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The Morning Routines of Remarkable Women

August 10, 2017 | Filed in: Your Career

We’ve noticed a recurring theme among the remarkable women we’ve interviewed over the years: Many of them have structured morning routines that are integral to their daily productivity. Whether they get out of bed with a simple two-minute stretch or take several hours for uninterrupted brainstorming, these five women are a testament to the power of a consistent wake-up ritual. Below, we share their sunrise habits.

Sallie Krawcheck, CEO and co-founder of Ellevest

Sallie (right) wears the Lydia dress, and our CEO Sarah (left) wears the Walters top and the Mulberry skirt.

ON POWER BREAKFASTS: “Me and my cat, in my kitchen, with my Power bar and my coffee—generally at 4 a.m. I have the cat in my lap and computer at the ready. I get up super early because that’s when I do my best unguarded thinking. I wake up with about seven ideas, one of which might even be good.”

Ana Oliveira, president and CEO of the New York Women’s Foundation

Ana wears the Walters top and the Wells 2.0 jacket.

ON HITTING RESET: “I am Brazilian, and good coffee is a very important part my day. It provides moments when I take stock. I also have a routine that I do every morning, with exercises—yoga, stretching, and strength-building—for 25-35 minutes. I don’t technically meditate, but it’s a very introspective, quiet time, like a meditation in action and movement. That’s a very important time, and it solidifies my day… You have to leave room—for others, for regrouping, for having a little bit of ‘Yes!’”

Heather McGhee, president of Demos

Heather wears the Tory 3.0 dress .

ON TRAVELING WITH EASE: “I always keep a suitcase packed, because I don’t unpack between trips…When I’m in a hotel, I order room service in my room for breakfast so I don’t waste time going downstairs in the morning. I put the order on my doorknob before I go to bed. I can get on my laptop first thing and then the doorbell rings and I can eat and then I’m ready to go for the day.”

Lucy Lyle, CEO and founder of Perch

Lucy wears the Arbus sweater and the Rachel dress.

ON DAY-TO-DAY HABITS: “I have a strict morning routine: Stretch, meditation, gratitude practice. Then I time-block my schedule. I ask myself: What are the three things I want to have happen today? What meetings do I have, and is there enough buffer time to prep beforehand? You think that you can outsmart the system, but it turns out that best practices really help. I also cut off my internet at 10:30 p.m. I know that my self-control at that hour is terrible, and I’m not getting that much high-quality work done. It’s good to remember that the balance of sleep and exercise actually helps my work productivity. There’s no way of cutting those corners.”

Sloane Crosley, author

Sloane wears the Infinity scarf and the McCarren trench.

ON FIRST-THING WRITING: “I shower right when I get out of bed, and put on jeans and a t-shirt and a sweater or a cardigan. There’s no shoes involved, but sometimes I wear a little bit of makeup, just to feel human. Then I write whatever is most important to me, or whatever is most difficult—usually it’s the same thing. I go for about two to four hours, until lunch, and then I make myself leave the house, because otherwise it gets creepy.”

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Alexandra Johnson is the brand manager at MM.LaFleur, where she started out as a summer intern. Her happy place is the room housing Monet's Water Lilies at MoMA. Read more of Alexandra's posts.

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