Do you have a hard time getting energized in the morning? Do you wake up frazzled and disorganized?

You need a morning routine. Yes, as much as you might not like organization, having a morning routine sets the tone of your day. I didn’t value a routine until I hosted my morning show on Bloomberg TV, which entailed me waking up every day at 3:30 AM. In order to stay sane, I set a morning ritual that slowly got me in mental shape, including:

No reading emails in bed

A cup of hot green tea

Still no reading emails until I skimmed 3 newspapers in 15 minutes

That set my mind right and helped get my day going.

I’m not the only one who values a set morning routine. Other successful CEOs have told me their morning routines over the years and I’ve cribbed tips on how to make mine even better. One CEO once revealed to me how he wears his gym clothes the night before to get a head start on the day-and to prevent any “morning-of” excuses not to work out. I thought that was genius, if not a little odd.

On Radiate, we asked some uber successful people how they get their day going and here are some of my favorites. Click here to watch all 9 of them reveal their routines.

  1. NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson wakes up at 4 AM and finds time to be quiet. “I believe in being still,” he said. “And what I mean by that: I don’t care who it is, whether it’s a CEO, a president, or a vice president…you should always be still in the morning to gather your thoughts and get ready for your day.”
  2. Tommy John CEO Tom Patterson also wakes up super early – 5 AM – and heads to The Dogpound with 15 guys where they work out hard. “Getting exercise in just makes me think more clearly,” he said. “It’s a stress reliever, and a lot of my best ideas come to me at the gym, surrounding myself with people that have similar goals to me.”
  3. Zuckerberg Media CEO Randi Zuckerberg doesn’t check her email for the first 20 to 30 minutes of her day. “That’s really hard because it’s right there on the bedside table,” she said. “But I find that taking that time in the morning to kind of just set the day, talk to my kids and my husband lets me approach the day from more of a 360 view instead of just getting right into the weeds.”
  4. Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger says he’s always organized his day by prioritizing time to read and think. “That is not the normal way to succeed and I don’t recommend it to other people,” he said. “But it was the right way for me. A lot of people, they can learn a lot but they can’t do anything with it! They don’t have the kind of personality that can turn it into action. But I had a personality that was patient, and opportunistic, and perfectly capable of acting.”
  5. Venture for America Founder Andrew Yang wakes up every morning and just wants to make sure his kids are alive. “It’s like [are they] alive? Check. Awake? Yes/no. Fed? Clothed? Not hurting each other? So that’s most of the morning,” he joked. But he went on to say he also tries to stay away from the phone upon waking. “I follow Arianna Huffington’s advice where my phone’s in the next room if I can help it,” he said. “I used to work out every morning, or try to, but that’s sort of fallen by the wayside now that I’ve got a four-year-old and a one-year-old.”

Which means as much as you may want to also wake up at 4 AM to get a head start, that’s just one morning routine to follow. Everyone is different. Pick the one that fits with your lifestyle and then…sleep on it.

Originally published at

Betty Liu is founder of Radiate, a multimedia platform focused on making better managers by delivering easy-to-digest, actionable content. Her site features interviews with the biggest names in business. Liu is also the flagship anchor for Bloomberg Television’s prime-time evening program and author of Work Smarts: What CEOs Say You Need to Know to Get Ahead. The Radiate podcast is available on iTunes or SoundCloud