Oprah Winfrey famously starts her day with some meditation and a treadmill session. Elon Musk knocks off some critical emails. Arianna Huffington wakes up naturally and does a gratitude exercise.
Every business leader needs a morning ritual to optimise productivity, get them in the right mindset and give their day structure.
Here’s how seven top executives kick off their working day:
Jacques Nicolet, President of Everspeed, France
“I read the newspapers with a coffee. I’m old school; I will cut articles out with a pair of scissors and I give it to my son, or employees, to follow up on ideas after I ask.”
Lindy Deitz, General Manager of Campbelltown City Council, Australia
“The first thing I do is generally grab a coffee and run into my first meeting. I think I drive my PA crazy! Sometimes I’ll be starting in Parramatta (Sydney, Australia) at eight o’clock in the morning, which is a bit of a hike. So, on a very human level, I just need that cup of coffee.
“There are pretty long hours in this job, and it’s very much face-to-face, so it’s always good to have a bit of caffeine to get you moving.”
Charlie Davey, General Manager Buying (Consulting) of CD Retail, Australia
“The first thing I will do is I go down to the warehouse and just have a chat to the warehouse guys, say hi to the team and then get into the usual urgent emails before the day starts. It’s important to find the team and have a chat. It’s often not even work chat.
“Also, at the end of the day, we might have a chat about the events of the day and just unwind.”
Rod Carr, Vice-Chancellor of University of Canterbury, New Zealand
“I run 10-15 kilometres each morning. That means I get into work absolutely fresh and ready to get into it!”
I run 10-15 kilometres each morning. That means I get into work absolutely fresh.
Adrian Pozzo, CEO of Cbus Property, Australia
“I get up very, very early every morning and walk for about an hour. That is just to clear my head and to make sure I see every day as different, a new opportunity.”
Jim Clayton, CEO of Breville, Australia
“Honestly, I get a coffee out of Oracle Touch (Breville’s high-end espresso machine). After that, I read the business news, check our run-rate performance for the month, read customer reviews of our new products, then dive into the rest of the day.”
Vicky Taslim, Director of Panca Budi Idaman, Indonesia
“I will often have a seven o’clock breakfast meeting – that way I can beat the traffic, which is terrible in Jakarta. Every morning, I try to reach the factory by eight and that gives me half an hour to 45 minutes just to walk around, make sure that everything is OK and talk to people.
“Then I will be in the office around nine to start going through my daily schedule.”