21 Successful Women Share Their Morning Routines

I know of two kinds of entrepreneurs: those who ease into the day with Zen-like morning meditation rituals, and those who go from 0 to 100 MPH within a few minutes of waking. As founder and CEO of The Muse for nearly five years, I definitely fall into the latter camp. No matter how much sleep I’ve gotten (or how much I feel like death warmed over after a late night on my laptop), I’m usually up, cranking on emails, and eating a breakfast bar or chia pudding — simultaneously! — within a few minutes of waking up.

That said, I’m pretty sure my approach is sub-optimal — and I vaguely aspire to be more “Zen-like” in general. So I reached out to 17 badass women in my network to see how they kick off their days. Stuck in your own a.m.-routine rut? Try one of these and have a great day!
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Photo: Courtesy of Anna Curran.
Anna Curran, Founder, CookbookCreate.com
"My morning ritual starts with going to one of my favorite ClassPass classes, like Yoga at Jivamukti or Pilates at Sal Anthony's. After showering, it's time for a healthy, homemade breakfast of eggs and spinach or granola and yogurt. It's really important to me that my mornings aren't rushed, and that I start my day by caring for myself so I have plenty of stamina for my challenging schedule."
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Photo: Courtesy of Anneke Jong.
Anneke Jong, VP of Operations & Strategy at Reserve
"I never start a day without listening to Morning Edition on NPR. I stream it from my phone in the bathroom while I'm showering and getting ready for the day."
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Photo: Courtesy of Arielle Tepper Madover.
Arielle Tepper Madover, Arielle Tepper Madover Productions
"Usually, I wake up at 6:20 and hop on the elliptical for a quick workout before I wake up my kids at 7 a.m. Then, I sit down with them and my husband for breakfast, hop in the shower, then get dressed and take my kids to school. Then, I’ll either work out with a trainer or go straight into an early meeting."
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Photo: Courtesy of Susan McPherson.
Susan McPherson, McPherson Strategies
"There's absolutely no better part of my morning routine than my 15 minutes of snuggles with my rescue pup, Phoebe. She is absolutely delicious in the early hours, and it's better than meditating for the mind!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Hill.
Jennifer Hill, Operating Officer, Remedy Analytics
"I wake up at least 20 minutes before my kids to get myself ready. I spend five of those minutes thinking about the three most important tasks to accomplish for the day — then I'm focused, prepped and ready to tackle them first."
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Photo: Courtesy of Susan Danzinger.
Susan Danziger, Founder & CEO, Ziggeo
"I lay out gym clothes the night before — it reminds me to hit the gym and makes it super easy to throw them on and get out the door. And no matter how I’m feeling, I make sure to put them on as soon as I wake up — once I’m in my gym clothes, the likelihood of actually going greatly increases. Once I’m there, I’ll begin checking email and writing blog posts while I’m on the stationary bike."
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Photo: Courtesy of Caroline Waxler.
Caroline Waxler, Festival & Summit Content Director
"Every morning, I leave my apartment and walk across Central Park. Seeing the happy tourists exuberant and curious helps set the tone for the day."
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Photo: Courtesy of Meredith Fineman.
Meredith Fineman, Founder, FinePoint
"I don't turn on my phone until I've brushed my teeth, made breakfast, and gotten dressed. Not only does it make me more productive, but it's a reminder that I can separate. Along those lines: I wake up to a real clock that plays the radio, instead of my phone."
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Photo: Courtesy of Erica Berger.
Erica Berger, Founder & CEO, Catchpool, Freelance Journalist
"I wake up every morning, think about my dreams from the evening prior, then meditate for 20 minutes. When I get out of bed, the first thing I do is stretch, drink some water, think about what I'm excited about for the day, get clear about my goals...then, coffee!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Ellen Chisa.
Ellen Chisa, VP Product, Lola
"I try to make my routine a mix of things I know I'll skip if I leave them for later, and the things that I like and should make time for. I get up and immediately brush my teeth and floss, but then I take time to play with my cat before feeding her."
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Photo: Courtesy of Christie Marchese.
Christie Marchese, CEO, Picture Motion
"A big part of my morning routine is digesting as much news as possible in the most efficient way. So I read TheSkimm and scan MediaRedef while still in bed, and click through to the articles I want to read later on the subway. Then while showering or getting ready for work, I listen to NPR."
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Photo: Courtesy of Kara Goldin.
Kara Goldin, Founder & CEO, Hint, Inc.
"Exercise! Every morning, I hike with my dogs where I live, just outside of San Francisco in Marin County. It clears my head and makes me ready for the day."
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Photo: Juan Patino.
Elien Blue Becque, Founder, RoomZoom
"I usually wake up exactly 7 hours after I go to sleep, whatever time that happens to be. On days when I have time, I meditate for 20 minutes before dashing to yoga or The Class, which is this wonderful, ass-kicking, cathartic, sweat session of a workout that has helped me tremendously through the ups and downs of running a company. After showering as quickly as possible, I find a matcha and a yogurt (or a pastry, let’s be real!) somewhere in between home and my office."
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Photo: Courtesy of Stephanie Brower.
Stephanie Brower, Global Head Of Sales, Chartbeat
"I wake up to an analog alarm clock and open the blinds. In addition to making snoozing nearly impossible, the analog clock supports my no-electronics-in-the-bedroom sleep hygiene."
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Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Rodell.
Sara Rodell, Loop & Tie
"My morning always starts with a workout (different every day thanks to ClassPass!). I scan my email for any time bombs on my way to class and listen to NPR's hourly news summary on Stitcher. I try to do the most important tasks of my day in the a.m. before other things get in the way. On a dream day, I have the biggest tasks done before our team's morning call at 10:45."
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Photo: Courtesy of Nicole Sanchez.
Nicole Sanchez, Founder, eCreditHero
"My best morning routine is to take three minutes to light a candle and say the Lord’s Prayer. If I can do more, fantastic, but there’s nothing like prayer and meditation to center me and start the day."
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Photo: Courtesy of Rhonesha Byng.
Rhonesha Byng, Founder & CEO, Her Agenda
"There's a lot of pressure around having a put-together morning routine, but what works for me is waking up early enough to have a quiet moment to myself. I don't hop right out the bed, I lay for a moment and visualize my day, then I will get up and write it down. I do check my phone before getting out of the bed, but I make a point not to answer things that are not an emergency until I get on the train.

