listening to customer calls and am able to infuse that knowledge into our discussions. It helps guide our process and keeps the customer top of mind as we create new experiences. We’re in test, learn and optimize mode, which provides flexibility to try new and innovative ideas.

12:00 pm: I like to use my lunch hour to connect, either with my team, or cross-functional partners, twice per week. It’s nice to take a break and get to know each other on a more personal level.

2:00 pm: Puppy break! Did I mention we get to bring our pets to work? There’s always a puppy to pet in the office, or bearded dragon if you prefer!

4:00 pm: I like to end the day by connecting with my direct reports. It’s a good time for a status update and to reflect on the team’s challenges and accomplishments. We have aggressive goals for 2020, so it’s important we stay on track and remain focused on our priorities.

6:00 pm: Time to head home to feed Zeus and take another 20-minute walk. It’s a great way to decompress.

8:00 pm: I spend about an hour per night on school work. I’m studying to complete my wellness coaching certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I have thoroughly enjoyed the year-long course and would love to create a “blue zone” some day!

9:30 pm: Time to meditate (this time I get to close my eyes!) and write in my gratitude journal.