Between balancing his career as the founder and CEO of FUBU with his role on Shark Tank, being a motivational speaker, and having a family, Daymond John understands the importance of managing your time wisely. For him, part of that involves avoiding tech devices for the first hour of the day. And yes, that means not checking email or social media.

Speaking to Thrive Global from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where he partnered with the AARP to talk about our relationship with technology, John says that following these strategies ensures that he doesn’t start his day already stressed.

Wake up, phone down

“I don’t look at technology for the first hour of the day because we’re too reachable,” he explains. “If you wake up in the morning and you get emails, you never get that email that says, ‘You know all those problems I had yesterday? Don’t worry about it, they’re no longer there, and I’m sending you a check for a million dollars tomorrow.’ That never happens. It’s always complaints on your emails.”

And though John is active on social media, you won’t find him logging on first thing in the morning.

“If you look at social media… everyone is always smarter and sexier than you. So if you wake up every morning and the first hour you’re listening to other people’s problems and you’re also depressed because it looks like everyone else is having a great time, that’s just screwed up. You walk out of the house depressed.”

Appreciate the benefits of technology

But despite staying logged off early in the morning, John says that in a lot of ways, technology has improved his life.

“The benefit of it is 20 years ago I was stuck at the office from 9 to 9 because I had to make sure I was there doing my business, and the computer couldn’t move, neither could the phone,” he says. “And now I can enjoy my life and even when I’m not home in the city with my little 2-year old, I get to see her face on FaceTime every night and kiss her before she goes to bed.”

Travel for business and pleasure

As someone who travels frequently, John also has strategies for making the most of his time away. He builds additional time into his schedule as a mini-vacation to see the local sights.

“Now, whenever I travel, I steal a day or two and become a tourist,” John says. “I wear my shorts all the way up to my chest, I get a camera and a big sticker [that says], ‘I love whatever country I’m in,’ and I walk around like a tourist and enjoy it. And before you know it, you turn around and you’ve escaped 30 times in that year.”

And whether he’s planning his day or his travel, John recognizes the importance of making sure to schedule time for ourselves to avoid burnout.  “With technology, we’re too accessible,” he says. “If you’re so accessible, how are you ever going to take time to do you? If you can manage to get that balance, then you’re OK. But if you don’t, then you get caught up and you burn yourself out.”

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  • Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

    Bioethicist and writer

    Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is a bioethicist and writer specializing in health and the intersection of bioethics and popular culture. Previously she was the health and sex editor at SheKnows. She is an adjunct professor of ethics at Fordham University and has written for print and online publications including The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe AtlanticRolling StoneSalon and Playboy, and has given a TEDX talk on The Golden Girls and bioethics.