"My morning routine changes according to what I need to get done and my intentions for the day. I wrote a thing about the pressure of having a put-together morning routine. For some people, the best 'routine' is going with the flow."
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Photo: Courtesy of Julie Logan.
Julie Logan, Director Of Brand Strategy At GIPHY
"My morning starts with the lights automatically sunrising to peak bright, eventually accompanied with a not-so-chill-vibes Sonos playlist to really make sure I'm up. Some days it's straight to the gym, others I'll work on some side projects or read any of the three things I'm in the middle of — a well-recommended book or last week’s New Yorker (okay, a few weeks back… I'm very bad at keeping current with those). Breakfast is the one area where my Cali roots really hold strong; it always involves avocado deliciousness and some time on our patio looking at the water, reading, tweeting, or deep in thought. Then to the L! To Soho! To work!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Bobbi Rebell.
Bobbi Rebell, Journalist, bobbirebell.com
"After I drop my son off at school, I walk the reservoir in Central Park. Some days it is with friends — my preferred alternative to meeting for coffee. If I am solo, I listen to podcasts. The first half of the walk, I listen to news, so that I know what is going on. The second half, I listen to something for me: Some days, that is an inspiring podcast, some days, it’s an audio book. Then home to get ready for work and face the day!"
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Photo: Courtesy of Jessica Randazza.
Jessica Randazza, Head of Marketing, Danone-Nutricia Early Life Nutrition
"About a year ago, I stopped drinking caffeine, and I cannot say enough for what it's done for my energy levels and ability to wake up each morning ready to charge into the day ahead. I've kept the ritual of my morning (decaf) coffee and save the real stuff for when I absolutely need it. I also try to get in a morning workout. After spending a full day of intensity at work, and then an evening with friends, the last thing I want to do is intense cardio at night. By getting a run or a class in first thing, I get the chance to clear my mind from the day before and prepare, energized, for the day ahead."
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Photo: Courtesy of Camille Hearst.
Camille Hearst, CEO At Kit, kit.com
"Each morning I like to get up with a bit of time to spare so that I can have a cup of strong black tea and give myself 15-30 minutes to do my spiritual practice of chanting to get my day started. Having a daily routine means I leave the house calmly and with a clear head, instead of in a hectic rush."
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