The Morning Habits of 6 Successful People in Technology

A great morning routine can really make or break your day. In her book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, Laura Vanderkam writes, “Seizing your mornings is the equivalent of that sound financial advice to pay yourself first. If you wait until the end of the month to save what you have left, there will be nothing left over. Likewise, if you wait until the end of the day to do meaningful but not urgent things like exercise, pray, read, ponder how to advance your career or grow your organization, or truly give your family your best, it probably won’t happen.”

Even if you have never considered yourself a morning person, you are going to have to figure out how to work around that as some of the most successful people in the world attribute a lot of their productivity to a stellar morning routine. Check out these kings and queens of technology and their amazing morning routines.

Padmasree Warrior, Cisco Chief Technical and Strategy Officer

Can you say early riser? Warrior wakes up at 4:30 a.m., reads email for an hour, checks out the news, exercises, and gets her son ready for school. She is in the office by 8:30 at the latest and starts her workday.

David Karp, Founder of Tumblr

The 28 year old founder and CEO of Tumblr, puts off checking his email until he gets to the office around 9:30 am, unlike many of his CEO colleagues. I guess he is of the philosophy that you should not start your day by checking email. As quoted in Inc. Magazine, “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive . If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”

Steve Jobs, late Apple CEO

Jobs spent his mornings re-evaluating his work and his goals in life. In his speech to a graduating class at Stanford, Jobs said:

“For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo

Mayer is another early riser. We aren’t sure of the time but she has admitted she really doesn’t need much sleep to thrive (between four and six hours of sleep on any given night). Of course, this is also the woman who said there are 130 hours of potential work time in a week if you shower strategically.

Jason Goldberg, CEO of Fab

Goldberg is definitely of the school of thought that working out first thing in the morning makes you productive for the rest of the day. According to research, published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management, on exercise days, people’s mood significantly improved after exercising. Goldberg told Inc., “I start my day at 6 every morning, and the first thing I do is check overnight emails. Our technology team is based in India, so they’re ahead of us. After I respond to any urgent emails, I do my morning run on the treadmill at a full steep incline for 30 minutes. I try not to think about work. Instead, I watch TV shows on my iPad. Currently, I’m watching “Curb Your Enthusiasm”–I’m up to Season Six. My other favorite shows are “Top Chef”, “Dexter”, and “Mad Men”.”

Alexa Von Tobel, CEO and Founder of LearnVest

Von Tobel is also in support of a morning workout followed by a plan to the minute day. She told The Observer:

“I start with an early morning workout (whether a power walk with friends, barre class or spin class), which is critical to feeling energized for the whole day. My calendar is often scheduled down to 15-minute intervals, so I can (attempt to!) make time for everything — internal and external meetings, speaking events, interviews, etc. I try to put as much as possible on auto-pilot (ex: using shortcuts like eating basically the same thing for breakfast and lunch). Also, I like to tackle the hardest things first, so I think through my priorities the night before and make sure I have time for my most strategic work. “

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