On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore the routines, schedules, habits and typical day in their life.
In a Fast Company profile of Square as one of the most innovative companies of 2012, writer Ellen McGirt commented on Jack Dorsey’s highly structured and regimented schedule, questioning whether it “might be a little nuts.” Dorsey replied, “Actually, the word I’d use is disciplined.”
As the the co-founder and CEO of Twitter, as well as the founder and CEO of Square, Jack Dorsey is currently the only CEO on the S&P 500 to oversee two public companies, with a global employee count of over 8,000.
The secret to Dorsey’s success can be attributed to consistency and routine. By creating habits and sticking to routines, he’s able to automated large chunks of his life, enabling him to focus on the priorities. “I look to build a lot of consistent routine. Same thing every day,” he said on a Product Hunt Live Chat in 2015.
In order to deal with the requirements of running two public companies, Dorsey divides his week up into themes, explaining to Fast Company:
All my days are themed. Monday is management. At Square we have a directional meeting, at Twitter we have our opcomm [operating committee] meeting. Tuesday is product, engineering, and design. Wednesday is marketing, growth, and communications. Thursday is partnership and developers. Friday is company and culture. It works in 24-hour blocks. On days beginning with T, I start at Twitter in the morning, then go to Square in the afternoon. Sundays are for strategy, and I do a lot of job interviews. Saturday is a day off.
In a 2019 podcast interview with Ben Greenfield, Dorsey broke down his daily routine into further detail, while noting that it’s something he’s constantly tinkering with, “I’ll say that my routine today is completely different than my routine three years ago but I feel like I have a lot of it dialed in based on what I’m currently experiencing in terms of stress and just what I have to do every day.”
Waking up at 6.15am, Dorsey begins his day with an hour-long meditation, before getting ready for work. He’s out the door by 7.30am and walking the five miles to work, which usually takes him an hour and 15 minutes, to get into the office by 9am. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dorsey typically would work from home, as a way to give himself space to think, reading and writing more on those days.
On a recent podcast of The Boardroom: Out of Office, Dorsey explained his approach to work with Rich Kleiman, “I would rather optimize for making every hour meaningful—or every minute meaningful—than I would maximizing the number of hours or minutes I’m working on a thing.”
By optimising his time and intensely focusing on each task at hand, Dorsey is able to get a lot more done than the average person, “I just get so much more done and time really slows down. You can make this time so fungible and flexible if you really understand how to kind of focus on it.”
On his work from home days, instead of the walk to work, he’ll focus on high-intensity interval training.
I do the 7-minute workout. I usually do one to three iterations of that or I get on the Tabata bike. The thing I love about the 7-minute workout is I never have an excuse. I don’t have a personal trainer. I don’t go to a gym. I travel a lot and all I need in order to do a workout every single day is a chair and a wall and my body weight.The Jack Dorsey Podcast | Ben Greenfield Fitness
In terms of diet, Dorsey has been known for constantly tinkering with what he eats and when he eats. During the interview with Ben Greenfield, Dorsey revealed that he had been on the One Meal a Day (OMAD) diet for the past two years, with dinner being his only meal for the day.
I don’t have anything until around 6:30[pm]. And then, I usually eat a really big meal and I have a protein, whether it’d be fish, chicken, or some steak. I try to have a lot of greens in terms of salad, a big arugula salad, spinach. And then, I sometimes have asparagus or Brussels sprout or some other green vegetable. And then, I have mixed berries as a dessert, maybe some dark chocolate.THE JACK DORSEY PODCAST | BEN GREENFIELD FITNESS
While only having one meal a day might sound like nightmare for most people, for Dorsey, there were two clears benefits of this diet: he saved time by not eating breakfast and lunch, and he found that he was much more focused, “during the day, I feel so much more focused. I think it’s just this very ancestral looking for where the food is. You have this very focused point of mind in terms of this drive.”
According to a 2020 Vanity Fair profile, Dorsey wraps up his day “with a ritual of 15 minutes in his barrel sauna, followed by three minutes in his ice bath, which he does back and forth three times for an hour.” He then finishes with a meditation session.
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.