What is your morning routine?
5:30am: Check emails, texts, and social media for any emergencies.
6:00am: Drink coffee and have a bowl of oatmeal.
7:00-7:30am: Respond to time-sensitive emails.
7:30-11:00am: Higher-order work (the most important things that require strategic thinking).
11:00am onwards: Communications and “busy” work. I am constantly on the road—walking real estate, doing interviews, attending speaking engagements, inspecting our locations, etc. My office is wherever my laptop is. I try to spend one day in the office a week whenever I can.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
Five years. When I am at my best, I sneak in a workout before I begin work.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I used to spend more time communicating in the morning via email, phone, and text. I found that by the time I was done, my creative juices were drained and I had no bandwidth for high-level thinking.
When I was a fighter my routine was very strict:
- 4:30am: Wake up, take a hot shower, and hydrate.
- 5:00am: Light stretch, run 3-6 miles (depending on where I was at in training camp). Deep stretch when the run is over.
- 6:00am: Shower and cook breakfast: Eight eggs, six slices of toast, a bowl of oatmeal with fruit, and a cup of hot tea.
- 7:00am: Back to sleep.
- 10:00am: Wake up, answer phone calls and emails, and read boxing news.
11:00am: If I was at the beginning of a training camp, this is usually when I would chop wood for a couple of hours. That would be followed by lunch, a nap, and watching fight tapes until it was time for an evening training session in the boxing gym.
What time do you go to sleep?
Between 11:00pm and midnight, but if I have an idea or a problem that I need to solve, I’ll often stay up until 4:00am or later.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I set five or six alarms to be on the safe side. I hit snooze two or three times, max. But I set the first alarm to ring thirty minutes before I actually plan to wake up, so when I snooze I still wake up on time.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
About 30-45 minutes after waking up I’ll eat oatmeal or Greek yogurt with berries and chia seeds.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I keep a weight vest (specifically, Hyperwear’s Hyper Vest Elite) at home that allows me to knock out a quick bodyweight workout and get more out of my time. The session takes no more than one hour.
When I chopped wood while training as a boxer I would traditionally go for two hours, but I would take a short break every ten minutes.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
I like to sneak in some meditation (I like Headspace) after my morning workout, before I do work, but to be honest I only get this done about 40 percent of the time. I would like to be more consistent with this.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Right away. I think it’s a poor habit, but I like to be available for emergencies.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Spending meaningful time on my three most important tasks.
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
The word “partner” implies that someone is working with you to achieve a common goal. So, yes, when I have a partner they are 100 percent behind me in everything I do, and vice-versa.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
I have no rules for the weekend but to rest, recover, and call my family. A Sunday evening reset in preparation for the week ahead is something I love to do, as well.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I struggle with this when I am on the road, but I typically get a chance to do deeper work because the only distractions in my hotel room are Netflix and room service.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I try not to take it too seriously.
There was a time when I would become very upset with myself if I was off my routine and I would try to compensate for it all day. That type of mental obsession can start the day off with negative emotions and feelings, and it chokes creativity. Remembering that life is short, that every breath is precious, and that happiness is the only true currency keeps me looking forward to the next morning as opposed to dwelling on the ones that have passed.
Anything else you would like to add?
I don’t recommend my routine, but I do recommend evaluating your routine and developing one that supports the things you love the most.