Daily Routines is a series by Balance the Grind, profiling successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists and business executives to explore their routines, habits and rituals.
How would you imagine the daily routine of the world’s richest man would look like? Well, not quite as you’d expect. As the founder and CEO of Amazon, the second company in history to reach a market cap of $1 trillion, and with a net worth of over $150 billion, Jeff Bezos likes to start his days slowly and calmly.
In an interview for The Economic Club of Washington D.C., Bezos revealed a routine that enabled him to start his day in a slow and calm fashion. After getting his standard 8 hours of sleep every night, Bezos like enjoy time with his family and read the newspaper.
So I like to putter in the morning. I get up early. I go to bed early, I get up early. I like to putter in the morning, so I like to read the newspaper, I like to have coffee, I like to have breakfast with my kids before they go to school, so I have my kind of puttering time is very important to me.JEFF BEZOS AT THE ECONOMIC CLUB OF WASHINGTON (9/13/18)
While he doesn’t like to have meetings before 10am, Bezos also doesn’t like to make any diffcult decisions after 5pm as well, so there’s a 10am to 5pm window where a bulk of his decision-making gets done, “I like to do my high-I.Q. meetings before lunch. Like, anything that’s going to be really mentally challenging, that’s a 10:00 meeting. Because by 5 p.m., I’m like I can’t think about that today, let’s try this again tomorrow at 10 a.m.”
This is a great way for him to avoid decision fatigue. Similarly, Bezos likes to stick to making three good decisions per day, a strategy that Warren Buffet also uses.
As a senior executive, you get paid to make a small number of high-quality decisions. Your job is not to make thousands of decisions every day. Is that really worth it if the quality of those decisions might be lower because you’re tired or grouchy? If I make, like, three good decisions a day, that’s enough. Warren Buffett says he’s good if he makes three good decisions a year.1 big thing: Jeff Bezos’ secrets for life, business | Axios AM
In 2016 Bezos told Thrive Global that he likes to get 8 hours of sleep every night, “Eight hours of sleep makes a big difference for me, and I try hard to make that a priority. For me, that’s the needed amount to feel energized and excited.”
On the related topic of work-life balance, Bezos opts for work-life harmony, “I think work-life harmony is a good framework. I prefer the word “harmony” to the word “balance” because balance tends to imply a strict tradeoff. In fact, if I’m happy at work, I’m better at home — a better husband and better father. And if I’m happy at home, I come into work more energized — a better employee and a better colleague.”
Before you go…
We publish a new daily routine every week so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest one!