The Food Network star opened up about losing her brother Dino to melanoma.

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With multiple Food Network shows, three restaurants and nine cookbooks under her belt, Giada De Laurentiis‘ work ethic is undeniable.

For The Cut‘s column “How I Get It Done,” the single mom to 10-year-old daughter Jade revealed all about how she keeps the machine that is her life running—and why she doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. De Laurentiis, 47, says her main source of inspiration comes from losing her brother Dino to melanoma.

“Taking a break is not the easiest thing for me because I feel like if I’m not doing something then I’m wasting my time. I like to make the most of every second I have. Thirteen years ago my brother, who was two years younger than me and who I was very close to, died of cancer. I realized that life is fleeting and it can be taken away at any time,” says the Giada’s Italy author, who has two other living siblings Eloisa and Igor. “I feel like I only have a limited amount of time on this planet. I have to get as much done as possible. As sad as that might sound, it’s the truth.”

Giada De Laurentiis with her late brother Dino and sister Eloisa
| Credit: Giada de Laurentiis/Instagram

De Laurentiis opened up about her strong relationship with Dino, who lived next door to her in their adult life, to ET in 2013. “He was the person I turned to for everything,” she said. “When something great happened in my life, when something bad happened — I would talk to him 2-3 times per day.”

Now, the chef honors Dino’s memory by visiting a spot overlooking the ocean near her home in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, Shane Farley. “She had a bench put there as a memorial to him because it was a place that he used to go and spend time,” Farley told PEOPLE earlier this year. “We often walk up there with Jade and that’s been really kind of special. It’s a real connection to her brother and it’s been nice to share that with her.”

Despite her incredible drive, De Laurentiis says she’s also learned the art of saying “no” to make time for what’s most important to her: family.

“Years ago, I used to jump on a plane every week and go to New York, do the Today Show and work. And then I realized, ‘If I continue this, I will not see [Jade] grow up,'” she told The Cut. “I started to make decisions about my schedule — what I can bring Jade to and what I just had to say no to. I started to say no to a lot more things, and then I got divorced, and now I say no to even more things because my time with her is limited.”