Does having a routine make you successful? These 15 CEOs’ routines will change your way of living.  

Benjamin Franklin’s “Time is Money” is quoted frequently in the corporate world. Since having a tight schedule ensures every hour is valuable in accomplishing daily tasks, any successful CEO will often accredit their success to routines. With discipline, having a daily routine makes a person stress less, become more efficient, and achieve more by being productive.

While routines vary by the person, here are the common habits that many famous CEOs share that are worth noting.

5 a.m. Wake Up 

Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his day off by waking up as early as 3:45 a.m, while not many will start his day as early as Cook, most CEOs are known to be early risers. Waking up before the break of dawn allows them to have more time in the day to exercise, read, and work. A study shows that waking up before noon will boost mood, reduce stress, and increase productivity as it provides more time in the day to complete all tasks.

6 a.m. Exercise and Meditate 

The first thing former President of the United States, Barack Obama, does after waking up is cardio and weights. Physical exercise not only helps with weight loss and muscle building, but it can also boost mood, energy, and memory. Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour spends an hour of her mornings playing tennis.

In addition to having a healthy body, it is equally crucial to have a healthy mind and mental health.  Arianna Huffington, the CEO of Thrive Global and co-founder of Huffington Post, spends 20-30 minutes of her mornings meditating. A good app for guided meditation is Headspace, which Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn uses each morning.

Anna Wintour

7 a.m. Breakfast 

Most CEOs will usually skip breakfast to schedule in more time for work; Some CEOs, however, believe that having breakfast is more important. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, avoids morning meetings until 10 a.m. to spend more time having breakfast with his family. Bezos emphasizes the importance of doing nothing as it gives him a clearer head to make decisions and not be overwhelmed with work throughout the day. Howard Shults, the CEO of Starbucks, spends his mornings making and drinking coffee with his wife.

Instead of staying home, some will take their breakfast on the go. Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, is well known to order a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich while commuting to work each day.

8 a.m. Getting Ready for Work

CEOs are always looking for useful ways to optimise their time. It can be wearing the same style to work every day like the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, or walking to work like Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square. Dorsey spends five miles walking to work listening to audiobooks and exploring San Francisco by taking different routes to work each day.

9 – 7 p.m. Work 

Some notable work habits are those of the CEO of Tumblr, David Karp. Karp is known to avoid checking his emails until he gets to work. By only checking his emails at work he sets boundaries to achieve an ideal work-life balance. Karp also feels checking emails at home is less productive compared to doing so at work.

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, believes meetings are unnecessary and are a waste of time. Musk will often avoid having meetings unless necessary and encourages his staff to leave meetings whenever they are not gaining anything valuable from them.

Although it may seem like CEOs have it all together, they are also susceptible to work fatigue, which is why Dan Hogan, the CEO of Medalogix, fights brain blocks with building blocks. Whenever he feels unproductive or like he needs a mental break, he will take time out of his day to build legos. Building legos and doing puzzles allows his mind to destress and relax as it forces him to focus on a single task.

Building Blocks

8:00 p.m. Read and Unwind 

Warren Buffett spends 80% of his time reading. Buffett recommends reading at least 500 pages a day. In the book “On Writing” released by author and CEO of Luminate, Stephen King, he encourages people to read at least 5 hours a day. It does not matter whether they are good books or bad books, articles or headlines. Stephen wrote that reading expands your vocabulary, allows you to adapt to different writing styles, and improves grammar skills. If you are looking for books to read, check out our list of inspirational reads for entrepreneurs.

Warren Buffet

9:00 p.m. Sleep 

According to a study, having an earlier bedtime allows a person to become more focused, energised, and healthier. It also causes a person to have less negative thoughts compared to those who sleep later. Having 8 – 9 hours of sleep per night is what Apple CEO Tim Cook recommends, who goes to bed at 9:00 p.m. every night so that he can perform better the next day.

Tim Cook next to Apple


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