On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, business executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and rituals.
In a 2017 blog post, Richard Branson wrote about the significance of staying active to his long-term success:
Keeping active is a huge part of my life. I seriously doubt that I would have been as successful in my career (and happy in my personal life), if I hadn’t always placed importance on my health and fitness.
The importance of regular exercise is evident in Richard Branson’s daily routine. Waking up at 5am, he either plays a game of tennis, goes for a walk or run, does some biking, or kitesurfing (if the wind permits).
“Exercise puts me in a great mind frame to get down to business, and also helps me to get the rest I need each night. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing I have applied myself both physically and mentally every day.”
After exercising, Branson will sit down for breakfast with his family. Exercise and family time are his two non-negotiables for the day. Branson wrote about how raising his children influenced the way he ran his businesses in his autobiography:
Their hopes and desires encouraged me to keep chasing my big dreams. Their intrepidness and fearlessness gave me the confidence to keep putting myself outside my comfort zone. Their thirst for knowledge and new experiences were my incentive to keep questioning and challenging the status quo, and never rest on my laurels.How I balanced my career and family | Penguin Books
Working from his home in the British Virgin Islands, Branson will coordinate with his assistant, Helen, fielding emails and calls from the various offices across the globe. A bulk of his work is staying connected with the Virgin teams and checking in on all aspects of the business.
In a conversation with Zoom’s CMO Janine Pelosi, attributes his success to delegating day-to-day business operations so he can focus on the bigger vision, “If you have your own business, too many people try to cling on and do everything themselves. You just need to find the time to find someone better than yourself to run the business on a day-to-day business.”
To fuel his day, Branson drinks a generous amount of tea, “I’m talking 20 cups a day – don’t tell my doctor,” and typically schedules meetings over lunch to grab some food while working, “I’m not a fan of formal meetings and would much prefer to lighten the mood with a shared meal, or if I’m pressed for time, a walking meeting.”
Aside from working on emails and calls, Branson will also blog regularly on the company website, “one day I’ll be writing about conservation, the next I’ll sharing family photos from Necker Island, and then the following day I’ll be offering business tips to help young entrepreneurs find their stride.”
Similar to Sheryl Sandberg’s daily routine, Branson carries a notebook with him wherever he goes to capture ideas, “I can’t tell you where I’d be if I hadn’t had a pen on hand to write down my ideas as soon as they came to me.”
Branson will usually end his day with a group dinner – he’s recently swapped his few glasses of alcohol in the evenings for sparking water and lemon – and then head off to bed at around 11pm, getting 6 hours of sleep per night.
In an interview with Thrive Global, when asked about the last time he felt burnt out, Branson said:
As long as I get my exercise in I very rarely feel burnt out. I’ve always managed to get a pretty good balance in my life with things like working from home with the family and having wonderful breaks with them.The Book That Changed Richard Branson’s Life | Thrive global
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