“Despite my efforts to thrive on less sleep, my body seems to need 8-9 hours a night. Without a good night’s sleep, my brain and body move at a slower pace.” – Hua Wang Share this quote on Twitter

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Hua Wang

What is your morning routine?

I wake up at 6:30am each weekday morning. I once read that most CEOs and world leaders get up early; there is something peaceful and refreshing about waking up before other people and getting an early start to the day.

Upon waking up, I immediately drink warm water with lemon. I usually meditate for ten minutes and stretch with a foam roller. I then eat breakfast and read The Wall Street Journal, theSkimm, and Fast Company. I believe in being on top of the news in order to be on top of my game.

I listen to The Splendid Table or Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders podcasts as I get dressed for the day and put on sunscreen (all under ten minutes).

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

I’m always reflecting on my routine and trying to improve it.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I’m more aware of the importance of time management. I now ask mentors and role models about their routines as I aim to make the most of each day.

I’m convinced that, with time, trial, and error, I will find a morning routine that allow me to comfortably fulfill my roles and responsibilities while also enjoying myself in the process.

What time do you go to sleep?

I try to go to sleep by 10:30pm. I rarely sacrifice sleep. Despite my efforts to thrive on less sleep, my body seems to need 8-9 hours a night. Without a good night’s sleep, my brain and body move at a slower pace.

Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?

I lay out my outfit the night before.

Before falling asleep, I go through what happened that day and reflect on whether I prioritized my time efficiently and what I could do differently. I also think about the top five things that happened that day that I’m grateful for.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

I use an alarm and do occasionally hit the snooze button. Hitting snooze disrupts your natural circadian rhythm and winds up exhausting you more, so I try my best to avoid this by putting my alarm in the kitchen.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

I usually have oatmeal, yogurt with fresh fruit, or a green smoothie. I like to stick with the same breakfast foods because it is one less decision I have to make. I’m intrigued by psychology research around decision fatigue, and the idea that our brain has only so much mental energy a day to make decisions before it becomes tired.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I love morning workout classes, especially yoga and spinning. I have scoliosis, so yoga is essential for my back health and posture.

Do you have a morning meditation routine, and if so what kind of meditation do you practice?

Transcendental meditation allows me to quiet my mind and feel healthier and happier. I am calmer and more patient, and better prepared to tackle the day’s challenges.

I’m a big believer in meditation, as it has been scientifically proven to reduce cortisol levels, lower risk of a heart attack and improve brain function. My morning meditation is only ten minutes long, because that seems to be the ideal amount of time for me to get the benefits from meditation and the length of time my mind can really focus on the moment.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

I answer emails that require only a quick reply first thing in the morning. At night, I try to answer all my emails. I like browsing my emails in the morning to see if there are any messages requiring my immediate attention.

Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?

I use Headspace, Yahoo Weather, Spotify, and Evernote.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

I check my phone first thing in the morning.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

It is very important to plan my day.

I set boundaries around my health and wellness, and I am selective about the social events I attend. I use Evernote to plan my day. I prioritize the top three items I must accomplish that day, and I try to do something social each day (which could be as simple as grabbing coffee with a friend).

I aim to tackle my most challenging projects in the morning, as that is when I am most productive.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

Besides a large glass of lemon water, I also drink ginger or red (rooibos) tea.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

I am more unstructured on the weekends. I wake up without an alarm, read part of a book, go to an exercise class, and spend quality time with my boyfriend. We like to plan creative date nights.

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

I find it difficult to follow a routine when I’m traveling. If I’m on vacation, I let myself be more spontaneous. If I’m working, I try to stick to my morning routine.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

Tomorrow is a new day. Some days are more chaotic, and it is not the end of the world if I don’t follow my routine.


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