Daily Routines is a series by Balance the Grind, profiling successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and business executives to explore their routines, habits and rituals.
As the editor-in-chief of Vogue since 1988 and artistic director for Condé Nast, Anna Wintour is one of the most powerful people in the media and entertainment. When I found out she was (reportedly) the inspiration behind Meryl Streep’s ruthless character in The Devil Wears Prada, I was interested to find out more about the real Anna Wintour and her working habits.
Like many successful people profiled on Daily Routines, Wintour’s day is highly structured, “I have a pretty consistent structure for my day that I follow that I find that works really well for me,” she said in a Masterclass course video.
Anna Wintour’s daily routine starts early, she typically wakes up between 4am and 5.30am and starts reading British and American news first thing in the morning. After that, she’ll go play some tennis and make a Starbucks run for coffee and breakfast.
As an icon in the fashion world, Wintour is well-known for wearing similar outfits every day (a great way to reduce decision fatigue). “Well I have a wardrobe full of print dresses so every morning I just go to one of my print dresses of choice. It makes decision making a lot easier,” Wintour explained in a Vogue video.
She’ll arrive at Vogue’s downtown Manhattan office between 8am and 8.30am, beginning her workday by having meetings with key team members on the Vogue or Conde Nast team. “I could also be reviewing pictures that have come in from a recent shoot, or reviewing clothes to be photographed for an upcoming cover.” As a leader, Wintour describes her management style as hands off and prefers having small informal meetings as a way to check in.
I feel very strongly that it is important to empower those who are working with you. They will work much more effectively if they can make leadership decisions on their own.Vogue’s Anna Wintour: Daily routine includes a 4 a.m. wake up call and her ‘magic box of tricks’ | CNBC
Wintour’s afternoons are generally reserved for off-site meetings, lunches with designers, planning events, or external appearances. At 5pm, she’ll leave the office, heading home with work to do for the night. This usually includes resumes, pitches, publications, as well as sample pages of the upcoming issue of Vogue.
She makes it a goal to work through everything before the next day, “It’s super important to me to get everything done at night so I can keep on top of the work and nobody is waiting for my feedback.” Wintour will typically head off to bed at 10.15pm, getting anywhere between 6 to 7 hours of sleep per night.
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