What is your morning routine?
I wake up, check for urgent emails on my smartphone, or do an early morning conference call with New York from my bed or walking around while preparing for the day. These are usually sync calls internally, with journalists, or with our partners in Europe.
Next I’ll hop in the outdoor apartment pool for 10-15 laps (weather permitting), before jumping in the shower and driving to work. I live in the Mission District of San Francisco; it’s about a 10-15 minute drive to work. It’s a stressful drive as driving in San Francisco is not a fun activity. It’s like a Donkey Kong game.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
Approximately six months.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I’ve recently added in the morning exercise, but other than that it’s largely stayed the same.
What time do you go to sleep?
It ranges between midnight and 3:00am.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I have five alarms set, five minutes apart, rapid fire before the time I’m actually supposed to be awake in case I’m particularly groggy that morning for whatever reason.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I don’t normally eat breakfast. It’s a bad habit. If I’m starving when I wake up for some reason I’ll grab a croissant, or if I want to spoil myself I grab a breakfast sandwich from Starbucks.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
Swimming. I do breaststroke, front crawl, and back crawl. My morning swim jolts me into being alert.
How about morning meditation?
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I do. By the time I’m up at 7 or 8:00am PST it’s already 10-11:00am EST, so I have to be checking or else I can miss any number of crucial emails that need my immediate attention.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
Nope. I don’t suffer from any sleeping disorders and I usually crash easily. However on redeyes (the frequent SFO to JFK flights I do) I’ve been trying a product called reBloom.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
I check social media, emails, calls, texts, and our morning news digest from our internal marketing team right away.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Seeing to work email and calls.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
I drink a bottle of water immediately upon waking up.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
My morning routine is totally different. I do whatever I feel like on weekends, and if I’m in another country it’s fair to say my routine is totally out of whack.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I do whatever feels right - those are my cheat days. I’m usually in a hotel, but when I’m traveling I may be jet lagged, hungover, you name it.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
Not much, I suck it up and move on. I usually get over it with a grande macchiato.
If you enjoyed reading about Brian’s morning routine, and you're interested in startups and entrepreneurship in general, we recommend watching Brian's Foundation interview with Kevin Rose.