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Everyday Routines for Top Business Leaders

By Garrett Spence   |    September 30, 2015   |    8:08 AM

Creating a Daily Routine For Business Success

If you’re a small business owner you’re already working in a position of leadership, so why not take a few life tips from other successful entrepreneurs? Establishing a daily routine can set you up for success and having a routine is also a great way to stay on track.

You likely already understand the importance of establishing a daily routine, but if you need some more inspiration, here are some routines and habits of some top entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Successful business people always have a solid morning routine

Morning routines vary from one entrepreneur to the next, but they all have one key thing in common: their morning routines set them up for a successful day and they treat these steps almost like a sacred ceremony. Their morning also tends to begin early. Yahoo! Finance surveyed 20 top executives and they all began their days by 6 a.m.

Your morning routine should be something that you look forward to each day. It should also help prepare your body and mind for the rigors of business life. Business Insider detailed some morning routines of high performers:

  • Checking email right away… or not
  • Drinking coffee, water, or hot water with lemon.
  • Meditation
  • Maintaining an exercise routine, like yoga or a walk with the dog.
  • Calling friends, family, or loved ones on the way to the office.
  • Spending time with family.
  • Catching up with the financial markets or world news.
  • Keeping a list of things that you’re thankful for and updating it each morning.

How business leaders spend their working hours

Not surprisingly, top business leaders also structure their working hours. This infographic from Entrepreneur breaks down how many Fortune 500 leaders spend every minute of every day. For example, from 9:15 a.m. to 9:40 a.m., many executives focus on strategy. They set goals for the short and long term before moving on to emails, meetings, tasks and projects, conference calls, and then lunch. Their afternoon includes more tasks, emails, and meetings before they return home.

If you’re looking for ways to creatively structure your team meetings and conferences throughout the day, take note of Jeff Bezos’s routine. The successful CEO of has meeting attendees spend the first moments of every meeting quietly reading through 6-page memos.

Evening and bedtime routines of top business leaders

Even once they’re technically done with work for the day, successful entrepreneurs and leaders still maintain evening and bedtime routines. profiled some of the routines of the world’s most well-known entrepreneurs:

  • Bill Gates read for an hour every night before bed, covering a variety of topics.
  • Arianna Huffington notoriously unplugs every evening, even going so far as to put her phone in another room.
  • Joel Gascoigne, CEO of Buffer, values a walk before bed. It helps him transition into sleep-mode.
  • Oprah finds that meditating each evening keeps her grounded and focused.
  • Design guru Vera Wang saves her evenings for creativity, a routine that can actually work out quite well for morning people.
  • American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault plans three things he wants to accomplish the next day. This can help with time management and focus, and who doesn’t need more of those two skills?

How can you incorporate some of these habits and routines into your daily schedule? Do you think they would increase your overall productivity? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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