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Morning Routines of Successful Professionals, Part 1


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Ever wonder why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wears the same shirt every day?

It’s to reduce the number of decisions he has to make, saving his energy and willpower for what’s truly important to him—serving the Facebook community.

Establishing a morning routine is a surefire way to avoid mental fatigue, kickstart your productivity, and set yourself up for a successful day. Tweet:

To help inspire you and supercharge your morning, we chatted with 13 notable marketers and creatives about their morning routines for success.

Here’s the first batch!

Brandon Velestuk – Director of Design, Slack

1) Do you hit snooze in the morning?

Oh yes. Very much so. I have a serious snooze problem. I’m really great at fooling myself into thinking that I’m a morning person, so I’ll set my alarm for 6am, thinking I’ll wake up, have a coffee, thumb through the newspaper and really get a solid start to the day.

In reality, my alarm will go off at 6am and I’ll snooze it, every 9 minutes for easily an hour and a half. Then I’ll rush through my morning routine and head to work. You’d think I would have learned by now, but, I haven’t. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

2) What’s your typical breakfast like?

On weekdays, honestly, not much. A banana or a juice and a coffee or two will usually do it. Weekends I’ll usually make frittata, or toast and poached eggs, or go for Pho; oh, and Aeropress coffee. Always Aeropress coffee.

3) What are three things you like to do that set you up for a good day?

  1. Start the morning with a 10-minute Pause. It’s incredible! A wonderful way to start the day or de-stress along the way. 
  2. Listen to a podcast while walking to work. I’ve got about a 35-minute walk, so I’ll typically listen to Roderick on the Line, 99% Invisible, or This American Life, I find products a great way to wake up naturally, and get the mental gears moving.
  3. Knoll my desk. I didn’t know “knolling” was a verb until a coworker brought it up recently, but I’ve been doing it since I was a kid, it’s defined as: “the process of arranging related objects in parallel or 90-degree angles as a method of organization.” If my desk is organized, I feel like my design thinking, and approach for the day is just as organized.

Cristina Angeli – VP of Brand + Creative, Stitch Fix

1) Snooze?

Ahhh the snooze button. Used to, but as you get older the internal clock wakes you up religiously, even on the weekends.

2) Breakfast?

I am a totally inconsistent breakfast eater. Know it’s the “most important meal of the day,” but it varies from Coffee Bean + Tea Leaf sugar-free vanilla latte, a protein shake, a pressed juice, toast with peanut butter to weekend eggs benedict decadence.

3) Three things?

  1. A clean, organized, fab desk setup (bourbon optional).
  2. A refreshing face spritz (throughout the day).
  3. My old school printed daily calendar with a binder clip and to-do list.
  4. BONUS MUST-DO: Attitude. Gratitude, positivity and kindness…no matter what.

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Chris Garrity – Head of Marketing & Innovation, San Francisco Superbowl Host Committee

1) Snooze?

Yes.

2) Breakfast?

During the week I just have a Philz coffee and then have an early lunch.

3) Three things?

  1. Bike to Work: Since I have been with the host committee, I have been riding my bike to work as much as I can. This has been a great morning ritual, it wakes me up and gets the blood moving to the brain. It also removes some of the decision-making that one has to make in the morning. (I keep a few changes of clothes and shower at work.)  
  2. Set Goals: I take about 10 minutes to plan my day and write 4-5 things down that I would like to accomplish during the day.
  3. Use the morning for creative work: I usually block an hour in the morning to write the things that I need to be fresh for. I use headphones when I write.

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Woonji Kim – Art Director, Havas Worldwide

1) Snooze?

I don’t hit ‘snooze’ but I set about 7 to as many as 13 alarms a day to wake up in the morning, or at the time I need to get up. Sometimes I’ll wake up on my first one, sometimes I’ll wake up on my last one.

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2) Breakfast?

Not being a breakfast person, I typically start my day by picking up a latte before coming into work.

3) Three things?

  1. Listen to good music. It usually sets my mood for the day.
  2. Give myself a break from thinking while commuting to work. Being a creative, I’m required to be constantly thinking. It’s important to be balanced, put your mind at rest, and only concentrate on what’s around you.
  3. Organize and clean my desk. A clean workspace helps me stay focused.

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Brian McCarthy – Director of Brand Marketing, Inspirato

1) Snooze? 

Absolutely, at least twice.

2) Breakfast?

Hardboiled egg, yogurt with fruit, goldfish crackers.

3) Three things?

  1. Make coffee/drink coffee
  2. Workout for 20-30 minutes while I catch up on the news
  3. Get ahead of my day on the 45-minute bus ride from Boulder…that might include checking email, making notes about whatever inspires me along the way, or just listening to music and relaxing.

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Beverly Jackson – VP Social Media & Content Strategy, MGM Resorts International

1) Snooze?

Yes, several times during the winter but in the spring and summer months, I pop right outta bed.

2) Breakfast?

Breakfast is typically decaf coffee with 2 raw sugars and a raisin bagel with Irish butter; I love the warmth and sweetness first thing in the morning. I only have 2 cups of coffee but the first cup must be in one of my signature mugs. I collect mugs from places I’ve traveled to around the world and ones with quirky sayings.

3) Three things?

  1. Check what’s trending on social both globally and locally.
  2. Take a hot shower with my favorite jasmine body wash.
  3. Check my calendar for the day before selecting the best/most appropriate outfit.

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Check in next week for Part Two!

What are your morning must-do’s? Let us know in the comments or share on social!


Katerina Jeng is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Brandfolder, a powerfully simple tool for storing, sharing, and showcasing your digital assets. She enjoys traveling, writing, and all things hip-hop. Follow her on Twitter for marketing goodness and snippets of everyday life.

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