The Morning Routines Of 5 Highly Successful People
Trying to form a morning routine? Get inspiration from Jeff Bezos, Melinda Gates, Whitney Wolfe Herd and other business leaders and entrepreneurs
Do you start your morning hitting the snooze button, gulping down coffee before heading out the door to work? Many of us struggle to form and maintain a routine early in the mornings, valuing the extra few minutes of sleep over all else—maybe because you stayed up an hour too late binging on the new Netflix show, or perhaps you’re long due for some much-needed rest to recover from burnout.
As tempting as it is to hit the snooze button and stay in bed a bit longer, it could cause more harm than good as it’ll potentially mess up your sleep cycle in the long run. On the other hand, a well-planned morning routine could do wonders for your day ahead, helping you start your day productively rather than mindlessly rushing into it. A morning routine not only helps you become more productive and accomplish more goals, but it can also help you feel more in control—you control the day, rather than letting the day control you.
Ready to form a morning routine that’ll work for you? Here, we list out the morning routines of several highly successful people in the world. While each person’s routine will be different, you can draw inspiration from these individuals to create a routine that helps you achieve your goals.
James Freeman, founder of Blue Bottle Coffee
James Freeman founded the famous Blue Bottle Coffee in 2002 in California, and soon expanded to other parts of the country. Just last year, Blue Bottle opened its first branch in Hong Kong, followed quickly by a second location. How does this CEO start his morning? With a fresh brew of coffee, of course.
“I have an old espresso machine (a late 1970s La San Marco Leva) that has a timer, so when I wake up the machine has been warming up and is at optimal temperature for making coffee,” Freeman said in an interview for My Morning Routine, a book by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander on morning routines of successful people.
Waking up at six in the morning on most days, Freeman then makes coffee for him and his wife, followed by reading the New York Times in bed or taking the dog out for a walk. The coffee CEO likes getting his sweat on early, catching a morning boot camp before a yoghurt-based breakfast.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and Blue Origin
The billionaire Amazon founder is undoubtedly busy in his day-to-day life, yet he still manages to find time to mindfully relax and spend time with loved ones when he wakes up. He told an audience at the Economic Club of Washington that he dedicates time to simply “putter”, read the newspaper and spend time with family in the morning.
"I like to putter in the morning. I get up early. I go to bed early. I like to read the newspaper. I like to have coffee. I like to have breakfast with my kids before they go to school. So my puttering time is very important to me. That's why I set my first meeting for ten o'clock," said Jeff Bezos in 2018.
Rebecca Soni, six-time Olympic swimming medalist
American former competition swimmer Rebecca Soni has been operating under the same morning rule for more or less her whole life: Get up early, centre and balance, workout and go to work, according to her interview in My Morning Routine.
The Olympic gold medalist holder wakes up at 5.30 in the morning and immediately jumps into a few rounds of deep breathing to get herself more awake. Then, she’ll drink some water, play with her pets while getting dressed before moving to her office to meditate for ten minutes. Afterwards, she’ll do some form of workout such as running, swimming, paddle boarding or yoga, before unwinding with breakfast and coffee.
Whitney Wolfe Herd, founder of Bumble
Whitney Wolfe Herd’s morning routine would probably shock most people. The founder of dating app Bumble used to begin her day at 4am in 2016, but has since adjusted to a later wake-up time, at around 6am. According to The Ladders, the self-made billionaire starts the day with a French press coffee before taking the dog out for a walk.
Before her workday begins, Herd also tries to squeeze in a workout and avoids using her phone when she wakes up, “I have a yoga mat and a huge bottle of water next to my bed so when I get up, I drink that and then try to stretch and do some form of a morning workout. I do my best to avoid the direct-to-phone dive, because once that starts it’s nearly impossible to escape,” she told The Newsette.
Melinda Gates, philanthropist
Melinda Gates, American philanthropist and former general manager at Microsoft, spoke to The Cut about her morning routine two years ago, detailing her wellness and breakfast habits in the interview.
“I’m a morning person. I like to get up around 6.30 am, and I spend that first hour in ‘quiet time’.” Aside from staying caffeinated through a couple of cups of black coffee in the morning, Gates also practices meditation, stretching, yoga and does a bit of spiritual reading such as Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening.
“Even if it’s cold here in Seattle, I’ll get outside. I really like to go in the lake when it’s cold outside, or get my feet out in our yard, in our garden. Then I try to have a quick breakfast with my daughter Phoebe,” Gates told The Cut.
This article is part of Tatler’s first-ever Wellness Week––a week-long programme of events and articles hosted by Tatler Hong Kong and Lululemon, designed to inspire you to take a pause and celebrate yourself. Visit the Wellness Week content collection for practical guides, inspiration and advice on a new way to be well.