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Daily Routines

Guy Raz: Daily Routine

On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore the routines, schedules, habits and typical day in their life.

As someone who has been described by The New York Times as one of the most popular voices in podcasting history, Guy Raz — creator of the widely downloaded NPR podcasts, TED Radio Hour, How I Built This and Wow in the World — can have quite a blasé attitude to his work.

In a 2015 interview with Routine Behaviours, Raz admitted that, despite loving his job, “if it meant I had to stay until very late every night for NPR to employ me, I just wouldn’t do it.” He also told Lifehacker, “It’s just a job — unless you are Barack Obama or Nelson Mandela or Gandhi. It’s unlikely the work you do is ever more important than the small moments you have with your family.”

Reading through the interviews done to date, you can get the impression that much of the appeal of running a podcasting empire to Raz is that it allows the flexibility and time to spend with his family — he’s married to Hannah, a lawyer, and the couple have two sons.

In a parenting profile for Lifehacker, Raz takes readers through a typical morning routine, which largely revolves around his family:

We wake by 5:30 AM. My wife does her yoga routine. I drink a tall glass of water and then check email and get some work done. At 6:30, I start making breakfast for the boys and pack their school lunches. My wife hops on a 6:25am bus to downtown. I rustle the boys out of bed by 7. They are slow eaters so our breakfast routine takes at least 30 minutes.

By 7:45, we’re in the car and on the way to school. I’m back at my desk by 8:30. The best trick (and this is hard!) is to get as much ready the night before. Grind coffee and put it in the coffee maker. Make sure dishes are in the dishwasher. Make as much of next day’s breakfast and school lunch as possible. Make sure boys triple check their backpacks before they go to bed and make sure they place their backpacks — PACKED — by the front door at night.”

Then it’s on to his day job. How I Built This, the flagship of his podcasting empire, is where Raz routinely interviews entrepreneurs, founders and innovators about their journey, including Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia, Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson, and plenty more. Raz’s trick, or rather, magic is in his ability to create a comfortable space for his guests to talk openly about the highs and lows of their entrepreneurial story.

I’ve been doing this for 20 years and many of the people I interview have been listening to me for a while so I’m lucky in that a lot of them know and can trust that I will treat their story with respect, fairness, and sensitivity.

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Outside of the millions of monthly downloads, the podcast has also grown into an industry powerhouse. Jenn Hyman, co-founder of Rent the Runway, admitted to The New York Times that she won’t hire anyone unless they’ve listened to her How I Built This interview, “You can’t listen to that podcast without understanding who I am as a person and a leader. It gets to the core of me. There’s nothing more authentic to me as a person than that interview.”

Once his podcasting work is wrapped up for the day and the kids are home from school, Raz shifts, once again, wholeheartedly back to his family. On a typical evening routine:

The boys are now able to take showers on their own. By 6 PM, they are showered and usually in jammies. On most nights, I start on dinner around 6:30 PM. Usually a chicken curry or a stir-fry. We try to eat dinner together by 7 — though sometimes, my wife is still at work and eats quickly when she gets home. Bedtime is 8 PM. We read to the boys. Tuck them in. And then lights out by 8:30. Because my wife and I wake up early, we’re usually out by 10 PM.”

Before you go…

Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.

Order our Daily Routines ebook today! Featuring first-hand interviews, insights and revelations compiled from 50 of the world’s most successful people.
About Author

Balance The Grind gives me a platform to talk to these people about how they're achieving their ideal lifestyle. I'm inspired by the passion, the work ethic, the hustle; and these conversations motivate me to live life the way I want to live it.