What is your morning routine?
My alarm goes off at 7:30am, but lately I’ve been jumping out of bed before 7:00am. My curtains aren’t very dark and I’m a light sleeper. That, coupled with the stress of running a business, makes it impossible to keep sleeping once I’m even semi-conscious.
The first thing I do once I’m up is crawl into my dog’s bed and cuddle with her. That’s probably the best part of my morning. (My wife and I rescued our dog - a pit bull mix - seven years ago, and she’s the love of our lives.)
Eventually I get myself out of the dog bed and start brewing coffee. My wife won’t stir until she smells the coffee. While it’s brewing, I check the Andie orders that came in overnight. I’m always surprised to see orders from 4:00am, 5:00am. We’re only available in the United States (at the moment), so I wonder who these people are who shop for swimwear in the middle of the night!
After breakfast I walk the dog through Riverside Park. I use this time to check the Andie social feeds, and do the requisite following and liking to grow the accounts.
By the time I’m back from walking the dog, my wife is usually gone, off to her job as an investment banker in midtown. I shower and get dressed, and then I begin the checklist of things for our dog before I leave: move her bed into the living room, crack the windows (or turn on the AC, depending on time of year), refresh her water, pour her some food, make sure our Nest cameras are on, and turn on her favorite Spotify channel (Sunday Jazz). Then I head to the office. I try to be out the door by 8:45am.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’ve been doing this routine for about five months. Andie has had office space downtown since January, but I only started going in every day once we hired our first employee. Before that, I would commute into the office two-three days a week, since it was just me and it didn’t really matter where I worked. But as the “boss” (though I never think of myself that way), I do think it’s important and responsible to show up every day, even though I sometimes think I’d get more work done if I stayed home.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
My routine has changed a lot over the years. Before I started Andie I was living in San Francisco but working for a company based in New York. I would get up really early to be on East Coast time, and I always worked from home in San Francisco.
I had a completely different schedule back then - I’d be up and running around by 6:00am, but I’d be pretty much done with everything by 4:00pm. That wasn’t so bad, actually. I played a lot of tennis in those days.
My routine also changes a lot with our dog. She had knee surgery a few months ago and couldn’t walk at all for several weeks. That made me sad, but it gave us more time to cuddle in the mornings. Even now she’s not fully recovered, so our walks are shorter than they once were. When her knee is totally recovered, our walks will go from about twenty to forty-five minutes, or longer.
What time do you go to sleep?
I try to be in bed by 11:00pm. I need a full eight hours to be totally functional. But I grew up in New York, and my wife and I both have vibrant social lives, so all too often we’re on the subway at midnight coming home from something and dreading the morning alarm.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I’m not sure if this really makes my morning easier or if it just helps me sleep better, but sometimes I write my to-do list for the next day before bed. When everything is out on paper (even if it’s a lot), I don’t need to worry about carrying the tasks in my head and forgetting something. Plus, it gives me a place to start my day once I get to work.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I usually have breakfast about 15-20 minutes after waking up; that gives me just enough time to cuddle with the dog and make coffee. I always have a bowl of cereal with two percent milk. That’s been my breakfast since elementary school, but I love it and almost never do anything differently (on weekdays). On weekends I make pancakes or have granola or something special - it’s a way for me to differentiate between a weekday and a weekend.
If I had my choice, I’d eat Lucky Charms and Golden Grahams for breakfast, but my wife buys our cereal and always gets me something organic and grainy. She has a rule that if there’s a toy in the cereal box, I shouldn’t eat that cereal. I’m sure her way is healthier, but I do miss having milky soft marshmallows floating around in my cereal.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
Aside from walking my dog and running around the city trying to build a company, I don’t really work out during the week. I make up for it on the weekends by playing a round or two of tennis and occasionally swinging by a SoulCycle or yoga class. I love playing sports - I was a college basketball player - but I loathe the gym and have no interest in joining one.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I often triage my email in the morning, but I hold off on answering anything until I’m at my desk.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
It’s the very first thing I do. I open my eyes and check my phone to see the time and to make sure there’s nothing urgent on the notifications screen.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
My first drink is a cup of coffee with a splash of two percent milk. That’s also my only drink until several hours later, when I arrive at the office and make myself drink a glass of water.
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
My wife and I have breakfast together; it’s a habit we picked up after an extended trip to Europe one summer. We do our very best to have both breakfast and dinner together at our dining room table, no matter how hectic our lives are. It’s grounding and just incredibly nice in the middle of our fast-paced New York City lives.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
On weekends I manage to sleep about an hour later. I wake up before my alarm whether it’s a weekend or a weekday (I don’t know why and can’t figure out how not to). I brew a larger pot of coffee and have something other than cereal for breakfast, like toast, pancakes, granola, or something heavier that feels more luxurious and vacation-y.
I usually turn on some jazz and go back to bed after breakfast to read The New York Times and digest.
Thankfully, our dog likes to sleep in, too, so she often hops up on the bed with us and we all hang there for a while. Weekends are way more relaxed, even though we always spend at least half of both days working.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
When I’m not at home, the biggest change to my routine is my breakfast. I love breakfast (it’s my favorite meal of the day), and I always opt for the breakfast package at hotels. Inevitably, it’s some sort of continental buffet thing, and I eat way too much and have trouble getting started with the day after that. But I do it every time.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I hate when I have to leave without breakfast, but when I have a meeting before 9:00am (sometimes it’s a photoshoot or an investor pitch or any number of things) I just get up, shower, leave, and grab something at a café en route to my appointment. In those cases, my wife walks our dog. She knows I’m grumpy when I have to miss our breakfast.